Road Racing News

Ten Questions Challenge – Herve Gantner

Next rider to take part in Road Racing News ten questions challenge, is Switzerland’s sole racer to take part in the TT Races in the 2010’s, ex Ice Valley Racing/Penz 13 BMW team member Herve Gantner.

Herve’s answers to the popular series of questions, are as follows:

Q1: Favourite National Roads Meeting?

“Racing is forbidden in my country (Switzerland), we don’t even have a purpose built circuit. All we have is 2 to 3 hill climb events a year.

There nice hill climbs but it’s only 45 to 100 seconds of competition, so it’s not quite the same feeling as a real road race. It’s very intense though.”

Q2: Favourite Racing Bike?

“It has to be the BMW I raced last time in Macau with the Penz 13 team. The bike was really nice to ride and Rico’s outfit makes really nice and good looking bikes.”

Q3: What’s the best part of competing on the roads?

“For me it’s all about racing in special places and meeting really special and interesting people.

The roads culture and family atmosphere is really the best thing I know. I’ve met several magic people that I will never forget and I loved the Irish and Manx roads paddocks.

Even though I haven’t raced them for some years, I still love the sport and would go back racing on the roads if I could, no doubts about it.”

Q4: TT, North West 200 or Ulster Grand Prix?

It’s a hard call. I loved the TT as much as I loved the North West. My big regret in life is that I never had the chance to race at the Ulster.

It’s a pity because I think it would be the track, that suits my riding style the most. So if someone has a free spot in his team in the future, I’m ready to race Dundrod!

Q5: Most Respected Rival?

“Rider I most respect is Hutchy (Ian Hutchinson). But I can’t title him as a rival because he is so much faster than me!”

Q6: Best roads moment thus far?

“There’s been many great moments. One was my fastest lap around the Mountain Course. It was the last lap of my last race at the TT in 2013, I was feeling really good and everything went smooth.

I think I just started to understand to track. It was only a 122.9 lap but the fuel light went on at Ramsey and I was like “S**t I’ll have to turn the Ecodrive mode”.

I finished the lap as smooth as possible, but the engine cut several times just after the Creg, so I decided to really take it easy. Without it, it could have been a 125-126 mph lap, which was a personal goal.

The second best moment was in one of my few races at the North West 200. It was typical s**t weather and nobody knew what tread of tyres to choose.

I chose the full wets. On the first lap, I was in the pack, conditions wise it was tough, visibility not great. We were in 6th gear, the rear wheel was spinning like hell, we were all close togther.

At that moment I saw a very nice rainbow in the sky. It was the most poetic moment of my racing life. I slowed down for a little bit and then I suddenly woke up because a braking point entered the horizon.

I was quite careful because it was the first lap, and suddenly I saw Shoey (Paul Shoesmith) on the inside, he overtook me on the brakes and I knew he was on slick tires. I was quite upset but it made me smile, I thought “we are all nuts”, but I’ll remember this until I die.”

Q7: Is their one place or country in the world, where you would like to see a roads meeting held?

“My home town! It could host an event like one of those lovely Irish national road races, that would be awesome. My town in Switzerland is beautiful, green, it’s also full of vineyards.

But in Switzerland though I think I could go to jail, if I submitted this idea!”

Q8: Who’s your road racing hero?

“John McGuinness”

Q9: Supersport or Superbike?

“Difficult to answer I never rode a real Superstock nor a real Superbike. My own Supersport bike was basically a stock bike, and the big bikes I rode were only good Superstock machines.

But if I could choose one, I’d definitely take a Superbike! In fact, the only time I raced a Superbike was when Rutter (Michael) stopped to pick me up, after the conclusion of one of my races at Macau.

Now that I think about it, it’s also a big memory because he finished that race on the podium, so it’s also the first and only time I went to the winners enclosure! And yes, Rutter is also one of the guys I respect the most.”

Q10: Pole position or fastest lap?

“Neither, race victory!”

Words by Stevie Rial

>