I have been serious this year about following a desert series in southern california. I haven spent more time on my bike this year than I ever have before. I have noticed lots of improvements and have setup the bike specifically for the desert. Now when im in the middle of a 25 mile lap I feel like I am going at a good pace I can sustain, I am sucking up the terrain, and standing most the time, making sure I have a good riding position etc.....than when the fast guys lap me.....they lap me like I am standing still. The last few races when this happens I have tried to see what they are doing differently other than twisting the throttle farther. granted I know I wont be as fast as them, but I know I have room to improve. first thing I notice is a lot of them pass by and look very smooth! I start to realize I am really working hard to keep my speed and keeping the bike in good posture. Makes me wonder if I just need to twist farther and hope that the extra speed keeps me higher on the whoops, bumps, rocks etc. the old example is going slow on a wash board road....slower speed you feel every peak and valley, fast you skim across the top and smooths out the ride. I know all terrain is different, but can anyone tell me if this is the way you fast guys do this? Is there a point where it smooths out and you just stay on it? or are you just in way better shape and hold on that much tighter? The speed thing seemed pretty straight forward...until I saw how smooth those guys are. made me think I am doing something wrong. before we jump on suspension. I have my bike valved/sprung for the desert. MUCH better vs stock. only issue is I have never rode a bike with GREAT desert suspension. So I have nothing to compare to.