admin 13 avril 2011

A 22 ans le pilote de Charente Limousine dispute son 2e championnat du monde d’endurance. Première étape, le Bol d’or samedi. Portrait d’un motard surdoué qui ne connaît pas la peur.

On est accueilli par un beau labrador couleur sable de cinq ans. Lui, c’est «Ohlins, comme la marque de suspension de moto». Débarquer «Chez Leblanc» à Hiesse, à deux coups d’accélérateur de Confolens, c’est pénétrer dans un temple dédié à la moto.

L’ancien corps de ferme a été joliment restauré par la famille Black arrivée d’Angleterre il y a vingt ans. Ian le papa, ancien mécano moto, parti vivre à Confolens. Kaleigh, la grande fille donne des cours de pilotage à Agen. Restent Gregg et Lorraine, la maman, ex-concessionaire moto en Grande-Bretagne.

Avec un tel atavisme, Gregg ne pouvait rien faire d’autre que pilote. Un pocket bike à trois ans, un guidon à quinze ans en championnat de France 50 cc.

Dans la grande salle à manger-séjour, cosy et élégante, des photos en veux-tu en-voilà du fiston en course, tenue de cuir, casque bariolé, couché sur sa moto. Une grande niche dans le mur dégorge de trophées rutilants qu’éclairent en permanence des spots.

Le Bol d’or, Eurosport et 120.000 spectateurs

Samedi, Gregg Black sera devant les caméras d’Eurosport et 120.000 spectateurs «chauffés à la bière» de Magny-Cours au départ de son quatrième bol d’or, première étape d’un championnat du monde d’endurance qui en compte six et dont il avait pris la quatrième place l’an passé.

A 22 ans seulement. «Si je suis le plus jeune du championnat? Non, je ne crois pas.» Un instant de réflexion. «Ah si maintenant que j’y pense…»

Voilà le garçon en résumé. Jeune, ambitieux, fonceur, mais qui a oublié d’être bête. Inconscient, un peu. «Dans la moto au début tu vas très vite. Un jour il y a le premier gadin. Beaucoup ont peur après. On dit que c’est un cap. Si tu le passes, tu peux durer dans le milieu. Moi, je l’ai passé». Tout ça est dit calmement, les yeux bleus plantés dans les vôtres. De l’assurance. Beaucoup d’assurance.

Evidemment un coté casse-cou, aussi. Mais pas trop. Le permis moto? «Je ne veux pas le passer. Trop dangereux de piloter sur les routes…»

La piste l’a suffisamment amoché. Il fait le compte des blessures: «une fracture de l’humérus en 2005, une triple fracture du pied en tombant à 260 km/h à Silverstone, une clavicule cassée en 2008. Mais ma plus grande frayeur reste cette chute à Imola il y a deux ans: allongé sur le dos dans le bac à gravier, je ne sentais plus mes jambes. Panique terrible. Et puis au bout d’une minute tout est revenu.»

Des blessures dont un corps jeune et endurci au fil de la saison par «la course à pied, le vélo, la natation ou encore la muscu» se remet. Il y en a d’autres qui laissent des traces indélébiles.

Un crash, un décès, un nouveau départ

C’était il y a deux mois. Le Vendomois Arnaud Larose, team-manager de Gregg Black au sein de l’équipe RAC 41 perdait brutalement la vie. Un tournant tragique et inattendu dans la vie du Charentais.

«Les team-managers vous considèrent souvent comme des robots auxquels on donne des ordres. Arnaud était très différent. Son team, c’était sa vie. Avec lui, j’avais une relation père-fils. Le 11 février en Suisse, ils étaient invités par mon coéquipier, Grégory Junod. Un ami les a invités à faire un tour d’avion.»

L’accident est inexpliqué. Le petit appareil de tourisme s’est écrasé dans les montagnes où on a retrouvé les corps sans vie d’Arnaud Larose, sa femme et de deux de leurs enfants. «C’est la vie… ça ne tourne pas toujours comme on veut.» On perçoit une faille en lui, mais le jeune pilote s’est blindé.

«On devait attaquer la saison deux mois plus tard avec le RAC 41. Arnaud avait tout négocié: la Yamaha et les pneus Michelin officiels. Tout est tombé à l’eau.» Yamaha a tout arrangé, trouvé un nouveau team pour Grégory Junod et Gregg Black: BK Maco Racing, une équipe slovaque «montée par le distributeur Dunlop en Europe de l’Est.»

De cette formation il ne sait rien ou presque. «On revient de deux jours d’essais à Magny-Cours. La Yamaha est prometteuse, les pneus excellents. On peut faire une belle saison. Au moins aussi bien que l’an passé, j’espère.»

L’endurance, un sport impitoyable, «très dur. On est trois pilotes à se relayer durant 24 heures. Il faut tout gérer avec précaution, l’alimentation, le repos entre les relais, le stress.» Heureusement, Lorraine, la maman veille. Toujours dans les paddocks à rassurer le fiston. Aimante, bienveillante. Soutenant son fils lorsqu’il a abandonné le lycée avant le bac. «J’avais pas le temps pour ça.»

Sa vie, il la gagne à la force du poignet. Une victoire à Magny-Cours et il empocherait au bas mot 10.000€. Le reste c’est «un peu de sponsoring, du coaching de pilotage, des missions d’intérim.»

C’est empirique, mais le petit Gregg devient le grand Black. «Le public commence à me connaître. L’avenir? Je veux continuer à vivre ma passion à fond, me faire plaisir, rouler à fond.»

Source: http://www.charentelibre.fr/2011/04/13/gregg-black-un-crack-de-motard,1030797.php

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