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Steve Hislop: In his own words

Published: 01 April 2002

Updated: 24 November 2014

Tony: "Is this your year?"

SteveHislop: Hopefully, after all the bad luck last year and previous few years, what with swapping teams etc. I hope it is my year. I just need a bit of luck

Cooey: did you seriously consider a return to the TT prior to last year?

SteveHislop: Yes I did last year, when I joined Paul's team I decided it may be a good earner to do the TT. However the more I thought about it, the more I thought about why I decided to quit, but then it was knocked on the head anyway.

Alan: Will you be racing in WSB events this year again?

SteveHislop: Hopefully, the Silverstone and Brands rounds. But there will not be many British lads that will get the chance now because they are on the 1000s and won't be eligible.

Rgvr: Hi Hizzy, What’s your honest opinion of Rockingham - and have they asked you for any feedback?

SteveHislop: They haven't asked me for any feedback. Rockingham’s an ok circuit not fantastic for bikes but ok. But the area of the track I crashed was the one we were all worried about speed wise. It needs to be slowed down from chicane 1 to chicane 2

gsxer400: What's the best bike you ever rode?

SteveHislop: Probably one of the best bikes I ever rode was the RVF750 Honda which I rode at the 91 TT. But the current Ducati would take a lot of beating as well

Biscuitboost: Steve well done for the weekend, do you still aspire to race on the world scene and are grand prix still regarded as the pinnacle of racing?

SteveHislop: Yeah, GP's are still the pinnacle for sure. I would have loved to have raced on the World Scene, but I think probably now I've missed the boat, age wise.

Rfrater: If you were to have a sound track to your riding would you prefer :- Rock or Jazz music? Specifically what?

SteveHislop: It would probably be a dancey track, like something from maybe the last three years. Not any one in particular, but it gets me revvin, that kind of stuff.

gsxer400: Would you ever consider becoming a test rider for a factory four stroke GP team?

SteveHislop: Definitely. That would be a great thing for me. I'm not going to race much longer, and to get in with a chance of that would be fantastic.

Littleladcoxninja: If you weren't racing, what job would you love to do?

SteveHislop: I'd love to be involved with the sport, with a team maybe on the technical side, between a young rider and the technicians perhaps bringing the young lad on, kind of thing. Helping the young lad on and helping him cut corners.

Rgvr: Who do you rate as an up and coming star?

SteveHislop: That's quite hard. None jump out at ya from the UK. Last year, witnessing Casey Stoner's rise to success was fantastic but he's Australian. So, in the UK, there's not a name that jumps out at me.

Warped: I know you go well at Oulton but which is your favourite circuit to ride??

SteveHislop: In the UK, Oulton Park...World...Suzuka...I used to always love Suzuka

Rgvr: Foggy was once heard as saying words to the effect of "if I was in GP500 I would have kicked Doohans' arse" - what do you reckon, would he of?

SteveHislop: No. Having witnessed Michael Doohan on four strokes at Suzuka at the 8 hour event. I think if Doohan had turned his hand to four strokes, it would have been Foggy who had his ass kicked.

Biscuitboost: Who is the best rider you competed against?

SteveHislop: I think it's kind of equal...It's got to be Niall Mackenzie and John Reynolds for sheer determination and smooth style. You know, very trusting guys to race against. I mean I raced against Doohan at Suzuka and stuff, and I was never on the same machine and in the same league so it's got to be people I was racing close against. So it's got to be JR and Mackenzie. You can race close with them on the limit and have a lot of faith in them as well.

Alanmcgregor: As a kid, who was your racing idol?

SteveHislop: Freddie Spencer...he was much on an age with me but as a teenager, when I heard of Freddie Spencer in the States, he was pretty much an idol to me. Prior to that I never really had an idol. I find it hard to believe that anyone could have me as an idol now... I never set out to be a hero I just set out to do it for fun. Maybe they are just naive on that side of it.

Littleladcoxninja: If my girlfriend flashes her boobs at you on Sunday, will that help you or distract you, she is well fit by the way?

SteveHislop: Yeah, it'll probably get the adrenalin rushing!

Cooey: What’s your opinion of the Foggy project?

SteveHislop: Well I was actually asked to go there as a development rider early on, but I didn't think they'd get the bikes up and running for this year, so I opted to stay with Paul Bird, because my heart was still in racing and competing. But I do wish them all the best because we do need a fresh new team like that from England. If they asked me again at the end of the season I might seriously consider it. It was just because I still had the burning desire to win races and not be a semi-development rider and not be on a bike until May, June, July, you know

Sidewaysbiker: do you think that this years TT will be the biggest and best ever?

SteveHislop: I don't know about best ever but it'll certainly be a big event because it was lost last year. I think there were a lot of people held their bookings for hotel and boats and then more people wanted to come but whether it will be the best i don't know. The TT is slowly losing it's place in international racing

Mrsticky: Do you have any superstitions before you race?

SteveHislop: I used to…even last year, I had these green underpants, which i wore at Silverstone when I won my first round last year and I wore them every week, up until Rockingham. But they're in the bin down, cos after Rockingham, they ain't so lucky!!!!

Alanmcgregor: What rivals do you go drinking with, and who do you avoid?

SteveHislop: I don't drink with any rivals really. Pretty much when I'm at home I have my kids, my two boys, and I tend not to go out that much. Bit of a Billy No-Mates!!!

Cooey: how did you first start racing?

SteveHislop: It was off the back of my father racing. My father raced in the 50s and early 60s and both me and my younger brother both naturally followed suit. however, after my father died when I was 17 I didn't have the finances to continue so I had a long break from the sport before returning in the mid 80s.

