Martine Hughes on her impressive WMX podium
It was a weekend that Martine Hughes won’t forget in a hurry contesting the opening round of the WMX series at Mantova. Coming into the weekend, Hughes was hoping for a top five but she did better than that. 5-3 in the moto’s meant she finished third overall to secure her first podium.
Hughes becomes the latest Norwegian talent to keep an eye on and at 17-years-old she should have a very bright future racing the WMX series.
DailyMX caught up with Hughes and kindly sent us the interview.
On the deal with 114 Motorsports Honda…
Getting the opportunity to sign with 114 Motorsports was such a big deal for me. Defiantly the turning point in my career. At the beginning of the 2021 season my trainer Espen Blikstad (team Norway coach) asked me if joining a team was a option for me (thinking of school and stuff) and I said yes. So when he went to the GP’s to watch the Norwegian riders he talked to different teams for me, and that’s how he got in touch with Livia. In December me and my mum went down to France for the weekend, to meet Livia and the team, and at the very end of 2021 I signed a 1 years contract with the team.
Preparing for the 2022 season with 114 motorsports versus my previous years of preparation is such a big difference. With 114 we ride 4 times a week and train physically 3 times a week. Our physical training is made by a professional trainer, and Livia makes our riding schedule. Everything is well balanced. Every winter before signing with the team I would make the winter preparations in Norway, plus a couple of weeks training in Spain or Italy. In Norway the tracks freeze at winter time, so I would do a lot of physical training when the tracks were closed.
I am very thankful for this opportunity. Not everyone gets to work with a great time like this. The people and the spirit at the team is the most important to me. If i didn’t thrive with the people on the team, it wouldn’t work!
On expectations for Mantova and getting on the podium…
I tried to hold my expectations for Mantova down. But I was hoping to be close to a 5th place. I was dreaming of a podium finish at the end of the season. But I guess I didn’t have to wait that long. Already in time qualifying I showed good speed, with a P2, but I know that time qualifying and race is two different stories. So it was a big surprise for me getting 3rd overall this weekend. On our way to the track my dad asked me what I was hoping for this weekend and I said a top 5. He said the chances of that was slim. So we really had no idea that this was going to happen.
This weekend has just been one big experience for me. Now I know what to expect for the next race and how everything on a race day works. It is more comforting when you know what is going to happen on the day. Getting to see how the track developed through the weekend was also a big part of the experience. To get closer to the front I think hours on the bike is key for me right now, and to keep pushing in a smart way.
You can read the full interview, here.
Main pic: Thibault Photography