NOTE: Two videos of Greg’s Crash below his comments.
Wow, all I can say is this one slipped through my hands. Race day was about as intense as I have seen in the 15 times I have raced the Peak. What should have been about a 1pm start turned into a late in the day start. We were the last race to start and my brother had taken off before us.
Over the radio I heard that a 750cc rider had gone down and that the ambulance and helicopter were going to be needed. Essentially Life Flight was going to be needed to transport the rider to the hospital. I knew my brother Gary was going to be pushing it 100%, so I was anxious to find out some info on who it might be. The thought went through my head that if he was in bad shape, maybe I should not run. Our family would be needing to head to the hospital and with all the kids, I was really trying to make the decision to start or leave. I eventually heard that a corner worker had picked up his helmet cams (two mismatched onboard cameras) which made me think that it was probably Gary.
At this point we moved closer to the starting line and Paul Livingston came over and told me that Gary had made it to the top.
My wife Erin then came over with our two year old Wyatt, to tell me that she had heard the same thing on the radio. I was relieved to say the least, although I now had the knowledge that some rider was in grave shape. Although I was relieved about Gary, nobody likes to hear that a fellow rider is hurt.
When we took off I had a very good start on the Ducati Multistrada. The bike is very quick, and I was off to a very confident start. My plan was to get through the first half of the race, which includes the dirt section without making any big mistakes. The bottom section for me has always been the area that gave me the most trouble, and I knew that I could afford to give up some time to my competitors here because I could make it up big time up top.
I had a couple of close calls in the dirt section under heavy braking and I was happy to get back on the asphalt section at the half way point. The first few turns, I was pushing it at 100% and I was super relaxed, and felt like the rest of the run would be ultra quick. The corners that were coming up were a 100mph right followed by a 70 plus left, these corners we never actually run in practice because of the way the hill is split up for the car practices. I know the corner well and drove in super confident.
I came across the road from the right and started to turn into the left. Next thing I knew was I had lost the front tire and was sliding on my stomach, towards the edge. My focus was to slow down some before going over, but that did not happen and I shot off the road about 30 feet and hit very hard. The wind was knocked out of me and I struggled to catch my breath, but my thought was on jumping up to see if I could pick up the bike and continue on.
It was not to be as the crash broke the electronics and I was not going anywhere.
I was face down in the dirt while I tried to catch my breath and make sure nothing was broken. Finally I rolled over, saw the medics and got up to tell them to radio down to everyone that I was OK. I really could not figure out why I crashed, and honestly it was not until I talked it over with my team and looked at the on board video that I realized I had rode through oil, that was left by one of the car competitors’ motor blowing up.
What a bummer, the Spider Grips Ducati team had worked so hard. Racing is so much like life, good days, bad days, and everything in between. For me it is about giving it your all, and letting the chips fall where they may.
I was so happy that Ducati still broke the record with Carlin Dunne. He was really on pace, a great competitor. I believe that if it is something he wants to keep doing, not only will I have to continue to up my game, so will everyone else. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is one of the most difficult, dangerous, spiritual, life changing events on the planet.
This year took its toll on a lot of cars, motorcycles, and unfortunately some riders. I wish those that were injured a speedy recovery! I will be back, and I will 100% tell everyone who will listen, that the record is going home with me next year!!! Thanks for all of your support – GT.