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The Pre-Regional Report

Hello ThumperTalk readers! I’m back with a small entry before my regional qualification race for Loretta Lynn’s. While most regionals are over, and many have qualified or just missed it by that much… there’s still a select few left. Whether you made it to the big show, are still waiting to make it, or didn’t make it, I would encourage you to read on.

 

First off, I’ll be direct when I say if by chance you did not receive a ticket to the ranch because you missed it by a couple spots, send in your money as an alternate. Between the power ranking system and the uncertainty of regionals and pre-Loretta’s prep, you may earn a spot on the gate. I tried for about 4 years to make it to Loretta’s, missing it only a spot or two, not knowing that I would’ve gotten in if I sent my money in. Don’t miss out an awesome opportunity.

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Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 3, picture by NDA Action Sports

Personally, I’ve only entered in one regional. As someone who has raced for 15 years, nationally for 10, doing something like that doesn’t stress me out. Sure, it’s ballsy, but I know I have the speed and the confidence to do what I need to do. At this stage of the game, I concern myself with something more than just qualifying. I’m focused on winning. Every race, no matter how big or small. However, it’s important to temper this mindset with the idea that winning a regional doesn’t mean as much as winning Loretta’s, and it’s better to earn a ticket and settle for less than to try too much and put my spot in jeopardy for a better position at a regional. Learning to pick and choose your battles is pretty important in this line of work, look at most points championships.

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Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 2, photo by NDA Action Sports

While I’ve only been back on the bike for just over 3 months, I feel faster and more confident than ever. I credit this to the confidence in my health being 100%, on and off the bike training with awesome people, the maturity gained from my year off, knowing that I have awesome equipment that is mechanically sound, and working with people who listen to my feedback to make the bike as fine-tuned as possible. Specifically for regionals, getting plenty of gate drops in at races in the local area and having proper time to prep for what comes next is my key. Doing the day-before readiness program won’t garner much success.

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Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 3, photo by David Lando: WFO Action Shots

Regional mindset to me is no more than just another race but with a little heftier competition (I don’t underestimate other’s abilities). For me, avoiding unnecessary stress at these races is much easier than before. Mainly, sticking to your routine, with a slight increase in attention to detail helps one’s mind stay on what needs to be done and away from worry. Use your lucky race goggles, do your usual gate prepping technique, put on your awesome music playlist… whatever works best for you, just replicate it. Recognizing what helps bring success can help bring further success because it gives the mind a sense of familiarity and comfort, and when we are comfortable, we race better. Personally, I like to put on a certain number of tearoffs on my goggles, prep my gate a certain way; start my bike, activate my holeshot devices, put my goggles on, and put my bike in gear in a certain order at a certain time, along with a small pre-race thought process. Another great thing to remember when it comes to regionals, is to always make the best of your worst race. Consistent, good finishes is usually rewarding, but that’s not the easiest thing. Most importantly though, keep it fun!

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Tampa MX Top Gun Dealer Cup Round 3, photo by David Lando: WFO Action Shots

I’ll have a post-regional/pre-Loretta’s prep entry up sooner rather than later! Check in for content along the way and come along for the ride, tap/click the "Follow" button! I’ll see you at the races.

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