Hello TT readers! I’ll be taking a little bit of a different approach to my entries. I’m looking to focus a little more on how my prep goes and things I learned from prep and my race, rather than on the race itself. Also, my entries may look different than they were before. Of course, if you’d like to see any more about the race itself, feel free to find me on social media!
A few things I have learned recently:
- Keep up with the times
- Patience is key
- Don’t over jump and flat land a Supercross catapult
Those who follow me on social media or race around the central Florida area know that I have switched from Kawasaki to Husqvarna. This decision came about after a few experiences where I felt that I was bested only by the power of the bikes I was racing against. Not that my bike wasn’t fast, but it was not a 6-hour motor like many of the pro-level bikes I line up against, and to make my bike that fast was going to cost a lot of money and lose a lot of reliability. When I had heard that Husqvarnas came stock with a substantial amount of power more accompanied with less weight, I was thoroughly shocked. After doing some research on different bike brands and the advancements in technology I felt like I had been living under a rock! Of course, once I got my FC250 I was even more blown away at the nimbleness of the bike and how well the stock suspension worked. Pay attention and keep up with the times!
Before I was able to ride any Arenacross, I had less than 7 or 8 hours logged on my new bike and had been riding on stock suspension on outdoor tracks, a very different reality from what I needed to become accustomed to. I think that was good to learn the ergonomics of the bike, but also, I hadn’t ridden on stock suspension (especially on a place like Gatorback MX) in years because I have worked closely with Race Tech. Helped keep me humble and remind me how lucky I am to have some of the best suspension in the business!
Thankfully, I had the opportunity to train at the South of the Border training facility the week of the Greensboro Arenacross. When I showed up to the SOBMX Arenacross track on Monday, I really didn’t know what to expect out of myself, and I wasn’t entirely sure where to start. However, I did know that I did not have much time before the weekend and I needed to get myself situated and get down to business if I had any hopes of gaining my Road to SX points. While it took me a couple of laps, I quickly tapped into the skills I had gained from 2 years ago racing AX. I was quickly reminded, however, that in that type of tight riding and especially in the whoops needed to be taken with a bit of patience. It only took one “holy crap I’m about to eat dirt” moment on the AX track. In motocross, the motos may be longer and the tracks are bigger, but you have moments for rest and can usually keep it very smooth and not expend a ton of energy. In AX, this is not the case. It is constant setting up and adjusting and analyzation and awareness which can be both mentally and physically exhausting if you don’t learn how to make your moves less dramatic and set up correctly to fight the bike less. Patience is key, don’t rush it!
2018 Greensboro Arenacross, photo by MEPMX
Now, onto the fails! After gaining some useful time on the AX track and relearning how to approach the obstacles and rework my thoughts, I decided to take a swing at the SX track for fun! Rhythm sections, no issue. Whoops, well I decided to avoid those on my first day (SX whoops are VERY different from AX whoops). Long story short, I WAY over estimated the catapult and ended up overshooting and flat landed… my wrists still feel it a week and a half later. Another awesome fail came when I was working on rhythms through the whoop section on the AX track because they had gotten too beat to consistently blitz every time. Like a typical guy I was getting it down pat, using a mixture of jumping and wheel tapping to make my way through with ease and a lot less energy. Then, I started coming into my first wheel tap with a bit more gusto because I was nailing the corner before. All went well until I started rushing the rhythm… and it was then that I had missed the second wheel tap because of a lapse of judgement and accidentally decided to try and ride a nose wheelie through the rest of the whoop section, which ended in me crashing. Had to walk if off, of course. That helped me learn that when I let “it” come naturally and didn’t rush the track, it allows me to think each step out and adjust in those fraction-of-a-second moments. This also helped me maintain focus and hammer out smooth, consistent laps. Patience is key!
Ended up coming away from Greensboro Pro Arenacross with 13th in the AX class, and 15th in the AX Lites. Straight to the AX main event from the heat race, and through some rather determined racing in the AX Lites Last Chance Qualifier I worked my from 5th to 2nd for the last spot for the main. All while keeping these small lessons (along with others) in mind in the process. Not too bad for my first Pro Arenacross race in 2 years with a week of prep! Be sure to keep your eyes for the next entry where I will talk a little more about the mental game in prep and during race day. Click the follow button to get updated when I post new entries! I’ll see you at the races.
2018 Greensboro Arenacross, Lites LCQ, Photo by Mike Vizer
Big thanks to Mike Burkeen and Taylor Futrell at SOBMX for having me at the facility and for the words of wisdom that were massively helpful in my prep. Looking forward to going back for the week of the Florence Arenacross and progressing even more and getting better and better! Also, big thanks to Hans and the crew at Xtreme Powersports for getting me in touch with the right people to make the Husqvarna deal happen! Lastly, big thanks to Jeff and his crew at MPR Suspension for getting my suspension set up and returned to me in a bit of a pinch.
Thanks to Husqvarna, Xtreme Powersports, TMI Calibration, Race Tech, MPR Suspension, Boyesen, Twisted Development, Fly Racing, EKS Brand, Wiseco, EVS, RoostMX graphics, Acerbis, Dunlop, Bulletproof Threads, Mika Metals, DT1 Filters, MotoSeat, Tamer Billet MX, Evergood Co, and SOBMX.
2018 Greensboro Arenacross, Photo by MEPMX