They say it's not how you start, but how you finish. In a motocross race though, a quick start may be just what you need to get a victory or a good spot on the podium. When you have to beat out another 20 to 30 racers, getting a good start can be crucial to success. It can be difficult to make your way through your opponents from the back or the middle of the pack. Getting the holeshot isn't the easiest task to do on a motorcycle, and there are several tips to help you get it more often.
One of the most crucial aspects of getting a successful start is having correct body position on your bike. If you are sitting too far back, you easily risk the chance of popping a wheelie when you punch it when the gate drops. When the gate does drop and you hit the throttle, you should have your elbows out and your torso up front and out hovering over the handlebars. Getting your weight out front will help you keep stable through the acceleration. Practice also makes perfect on this so the more you can perfect your skills, the better.
There are also two different starting surfaces to be aware of and each will require a different strategy. Dirt starts begin with examining the surface both out in front of your rear wheel and front wheel. If there are any ruts, they will affect the direction of your bike right out of the gate. By filling these ruts in with dirt, you can ensure a straight and quality start. Perfect timing is the biggest key when getting out to the front on a dirt start as your tires can easily spin on this material. When waiting in the gate, get your bike ready to go when the 30 second board pops up. Let the clutch out slightly while still holding the brake so the bike doesn't go anywhere, but is prepared for you to release the brake and hit the throttle.
The other surface your with typically start on is concrete. While they are similar in many ways, there are several things to be aware of on a concrete start. The first thing you should do is make sure the concrete slab is clear as slipping on this surface is very easy to do. As the five second board hits, bump your revolutions up and do the same clutch and brake action as you would on a dirt start. When the gate drops, fulling engage the clutch and shift your weight to the front for the best start possible.
Preparation and anticipation are both huge parts of getting the holeshot in a motocross race. Rather than looking directly at your own gate, a great way to get a better start right off the bat is to look out in front at the track and watch your gate or the gate of your opponent out of your peripheral vision.Your reaction is likely to be far quicker by glancing at something rather than looking at it dead on.
Combine these steps together with plenty of practice and you should be getting more holeshots in no time.