Many say motocross races are won or lost when the gates drop, and for a large majority of races, this is true. Getting the holeshot can be one of the most important moves in winning a motocross race, so mastering the start is key to success.
From practicing your throttle and clutch control, having proper body control, improving your direct and peripheral vision, here are a few tips and tricks to winning more holeshots in your upcoming motocross races.
Just like going off jumps, heading in and out of turns, or going into straightaways, your body position is incredibly important in the success of your starts in a motocross race.
The proper body position for a successful start should have your body leaned forward over the handlebars. This will help you not get launched toward the back of the bike when you punch the throttle. Keep your elbows out to the side to give yourself more stability as your launch out of the gate.
Your feet will be holding you up before the gate drops, but as soon as you hit the throttle, get your feet on the pegs as quickly as you can to avoid bumping into other riders and keeping your body stable. This will also prevent the chance for any friction from your feet dragging on the ground.
Vision and Reflexes
Practice makes perfect on the track when trying to improve your racing ability, and being able to improve your reaction time is key to hitting the holeshot. Studies have shown your peripheral vision can see and react quicker than your direct vision can, making where you look when in the gate crucial to getting out quickly. Instead of looking directly at the gate in front of you, look several feet out in front so you can keep an eye on your starting line while still being able to see when the gate drops.
If you can't keep an eye out too far in front, even looking just in front of the rider next to you can help you see the gate in your peripherals and give you a couple different gates to keep an eye on.
Possessing proper control over your throttle and clutch is crucial to getting out of the gate quickly and keeping control over your bike as you race to the first turn in the track. Having your bike in second gear is typically a good rule of thumb to follow when preparing to shoot out o the gate as you should be revving the bike roughly 3/4 of the way open, keeping a finger on the brake to prevent it from crashing into the gate. If the bike is slightly lurching forward, you are doing it right. Remember to account for any slipping you will encounter when racing off a concrete or dirt start.
How do you practice your starts? Let us know in the comments.