Yuletine: Do you think that manufacturers will in the future use WSB as merely a training ground for riders prior to moving them into GPs, thereby devaluing the WSB series?

SteveHislop: Yes. I can see the new stepping stone to GP1, will come through Superbike. Now that GP1 is going four stroke, it is the natural progression.

Pablo: Steve, how's the ankle holding out after the weekends action??

SteveHislop: The ankle is ok on the bike. It's just everyday activities are a bit hindered. I have limited movement in my right ankle to the extent that I've seen doctors about maybe having some further surgery

Cooey: Why do you think the TT is losing it's place in racing, is it now too dangerous?

SteveHislop: I think, yeah....My last TT was 94, on an RC45, producing 140bhp..I wouldn't like to ride it now on a 180bhp Ducati. I think the big bikes have almost outgrown the roads and attitudes to safety are steering the stars to short circuit racing. The TT has become a holiday racers paradise.

Sidewaysbiker: Joey Dunlop was the greatest and most fearless road riding racer of all time. Do you think anyone else can ever achieve what he had done during his life?

SteveHislop: If I continued at the TT, I would have beaten Joey's record easily. But I had a bigger future in short circuits. Joey was a fantastic rider, but I still believe he was beatable. You know, ask Carl Fogarty and myself!

Littleladcoxninja: I am going to TT for first time this year, what’s the best vantage point for all the action?

SteveHislop: Errr. In summer land at the Miss Wet T-Shirt!!!!! No, there's plenty of vantage points around the circuit but the nightlife is good as anything!

Yuletine: Will we be seeing the two young Hislops racing in the future?

SteveHislop: Hopefully not. I hope they become football players or something like that. Something where there's better money for less risk. Far less risk...

SweetandSour: Do you think bad luck has robbed you off your best years?

SteveHislop: Yes. Definitely. But also a little bit of...maybe...I messed up a little bit myself on a couple of occasions with PR...let's put it that way.

Alanmcgregor: With Moodie winning the Supersport and you leading the BSB, why do you think Scotland produces great racers?

SteveHislop: I think sheer determination. If you failed and had a miserable weekend the long drive home was long enough to let you ponder what you'd done wrong and make sure it would never happen again. And I think it was just sheer determination that drove so many Scots lads to success in the 80s and 90s.

Kai: Good to see you back in great form. I wrote to you in hospital after Rockingham. How will you feel about going back there again this year?

SteveHislop: It's just one of the races. You have to get up and get on with it. People said the same thing about Brands after breaking my neck, but it never really gets on my mind at all. It was just an unfortunate accident with me and John.

Badbhoy: how long do you think it'll be before the GSXR's R1's & CBR's are on your tail

SteveHislop: Hopefully, long enough! They're not far away at the moment actually. They just need to fine tune. But I still feel the Ducati's got the legs!

Twinman: If Neil Hodgson was still in BSB do you think you would beat him on the machinery you have now?

SteveHislop Easy. Easy-peasy.

Littleladcoxninja: Dark Visors on the road, should it be down to riders choice?

SteveHislop: Yes, I think so. A bit of common sense would prevail there. I think the legalities of it are a bit wrong.

Alanmcgregor: Would you consider 4 wheeled racing, like Slight?

SteveHislop: No. Not really, been interested in 4 wheel motorsport. If any of the avenues it would be rallying. But never really been interested.

Rgvr: So bike wise - what have you got in your garage that you ride on the road?

SteveHislop: Sweet FA. No, I have a YZ125, that's it. I enjoy borrowing a bike, maybe at TT time for a ride around. But I spent ten years as a motorcycle mechanic testing big bikes everyday, and the number of near misses put me off basically. And I don't need the high speed buzz, cos I get my adrenalin rush as part of my job.

gsxer400: What's the worst bike you ever rode?

SteveHislop: Probably the first time I ever rode the JPS Norton, prior to the 92. I found it really hard to get to grips with it. I rode it at Oulton Park just prior to the TT and couldn't believe it's characteristics. However, when we used it in practise week at the TT I managed to get it how I wanted and ended up winning the senior

Alanmcgregor: Is your new Ducati much better than last years? What are the major improvements?

SteveHislop: It's not a lot different. It doesn't feel a whole heap different to ride. It's similar chassis wise, but the engine is more lively, with having an extra 1000 revs, it's just buzzier.

Pablo: Who designs your crash helmet graphics you have any input at all???

SteveHislop: The design, it was my old design, from the late 80's earl 90's. It's just varied a bit over the years. But now it's just controlled by Lloyd Lifestyle, with OGK

AlanMcGregor: If you're going for the BSB championship this year, and Tardozzi phones you up asking you to do race the last 4 WSB rounds on Bayliss's bike, would you go?

SteveHislop: I would love to go…the thing is I'm under contract to Paul Bird motorsport, but it's partly supported by Ducati UK so if I had the championship wrapped up, then I would jump at the chance!

Kai: Would you consider running or managing a team after you retire? (Like Foggy!!!!)

SteveHislop: Yeah, I'd consider it for sure. My biggest problem throughout my career is attracting the sponsorship. So I wouldn't like to be the guy brown-nosing to sponsors, cos I think I'm a failure at that. But I'd love to be involved on a technical side.

Gsxer400: Do you regret racing as a wildcard in WSB after what happened at Brands?

SteveHislop: *laughs* Yeah, that was way back in 88. I was a bit of a sort of hippy with me mullet, but it was at the end of that year I shaved my head. I've always hated my hair It was the one thing I'd change if I could have it all over again. I'd have frizzy curly hair I think!

SteveHislop: Thanks to everyone for coming and all your great questions, but I better get going, so thanks for all your support and I’ll see you at the races this year.

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