Mental Fortitude

After the week long break, we came back to High Point.  The local boy Darryn Durham came out blazing in the first moto and led almost the entire race before giving the race win to Blake Baggett and Payton’s power house.  Always one to root for the underdog, I was pumped to see “Double D” up front.  However, you could tell that as the race wore on, little mistakes added up as he dropped to 4th by the end of the moto.  On a big stage like that, it is good for Darryn to get some lead time, but learning from his mistakes could set up him for much better finishes in the future.  Let’s look at this first moto through two perspectives: first Darryn and second, Blake.


Being the local at a big race is a huge advantage.  You know the soil, how and where the track gets the roughest and solid lines later in the moto.  However, with that home town feeling comes a greater amount of pressure from not only yourself, but fans and sponsors.  Granted, not every racer is going to feel pressure from sponsors, so this could be parents, friends or anyone that supports you.  Channeling this pressure into confidence could mean the difference between a podium and great experience or a moto you would rather forget.

With the home turf advantage you know the good lines, what gates to avoid and how to ride the track best.  Not to take anything away from Darryn, but Baggett was simply faster than him.  However, getting creative at the end of the day and using the local knowledge will help tremendously.  Durham had solid lines late in the moto, but those silly mistakes cost him big.  This goes directly back to confidence; this is your track and you are fast there.  Ride your own race and charge ahead.


So far this season, what is there to say about Baggett?  The kid is literally unstoppable late in the race.  When you line up to the gate, you know that you will throw down the fastest lap late in the race and crush those last few people ahead of you.  When you come to the line that prepared, nothing can stop you, but yourself.  He almost reminds me of Mike LaRocco (and RC) because he will hunt you down no matter what.  When Baggett saw Durham, it was blood in the water.

Having the knowledge of winning was a huge advantage over Durham.  Baggett simply applied too much pressure and Darryn cracked.  That comfortable feeling of knowing that you will pass the leader helped BB57 to take the checkers.  He knows exactly what it takes to win and executed it without hesitation.

What this boils down to is mental fortitude.  Staying strong and having confidence in your advantages will help you tremendously.  When things can’t seem to go your way, keep plugging through and things will turn around.  We all have to ride the same track, so have self-assurance in your abilities to make things happen.


Posted on Jun 13 2011, under Training | No Comments »

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