Pikes Peak 2012: we interview six-time champion, Greg Tracy
Pikes Peak 2012: we interview six-time champion, Greg Tracy

A couple of weeks ago we told you that we were preparing some exclusive content for Motorpasión Moto about the Pikes peak. Thanks to the close collaboration with My Life at Speed ​​and the race organization, today we are in a position to offer a special on the second most storied race in the United States that will take place this week. So we start with the interview that Greg Tracy gave us after the test was held in which we discover the secrets of the route of the mountain, of its Ducati and the sensation of going 250km / h parallel to an endless precipice.

Motorpasión Moto: Hi Greg, first of all let me congratulate you on the great job you did on Sunday to win second place. How was the race?

Greg tracy: Hi Carlos. It was amazing to be back at Pikes Peak, I felt like I had missed a lot last year with that crash. It is a pleasure to be back here, with the asphalt track we have broken the previous record by dropping ten minutes, a time that until then was only available to the best of cars. We actually finished third and fourth in the overall standings along with the cars, a pretty decent result.

And well, you know that the race in general went well, although it must be said that I did not give it my all. A week before the race I had a fall and broke two vertebrae. Riding a motorcycle in the race in those conditions was very, very painful. I tried to find a midway point with good pace, doing my best, and I was only five seconds behind Carlin.

Greg Tracy Pikes Peak

MP: Everyone agrees that the biggest change has been the asphalting of the entire course, although for many it has been a big mistake. What is your opinion? Is it easier now?

GT: Obviously asphalt is the news of the year. For me it has been a great disappointment that they decided to do it like this, when I first arrived here most of it was dirt. The race has changed enormously by not having that part of land. However, since I'm not too big a guy I found it very difficult to control a 1200cc bike on such a slippery surface.

Greg Tracy Pikes Peak 2012

MP: Dangerous. That was one of the words that best described Pikes Peak, has it changed now? Personally, after seeing Jeremy Foley’s accident, it doesn't seem like it to me

GT: Before you were not going with your knee glued to the asphalt and you needed to have a lot of control with the gas when exiting the curves, skidding due to the power of these bikes, something very tricky. On asphalt it is easier for me to cross the bike safely, I did Supermotard in the past and on this surface I can get the best part of myself, the speed. On the question, there is no doubt that the race is more dangerous now for the simple reason that the speed has increased greatly.

MP: For this reason I suppose you have changed a few things on the Ducati compared to last year's bike.

GT: Indeed, for example we no longer use Superbike rain tires but we have two sets of Pirelli racing slicks. We are very happy with them, only with the change of tires we have taken a good bite into the clock. In suspension we have also made changes, we reached speeds of 240km / h, a big difference compared to last year, and the average at which we take some corners is truly crazy. This year they were prepared by Race Tech.

Another change is the inclusion of magnesium OZ wheels which are honestly the most beautiful and efficient wheels I have ever seen. If I remember correctly, only Carlos Checa has this model at his disposal. In addition, Akrapovic made us an exhaust made entirely of titanium for the Pikes Peak.

Greg Tracy at the PPIHC 2012

MP: Now that it's completely paved, why not ride another 1200cc bike like the Ducati 1199 Panigale?

GT: That change is yet to come, especially after having seen some bikes in the show category. I have talked a lot about this with my teammate, we would gain a lot by connecting corners but sometimes the track is too "out of the way". At sunrise the sun hits hard but at the top it is snowing, which makes you find spots on the asphalt and sometimes you step off it.

Taking advantage of the fact that everything is road, the truth is that I hope that some of the stars of the Isle of Man will come closer, it will be a real pleasure to duel with them.

MP: I can't help but think of MotoGP when I see you and the other riders at Pikes Peak. I remember when you once told me that the PPIHC is like the Tourist Trophy of America. In your opinion, what is the difference between you and a MotoGP rider?

GT: You know, every pilot is based on giving his best. Obviously in the PPIHC or the TT the slightest error can take you to the grave, there is a 0% margin to be wrong. There are no escapes or great chances of surviving an accident like the one I suffered last year or the one that nearly killed me the week before the race. In MotoGP there are superstars… but I also enjoy watching them.

MP: Now tell me, what plans do you have for the future? Are you going back to Bonneville?

GT: I would have liked it but with the Pikes Peak delay the calendar got too tight, at the moment we plan to participate with Maserati in the World Touring Cars in September and although we have not yet achieved it, I still intend to return to Global World Rally Cross as soon as possible, as well as some more plans.

MP: Thank you very much for your time Greg, congratulations again and make no mistake that we will follow in your footsteps.

GT: Thanks to you Carlos for everything.

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