GRIN: TESTING FOR SUCCESS
Greg Hancock says there will be no let-up in his search for speed, insisting “all the time I’m doing this, I’ve got to be the best."
07 / 03 / 2019, 09:47
American icon Greg Hancock says there will be no let-up in his search for speed, insisting “all the time I’m doing this, I’ve got to be the best.”
The 48-year-old spent some time in the early part of this year testing machinery in his native California.
When it comes to getting the best from the bikes, few riders can rival Hancock for testing and development work.
I am in it to be the champ. I want to win the World Championship. Even after all these years, I still love getting sideways and just want to win. It doesn’t change.
And even 30 years on from his European debut with Cradley Heath in 1989, Grin is in no mood for complacency as he continues his storied FIM Speedway Grand Prix career.
He said: “There is more and more stuff coming all the time from the manufacturers and new tuners. You can’t sit around and wait to see if you’re going to be quick. You have to keep on top of things.
“At my period in life and at my period in my career, it’s not good to be complacent. I have to be on top of the ball, so I am working hard all the time. It’s all part of the game.
"If you don’t have that, there’s no reason to do it. You have to love what you do, and I love what I do.
“I am motivated and I want to win; that’s what it’s all about. All the time I’m doing this, I’ve got to be the best. I don’t just want to be the guy taking part. I want to be competitive.
“The GPs are what it’s all about, especially on a personal level. I am in it to be the champ. I want to win the World Championship. Even after all these years, I still love getting sideways and just want to win. It doesn’t change. There is still a burning desire to achieve and be successful.
“I am lucky I have good people around me, who are constantly asking ‘what can we do?’ or saying ‘I have an idea about this.’ That’s great! When someone says ‘I have an idea’, I’m thinking ‘okay, what can we do?’
“These are the kind of people who take an idea and put it into action in a very quick period of time. That’s fun.”
Hancock admits having access to the circuit at Perris in California has been a huge boost. He said: “I have tracks here and places like Perris that open the doors for me pretty regularly. They allow me to get out there and do the riding and testing that helps to win championships.”
Grin finished fifth in last year’s World Championship – no mean feat after returning from the serious shoulder injury, which ended his 2017 season. Despite taking a couple of rounds to hit top speed, Hancock was pleased to find his form.
“I had a good run last year,” he said. “I had a slower start than for my liking. It didn’t go to plan, but I was still trying to find my feet and be sure that my shoulder was going to be okay and that I would be competitive like I was before.
“After one or two rounds, I was like ‘I’ve got this.’ It was just a matter of building my speed and momentum and holding it. By the time the season finished, I was really pleased with my form. I would have liked a little bit more, but that’s just me.”