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How do I become faster when racing?

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Hi to all. This is my first season racing(started a bit late, I'm 31) and I love it. On a full gate of around 36 bikes I always seem to finish 20th or below. I would like to finish higher with the ultimate goal of points or better still a win. I have been told that speed will come with time and that I have a good technique for a novice. Am I expecting too much too soon?

Cheers to all members :cry:

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i dont race, but i read a lot about it. you havent said what kind of bike you race....first, sweep off the starting gate (it its cement) for better trackion. if youre riding a 450, you can start in 2nd gear or ive even seen a guy who starts in 3rd gear. after you blow off the gate, you have to decide if youre going for it and shift and go for the holeshot, or just lay low. your best bet would be to buy some of the gary semics dvd's on corners. any idiot can floor it and fly on straights, races are won and lost in corners. if you have a few bucks, get a trainer.

most of all, practice, practice, practice!!!

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Ya'll said it. I sometimes follow the faster guys myself if im working on speed, and i try some different techniques and lines to try and keep up. I'm alot like K-Dub, i dont like being in front, but ill ride your ass til i pass you at the last minute and ride away.

I get nervious and sometimes mess up with people behind me :cry: But thats really common. So until I'm fast enought hat NO one can pass me, ill just continue to work on it, :cry:

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I get nervious and sometimes mess up with people behind me :cry: But thats really common. So until I'm fast enought hat NO one can pass me, ill just continue to work on it, :cry:

I do to, and that's something I'm working on. I worry too much about screwing up, and what not to do, I forget not to do it. I think that's part of the mental game that I have yet to master.

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dont be afraid to rev your bike out, it's a race bike right? if you practice at a jump filled track, try to clear everyjump, with confidence comes speed, and vise versa :cry:

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Dood...

Having started racing this year (2 months ago & I'm 38), I've found that there are (2) types of speed:

Practice & race

Sure mixing it up w/ some guys at the track is good practice and has certainly made me faster relative to where I was a year ago, but lining up w/ 8 or 28 guys all out to win can be another story.

You need to get fast in practice or you won't be fast in racing.

You need to get experience racing and let your practice efforts shine thru once you're more comfortable.

Make sense?

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All the above advice is good. A couple things to add is that nothing can substitute actual race experience. Practice all you want but if your not use to the race experience you most likely won't place as well as you think you can. For example, I met a guy at a track I practice at and raced with him all day...with me being faster most of the time. He talked me into racing the next weekend. There were 12 guys on the line and I lined up right next to him. He finished 5th I finished last by 100ft. He had been racing every weekend and I had been out of racing for 7 months. Race intensity can't be practiced. Its a whole new level out there.

For me, racing pushes me to the next level and shows you what you need to work on in practice. If I could, I would race every single weekend and just skip practicing.

ALso, if your just starting the most important advice I can give you is: race the track not the riders and have fun. This race is only practice for the next one. :cry:

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Thanks to all members for their advice. My next race is on 31 October (it's bound to be another wet one in Sunny England). I have certainly found that following a faster rider for as long as I can has shown me good lines and inspired confidence.

Thanks again. :cry:

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another englishman cool :cry:

I'd say the same as the above but also...Pack your rut down on the start (we only have about 2 tracks here with concrete starts the rest are all mud ruts!).

Practaise your starts it makes the job a lot easier for yourself if you get a good jump. However if you get the jump you should get pulled along by the faster riders that pass you i certainatly found this. Although i also crashed trying to keep up a few times....but thats all part of it right?

Another thing i would try if i were you is practaise at the track if possible a week or 2 before the event so you can experiment with lines etc then....or if the tracks only a race track then go to a track the week before to practaise that has a similar surface. This has always worked well for me.

Another good excercise which i was shown by a freind is if your races are 20 mins plus 2 laps (mine are) then you need to practaise 30 min moto's. If you can do 30 mins at good pace it's likely you'll be able to go flat out for 25 minutes :cry:

good luck :cry:

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One of the best ways to shave seconds off your lap times is to work on braking later into corners. Everyone focuses on accelerating as fast as they can OUT of corners and going fast on stright sections, but most novices and amatures don't BRAKE as hard as they can going into corners. If you keep your speed up until you have to use your full braking abilities to make the corner, you'll find you can easily catch up to the rider in front of you and improve your overall finishes. Braking harder and later is just as important to going fast as accelerating! Focus on this during your practices and I'll bet you do better on race day.

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Practice.....I read in a mag a little while ago something like this:....when your riding at a track and a guy comes up on you or something you shouldnt be able to speed up and go faster(to a certain degree).....you should always ride at the level that you would normally race at....b/c your not getting any better half aresing it.....yeah it was sometin like that :cry:

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What your read was something more like "when someone catches up to you and passes you there shouldn't be anything you can do about it because you were already going full out at your race pace. If you find that when some one passes you, you suddenly pick up the pace, then you weren't going fast enough according to your abilities to begin with. If you had been going as fast as your abiiities allow, they may not have been able to pass you."

BUT--never go beyond your abilities to the point where you become a safety issue for you and your fellow racers. On then other hand, the only way to get faster is to push your comfort zone a little bit more each time you ride. That's where riding with faster guys comes into play.

It's just a plastic trophy after all. Don't go over your head to the point your lose your head for that plastic trophy!

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Cheers Middy, My starts are getting better and I have certainly noticed when I get a good one I get a better result. Many thanks for the tips. Best of luck to you. :cry:

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"props" to you old fart-knockers!! my youngest son started riding march '03 (#303) and i bought a 125 to relate/ride with him. i never knew how challenging it was playing in the dirt! needless to say, i was hooked, i raced my first week on a dirt bike and crashed right off the gate, several times through out the heat and to finish in fashion, looped-out the finish table. (i didn't know what looped out was then)i've since gone through a 250, now on a crf450, i understand speed at what it is. not the vibration/sound of a pinned two stroke, but looking farther ahead (like most of us drive on the street)and setting up for corners and jumps in advance. the truth is (not that you're all lying to this point)you have to WANT to go fast, and at our age (i'm 37)be willing to break a few bones. i'm racing with the vets in the b class and i've been on a dirt bike since may "03, i've gotten really fast over a short period of time but i've broken ribs, ankle and most of my fingers. my knees are trashed now as well. i WANT to go fast. watch A LOT of video, both of you and pros.

if you find the time, check us out at mxprivateer.net. we're on the verge of looking really good for this year.

peace,

jeff coda

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If your finishing 20th your not ready for holeshots yet so focus on your riding skills not your starts. Practice, practice, practice. Race days are not for finding 2 seconds off your lap time. They are to use the skills youve trained and practiced.

Every race day I see new guys rock up and go for broke. No boddy gets quicker while in plaster. Practice practice practice. Ive started practicing 3 times per week in a shoddy old dirt area, just honing all the basics. Position and weighting, standing turns, sitting turns, sliding flat turns, off camber turns ruts, jumps and whoops. Since doing that ive gne from 20th to 2nds and 3rds and am doing that easy, its just that 1st place guy is so bloody good.

Also staring about 20th is awsome practice for passing which is what you will need when your up the pointy end. So keep your cool and dont start going for holeshots till your top 10 material.

Dont let the blood go to your head on race day. Committ to practice and training and use that on the track. You will perform better and make it to work on Monday.

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