Top Tips: Starting Trick

A trick to help you holeshot

· 3 minutes read

Buy a HSL Holeshot Linkage System. Click here.

There was an issue at the seventh round of the 2019 FIM Motocross World Championship, one that sparked intrigue across the globe. The starting gate at St. Jean d'Angely, the Grand Prix of France, would flinch before it dropped, therefore prompting some of the world's best to ride straight into the metal structure and face a deficit from the very beginning of the race.

This is not supposed to happen on the world's greatest stage, therefore outrage was sparked on social media, but it is very common at local races across the globe. The systems are not quite as sophisticated, let's say. Therefore this trick that MX2 rider Adam Sterry put into action played on my mind, as the way that those competing locally could benefit is unbelievable. This is what the F&H Kawasaki rider had to say about his strategy, which helped him start inside of the top five each time. Not an easy feat when going up against the likes of Jorge Prado and Tom Vialle!

"I try my hardest and I found the gates jumping this weekend helped me a little bit," Adam Sterry told MX Vice reporter Lewis Phillips over the weekend. "I put myself further back on the metal, because I knew they were going to move. When they moved, I just let the clutch go and I ended up timing it perfect both times. I don't understand why more people didn't do that, but I guess going to school did help a little bit."

It is a game of inches on the start at any level, but strategies such as the one above have been implemented by many riders through the years. Famed starter Mike Alessi was known for simply dropping the clutch and hoping for the best. Taking it to that level may be a bit extreme, but there is an element of technique and knowledge in what Adam Sterry described. In order to determine whether or not that would work at your next race, it is important to observe those who go before you and see just how that gate is dropping.

It is not overly hard to see if there is a bit of a stutter there, but videoing it on your phone can (and will) help. It is actually worth watching all forty gates from left to right as well, as there will often be a certain area that is slower than the rest. The inside gates occasionally drop faster than those on the outside, for instance. The difference may be just a tenth of a second but, once again, it is a game of inches from the start gate to the first corner. Grabbing a decent start can make life so much easier at any level, as Sterry went on to explain.

"I guess it is easier to stay in a rhythm and you don't get as tired when you are chewing stones all moto, like I have been doing," Sterry said about how much easier it is to get a good start. "I feel like I've been shot by a shotgun the last few weekends by how much roost I have gotten. Just battered all over with bruises. It is nice to start at the front and be able to run that pace."

Ruling out all variables, did Adam Sterry get good starts at the Grand Prix of France because of his risky strategy or because of some advancements made within his motorcycle in recent weeks? It is normal for an elite rider in the FIM Motocross World Championship to receive engine modifications or new parts after the first couple of rounds, as not everything will arrive in time for the opener or once racing begins it becomes apparent that changes need to be made.

"We just changed the gearing a little bit but, other than that, nothing. It is the same since Argentina. Since last year my starts needed to improve. When you are starting last, there's no way to come forward to be in contention for a podium. That is what we really worked on. That's a really important part of the race and it shows now that I can do it."

There you have it, a small step and strategy on the start that could drastically change your race results. Those in the Grand Prix series may not encounter another stuttering gate this season, but I would bet you will see one in the not-so-distant future.

Buy a HSL Holeshot Linkage System. Click here.

We use cookies! By browsing this site, you agree to our use of cookies.
More info