Want to learn How to Pass In A Motocross Race?
Passing actually begins when you pass all those slow drivers on the way to the race, just kidding…sort of, but it does start way before you actually race. When you get to the track walk the course and look for good lines everywhere, especially in the corners. Look for wide spots in the motocross track and consider your strengths as a rider. If you can kill the whoops spend time finding alternate lines. If you’re good at squaring corners look for sharp corners with an inside line you can use to dive under other riders. When you’re finished with your walk you should have three or four good places to pass in mind.
In practice, try the lines you found in your track walk as well as others. Riders in practice are usually going more slowly so you can practice in these spots and see if they are going to work for you or not. By the time the gate drops I guarantee you will be 100% more prepared than most other riders and you will have some ideas on how and where to get around slower riders.
Use your head before you stuff a guy and end up off the track yourself or on the ground. Think things through. Sometimes the rider in front of you will be riding way over his head and make the mistake letting you get by easy. If you’re a faster rider charging through the pack after a bad start, you are going to need to take some chances that you usually wouldn’t. Use your head. Crashing will just send you back further.
Apply the Pressure
A good way to get around a rider especially if he’s pretty close to your speed is to really put the pressure on him so he rides tighter and makes mistakes leaving the door open for a pass. You can show him a wheel, meaning you pull up close enough so he can see your front wheel. Here is one I never was a fan of but I will throw it out there anyway. I actually didn’t like guys who did this and for me it never worked because it made me push harder to beat the guy, but some people say it really works. You yell at the rider that is in front of you. Believe me, like I said it has been done to me many times and you wouldn’t believe how good you can hear the person behind you.
Attack, Attack, Pass
When a rider doesn’t make a mistake and is riding pretty smooth you have to determine a place to make a pass. You need to stay alert and watch for your opportunity. Look for any type of line that could help you make the pass. Every rider has strengths and weaknesses and their weakness may be your strength. Be aggressive but do your best to avoid contact or taking the rider out. In most cases you will have to show the rider a wheel several times before you can make the pass stick. As you follow the rider watch his lines and try to figure out where there’s room for the pass. Look for his weak spots and find alternate lines that you noticed are his weak points.
In most cases a pass is a series of well calculated moves. Follow the rider until you have a good idea of some places to pass then attack. You may have to set the rider up by getting inside or side by side through one corner and completing the pass in the next. In some cases it may take three or four corners to make the pass. This is where knowing the racetrack in advance pays off.
Where to Pass
Passes can take place a lot of places on the track but some places are easier than others, like the corners. This is where that corner speed and practicing the corners comes into play. Corners are very important…ok back to the pass. You can take the inside or a tighter line than the rider in front of you by squaring off the corner. That way you will be set up for a straight drive to the next corner.
Also you can out brake the rider you’re trying to pass and take their line away. If done cleanly you will get a better drive out of the corner and get in front of him. You can pass the rider on the inside of a turn just go underneath them and out accelerate them. If their drive is faster on the outside all you have to do is drift into their line so they have to back off the throttle.
Passing on the Outside
The inside line is usually the favored line for passing. The outside line can also be a good choice…good old raw speed is the key to the outside. A lot of riders take the inside so they don’t get stuffed. If it looks like the rider is committed to the inside, you can try the outside and slingshot around them. But even a better move is to use the outside line to set up and inside drive. By driving in hard and wide and then squaring the corner off and coming out with a good drive you can make a solid pass.
Passing on Straights
Two words… More throttle! One of the easiest ways to pass is to out accelerate them on straight-aways. Really on straights, that’s what it comes down to. If you can take a rider on the straights then the risk is lower and most passes here will be clean. It really is one of the simplest ways to pass and it is a good way to pass lappers…if you’re lapping them there’s a good chance there not accelerating at the level you are and you’re better off just getting by them in a straight-away.
Passing in Whoops
Whoops are a great place to pass and make up time on the comp. If you can find a good alternate line in the whoops, you can charge by a rider who is in front of you. A lot of times whoops will not always be the exact same the whole way across and you can find smoother lines that you can get through cleaner and make a pass. Remember that’s why it is always good to take different lines in practice. Once the race begins you are more than likely going to stick to your one line. Mistakes are made a lot in the whoops. Always look for different lines through them, so if the rider in front of you bobbles you can pass easily.
If you find yourself every race needing to pass a lot of riders and always behind slower riders then you may have a different problem. It may be telling you something: You need to work on your starts!
Scoob has been in the motocross industry for 29 years and has been racing pro for the last 10 years. He runs his own motocross park with mx schools and mx fitness training. To find out more about mx schools, mx fitness training, killer riding tips, and Scoob go to http://www.dirtsoldiersmx.com