Even in practice, throughout your moto, you will encounter people who are your speed.  Sometimes you just can’t catch them, while other times, you can “dig deep” and make a pass stick.  Just look at Ricky Carmichael.  The man has battled with Kevin Windham, Chad Reed and James Stewart.  RC is a prime example of good passing because he is persistent and a hard charger.

Most of the time, a pass can be made from a mere mental slip.  If you are behind someone, just the sound of your motor can get your opponent flustered.  So, why not make the most out of this mental game?  Rev the crap out of your engine in corners, yell or just getting your wheel in his sight will get him looking back.  And when you look back, you are not concentrating on the track ahead of you, making you more susceptible to mistakes.

Another important thing to remember is not to follow!  In 2005, at Unadilla, James Stewart landed on Ricky.  This was not intentional, but because James was taking different lines to try to pass Ricky and the two lines intersected.  When you follow the person in front of you, you get pelted with roost and rocks (if you are riding a 450, this sucks even with a chest protector on).  Plus, you can’t make a pass if you are copying their exact moves!

This means you have to switch it up.  If the guy in front of you is going on the outside, try and sneak to the inside and vise versa.  This is something you should get used to in practice.  Getting comfortable with alternative lines, other than the main line, is critical to making the right decisions at the right time.  This goes with the idea of finding a smoother line.  If the main line is roughed up, find a smoother one to save some energy for the battle and to finish strong.

A good idea, if you have time, is to find out the weak spots of the opponent.  If he gains time on you in the back section, try to stick with him as close as you can in that section.  That way, when you come to the section where you are faster, you can have a greater chance of striking and making the pass count.  Passing takes time to learn and it’s something that I can’t just tell you how to do.  You need to get a feel for it because every track is different and so is every situation.  Be creative and look at the track in a different way.  Feel out the leaders and keep your vision ahead.

Epic battle between RC and James…great sportsmanship as well.

Posted on Oct 01 2009, under Riding Techniques | No Comments »

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