World Champion downhill mountain bike racer Greg Minnaar was treated to the ride of his life when he was taken for a passenger ride round Donington Park by treble British Superbike Champion Niall Mackenzie.

Minnaar, 21, from Durban in South Africa, won the spectacular downhill mountainbike World Championship in Switzerland earlier in September, but then went faster than he ever has before on the pillion seat of a tuned Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike.

"That was my first time on a roadbike," explained Minnaar, an experienced motocross rider. "It was just so fast going along the straight and going through the corners, we leant further over than I have ever done on two wheels before. The acceleration was something else and the shift from left to right and braking through the Esses was unbelievably fast. That is faster than I have ever been before.

"Riding over the hill on the straight had the front wheel coming into the air, all I could do was hang on. The brakes are so strong as well, I was out of my seat under hard braking and into the corners. It is all about corner speed, massive acceleration and then huge braking."

Mackenzie's 170bhp Suzuki is capable of 0-100mph in just five seconds and has a top speed of 186mph, quite a departure from Greg's Haro Lee Dungarees mountainbike.

Minnaar, who hurls himself down steep descents on his mountainbike at death-defying speeds, said: "I was a bit nervous before going out, but I knew he was a professional rider and I should trust him. Saying that, he was doing wheelies down the straight and had the front wheel in the air at over 100mph. This road riding might look easy, but I'm not sure I could do it."

 

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