Passing 101

Unless you are Mike Alessi (on a 450) and holeshot almost every race, you have to make some passes to win.  So, if you want to save your tear offs, you will have to get creative and find a way around your competitors.  At the amateur level, concentration and mentality play a big part.  However, line selection and commitment will make or break your pass.

Like I said, at the amateur level, racing is a little frantic.  If you are behind someone, you can rev the hell out of your engine, scream in corners or anything that breaks their concentration.  When they aren’t concentrating on the track ahead of them, they are going to make mistakes.  Now, this really isn’t something you want to do every race, just as a last resort.  Sometimes, just pressuring the rider in front of you will force a mistake on their part.  Again, this is more for the amateur level because professionals are just that, pros.  They are used to the mind games.

As far as line selection, you never want to follow the person in front of you.  How do you expect to get around someone if you are doing the exact same thing they are?  If they go wide, try to slip in on the inside and vise versa.  On race day, the main line around the track may not be the best place to make passes because it gets beat up.  Searching for smoother lines at the end of the day will also help you conserve energy and also keep your speed up to make a pass.

Being that the amateur races are generally shorter in duration, it is better to make passes at the beginning of the race when everyone is still close to each other.  If you are going to make a pass, you need to commit to it.  The longer you stay behind someone and eating dirt, the less time you have to move up in position.  So if you are going try to get around someone, do it quick and do it cleanly.  There’s no sense in taking out the both of you.

Tomorrow, I will go through block passing, so stay tuned!

Posted on Jul 12 2010, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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