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Racing / Setup / (Retirement?) with Greg Minnaar: Les Gets 2023

Racing / Setup / (Retirement?) with Greg Minnaar – Sven Martin chatting to Greg in this extract from Les Gets Long ‘Views – our podcast thing where Sven digs deep for details from the world’s best racers. Keep reading until the end!

Greg Minnaar by Sven Martin

Sven Martin: Greg another weekend, and then everyone’s talking about retirement and then you’re still a podium guy, this race almost, but you’re right there.

Greg Minnaar: Yeah, it was cool, I think, it’s like the first half of the season didn’t really work out and-

SM: You making up for missed opportunities?

GM: Yeah, we gained a lot of ground. We’re so close to getting such a good setup. The changes we’ve made to the bike going into today we’re so good, it worked out well. So I’m finally on a bike that I’m … Or not bike, but settings that I’m able to continue to ride, so I’m understanding how the bike’s handling. So I’m able to push a bit harder. Today was incredibly tough. The TV does it no justice to how hard that course was. It was so blown out. In my run I almost crashed just before where Bruni crashed in the semifinals, so it was that bad. I’m surprised there weren’t more crashes in these conditions. But so, man for Coulanges to put it together-

SM: Three times in a row.

GM: In that final run and just not make a real big mistake, was impressive.

SM: He’s won six out of seven race runs in the last two weeks.

GM: He’s brilliant. As much as I love Andy Kolb, would’ve loved to see him win. Man, even Andy and I were chatting, it was so cool. I started crying when I saw him stand on the podium. It was so beautiful. He is a local guy.

SM: He went for a crowd surf as well.

GM: It was brilliant. I’ve seen him in the gym, when I’ve been to gym here locally and it’s so cool for him. So how he managed to hold it all together was brilliant.

SM: And going back to talking about setup, and struggling to find setup. I’ve got to say in a World Cup circuit in the last couple of years, it seems like you are always … Because you’re always looking to improve. Because obviously you get a winning setup, but then you don’t. Why didn’t you get to just stay on that setup? How is it ever evolving with you?

GM: Yeah, well we’ve got the new V10. The problem was I had a fractured neck and then I had a wrist operation. I missed out a lot of bike time going into the season. So I thought I’d caught up enough, I really tried hard to catch up. And then as soon as we got into the World Cup racing, we realized that the swingarm was just too soft and it was flexing and spitting me out.

SM: It’s you giving more torque than the other guys?

GM: Yeah, and we could only sit once you could get video of the bike on TV, and we could see why I was standing up so much. So then we had to go into Val Di Sole. We had a new swingarm, the guys turned that around super quick. And then I’m trying to get ready for Worlds, so I think I’ve missed a lot of development time, so I’m just trying to go as fast as I can. I really wanted to win the World Championships. That was a big goal of mine, but that was an absolute dog show. But anyway, we moved on and now I want to win a World Cup, so yeah.

SM: So we’ve got next year to get Andorra for World Champs, right? You live there. No one will mind if you get a bit of extra track time.

GM: One thing I’ll say is, I probably will be back to race World Champs. I had a good ride there and it is my new home and I feel that track’s good. I don’t think I’m quite finished at World Champs yet, so it’ll be a good one to finish on.

SM: Stoked to hear and keeping in with the young ones.

GM: Hey, thanks man.

SM: So I know about you guys, but that almost sounded like Greg semi-retirement World Cup speech. He said he’s back for World Champ. Big news.

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