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Am I Sandbagging??


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Am I Sandbagging?

I have ridden off and on for years, but usually only once or twice a month during riding season, mostly desert and not often tracks. We recently took off a whole year and a half due to finances and a new baby all at once. A few months back I heard about SRA GP's at Glen Helen, one Sunday a month, not so MX, something more my style. The ONLY race I had ever done before was the Elsinore GP a few years ago, a real basic course, and I didn't place in the top 30% so no trophy.

So I signed up for the senor/40+ beginner class. Also, I'm riding a '05 WR450, no motor mods, all desert ready, probably 275lbs without gas. Anyway, I won my class. I was pretty stoked! So now I have to go back next weekend to pick up my trophy, and I figured I might as well race again. I figure this will be the last time I race this year, or at least until it cools off again like late fall. I was planning on racing the beginner class again but everyone says I'm sandbagging. Am I really? I have only raced twice in my life? Should I move up to challenge myself, but maybe never trophy again? Pro's stay in the lites class for as long as they can, is that sandbagging? Also, if I race the novice class and do terrible I don't think I could ever drop back down.

So should I just tell everyone that's giving me flak to just shut up, beginner class is where you start and I'll move up when I'm ready, OR give in and maybe screw up my chance to win a race for a looong time? I don't think of myself as anything better than a beginner racer yet. What would you do?

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Well I'm not sure how much I won by, but I know I was riding over my head at times, went down easy once, was glad I finished without a real crash. There was some dicing and changing of positions for the lead. I did ride my ass off to get it!

Thanks, keep the comments coming, I think I'll do whatever the general consensus is.

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One of my last Beginner class races was a 2 day event. On Saturday I woke up not feeling good so I just rode practice then hung out the rest of the day and watched races paying close attention to the guy who won my class. Then on Sunday I race my class and go 1-1. I beat the previous days winner by nearly 30 seconds, he finished 5th out of 12 after winning the day before.

Moral of the story is that you should move up when you're ready, not just because you won a race. You need to give yourself time to see where you actually stand against faster guys and use that to determine if you're sandbagging.

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I'm afraid that if you have to ask if you're "sand bagging", then you may be. Did you lead the entire race? How close was second and third place to you?

It makes it less fun for others racing in the "novice" class when a non-novice races with them and cleans up.

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If you race again and win I say it's time to move up. If you race next weekend and end with a 2nd or worse then it sounds like you're in the correct class. I've never raced (always too poor) but have been to the races a lot. As an ex-mechanic I used to help local kids out by working on their bikes. Nobody likes to lose and a lot of people in beginner think they are good enough to win and when they don't they cry sandbager.

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It sounds like it was a close race. Winning one race doesn't make you a sandbagger, and doesn't necessarily mean you will win again. See how you do in the next race at the beginner level and then decide what you want to do next year.

IMO, if you are close to the leader, and place top 3 in the next race then you are ready for the next class.

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someone is going to win every race so the winner of each race needs to move up by you guys reasoning....

beginner classes are usually ran that way, some let you go a whole season, some do not, some only have a C class that's full of fast guys that belong in B

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Winning one race doesn't mean anything. Maybe the faster beginners didn't show up that day so you were top banana. Next race might be different and you'll struggle to stay in the top five. And of course, the other possibility is you waxed them all and you should be in the next class, and that's how you discover when you're in the wrong class............time to move up.

Whether you think you're riding over your head or not, I'd say if you did anther race or two and keep handling every body, then it's time to move up. I can tell you this, you'll never get any better or faster just living in the beginner class. You might think the next class will make you ride over your head even more, but the truth is riding with the higher class guys will rub off on you as you see how they do things. You'll get smoother and develop better techniques when you can see them in action. Sure you'll have to ride in the middle to the back of the pack for a while till you get your speed up, but when you finally get your first win in that higher class it will feel way better than that beginner win.........trust me. ­čśĆ

If you've been riding for a while, you should know you're skills whether you've raced or not. The beginner class isn't just for those new to racing, but also low in the skills department. A guy that's been riding for years and can ride very well should not be in the beginners longer than one or two races just to get acclimated if he's never raced before.

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the people putting on the race should have definitions for what the classes are. Different organizations do it differently - follow their rules. You're a novice, you shouldn't have to make that kind of decision on your own subjective impressions of your skill compared to what they have in mind for the class.

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I suggest getting lap times from mid pack guys in the next class up, and compare to your lap times.

I was racing C class and battling tooth and nail to get 2nd place over and over. I had my girlfriend take lap times, and my lap times were 2 seconds per lap faster than the winner of the B class. Needless to say, im now a B class rider working up to A within a few months. It's had to tell what class you should be in by position because of the amount of sandbagging in the lower classes.

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What was your ranking before when you raced ? You should not ride lower than that class without requesting from the AMA and your regional organization to put allowed to run in a lower class. If caught you can be suspended for a year. You can't just decide to ride down a class. I know someone who did that this year and got caught. TWICE ! Now they are suspended for a year. They were disqualified and warned the first time.

Very sad.

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