Practicing with Race Day Intensity

As I watch footage of James Stewart riding a supercross track, it amazes me the amount of speed he carries through the whoops and corners.  Granted, I know this is the fastest pace in the world, but it still intrigues me that he still looks for places to pick up time on his lap.  If you watch his latest video on RacerX, you will see what I am talking about.  He literally “hangs it out” every lap; even on a testing session in Corona.  Although, Dungey settled for second, he still gave James a hell of a race.  I don’t think anyone was expecting that out of the 450 rookie…I know I didn’t.  Even Kevin Windham looked good and he has been doing this dirtbike thing forever!

With all of the testing done over the months before A1, seat time was not a problem.  For most people, time on the bike is a problem.  That is why it is important to make sure your seat time is used right.  Going to the track should be fun and that is the main reason we ride, but if you want to get better, just cruising around is not going to make you any faster.  Riding with race day intensity is important to get you mentally and physically prepared for the next season ahead.

When you do a moto at race speed and length, you will see where your speed and fitness is real quick.  That is why they call it practice.  You practice to get better and that is what every person wants to do.  Depending on how you rode last time and the amount of time you have to ride, you can do a couple of things to get your lap times a little lower.  The first thing to do is to break down the track into sections.  Incorporate a couple of corners and jumps and concentrate on this part.  Try to ride through this portion with the high intensity of a race, but remember to try and stay consistent and smooth.  Sections that take about 30 seconds or less are a good place to start.  This keeps your concentration in one place and you won’t have your focus scattered everywhere.

Another option is to ride the whole track.  Obviously, this is what most people do, but you can look at it in another way.  If you felt like you were sloppy when the track was rough, wait till the end of the day to ride and bust out a moto in the chop.  Granted, you won’t be able to ride as fast, but you will see what techniques you need to work on and you will find out how well you have been training.  Try to keep it smooth and minimize mistakes, sprint speed is not what you are looking for….more of endurance.

Just riding at your track on the weekends is fine and fun, but if you want to win races, you need to practice with some intensity.  Don’t just cruise around; analyze your mistakes and work on them.

Posted on Jan 14 2010, under Riding Techniques, Training | No Comments »

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