Is there a formula that allows you to win, you know 2 parts working out, 3 parts bad ass bike, 1 part luck, 2 parts rider? Maybe there is this secret book out there floating around, but only a few get to read it. Yeah, it has to be something like that! How to be as great as Jordan, Volumes 1-3, or maybe it’s a kit. Yes it’s gotta be a kit, how to be Rossi for the low, low price of 49.95, but wait, call now and you get a second kit absolutely free. Maybe these really do exist and no one wants to tell me, because it’s a secret. Well not one to conform, here is my secret formula.
My formula is proprietary, so I can only give you the ingredients. Mix as you see fit.
The easiest part to get I suppose, the bike. I am not on some crazy motor, built it myself in the garage. No porting or anything crazy, just a head gasket .45mm (available at Roseville Yamaha Parts Dept). Suspension, Ohlin’s TTX 36 and 30mm cartridge kit (available at Fastbike Ind.). Dave will sell you my exact set-up, if you want it. Levers from CRG. Exhaust system is Leo Vince, it is the stainless system, not even the Titanium, which is lighter (call Josie at Leo Vince). Kit ECU/air filter by Yamaha (call Roseville Yamaha). 520 chain and sprockets (Pit Bull Racing). Brake lines and pads (Roseville again). Tank grip (Tech Spec). I don’t think I missed anything. Pirelli
Little victories, enjoy them. Not every race has or will result in a win, even Ricky Carmichael lost a few. Enjoy when things don’t go as planned and you still ride well. A few races back, I was at CSC round 1 and during the race my bike started really having handling issues. So I rode as hard as I could without falling down. Every lap it got worse in the corners, and people were reeling me in, like I was on one of those fishing shows. You know the one, that replaced the hour of motorcycle racing that was supposed to be on ESPN. Instead of just jumping in the boat, I fought back to get 3rd. Turns out it was a bad valve core in the tire stem. 3rd place with only 14psi in the rear tire, damn right I enjoyed that. I also look over my valve cores now J .
Training, yes we need to train. I recently opened my own personal training business (Active Body Training). What I have seen after training several racers is awesome. They have all gotten faster, much faster. Sports specific training, has allowed my riders to decrease there lap times. It can be less body weight so bike goes faster, more flexibility so they can move around on the bike, or endurance so they can finish the race as strong as they started it. You also have more mental clarity at the end of the race if you are not exhausted. Let the other guy be exhausted and you can focus on the pass. Last week at the AMA races, I was actually hoping for more laps. I started 22nd on Sunday and in the later laps, just kept picking guys off, and ended up in 6th. I wasn’t thinking about anything other than riding. I would let anyone training with me see my workouts, there are no big secrets, just hard work and sports specific approach.
Visualization, imagine your own personal victory. A victory can be anything, a goal you are working to achieve. Imagine yourself at your best. Picture the weather, how you feel, what you are wearing, is there a crowd, is your best friend watching, what does the air smell like (race gas I hope), where is everyone else on the track. Every little detail counts. When I recently won my first AFM race, it went just like I had imagined. On the last lap my gap was big enough to enjoy the final trip around the circuit. Finished off with a wheelie for the crowd. I slowed coming out of T11 slipped the clutch and gently raised the front end towards the checkers. Did I celebrate, absolutely, just as I had imagined a million times before. It may seem odd, but the best in the world visualize winning for a reason.
Coaching is important. Find someone that will help you get better. I personally hate being told what to do, but I have been learning to shut up and trust in someone. Ken Hill has been coaching riders for years, most stubborn just like me. He would tell me things and I would resist or question him. It frustrates a coach when you don’t listen. I believe my inability to listen when he was talking to me, slowed my progress greatly. My attitude towards coaching has changed over the last few years. The fact is the best in the world get coaching. Having a mentor or a coach guide you is paramount. Why recreate the wheel, didn‘t the first guy do a good enough job? Trust me on this, my wheel wasn’t any rounder than Ken’s and it took me a long time to build it. I am starting a new wheel and this time, I am asking for help.
Surround yourself with good people. It starts at home for me, my wife is my motivation to be better at everything. Then we hang out with people who are positive and want to be generally happy in life. Get rid of the negative people who have nothing to contribute to your success. At the track I have a great crew and fellow race team members. Whether it is a local race with my mechanic Mikey, or an AMA race with my mechanic Nikki, I only surround myself with good people. I would rather do everything myself, rather than having people who are not positive and helpful.
The goal is very important to success. You would never just get in the car and drive around the city, just hoping that you would eventually end up at your destination. You find out where a place is at and get directions. Well goals are just that, a destination and a direction to head in. I watch racing all the time, and guys will tap dance around questions. My least favorite tap dance is, what is your goal. They will answer with this soft generic answer that won’t offend other racers. Well I mean no offense to other racers, but I came to win. That’s it, MY GOAL IS TO WIN EVERY RACE I ENTER. I respect the other racers, and hope they do well, just behind me. If you are in front of me, I will want to beat you, we are all wired this way, it‘s why we race. Is stating this opinion going to make me popular, if last year is any indication probably not. One of my fellow racers got angry with me, because I told him it was my goal to beat him. I am sorry he took offense to that, but I have since beaten him and have every intention of doing it again, it’s my goal!
So there it is, my formula. Why would I tell anyone? It’s not a secret to me. Show up prepared mentally, physically, with good equipment, and let’s go racing. Will I win every race I enter, probably not. Can I still enjoy every race I enter, absolutely. I came to have fun and race the best guys around. If this helps you great, I will see you at the front, if not I hope you find something that does. I am prepared and ready for racing, which allows me to have fun. Having fun with my racing this year has been the key to my success!
One of the three well-known California road racing clubs; AFM offers a place where you can participate in races, watch as a spectator, or even take part as a turn-worker on the course. There are competition classes for almost all motorcycles; you can race what you own, build a bike specifically for racing, or maybe even pick up a pre-set-up bike through member want ads. Competing in expert club racing can be used to qualify for a pro racing license. Explore the website for further information.
Women race with the men?
Yes, races are structured by bike size. Women race in the same classes as men that have the same sized bike. However, there is a growing interest among women in racing , so many racing clubs have added a women’s class to encourage the ladies to give it a try.
Formed in 2001, SMUSA is now the premier Pro/Am supermoto series in the country. Many of the well known American road racers such as Bobby Fong, Joey Pascarella, Cameron Beaubier, Elena Myers, Tyler O'Hara, Garrett Willis and others all competed in Supermoto USA's Nor Cal Championship where they developed their skills.
PC Dirt Track in Sacramento, Ca holds a series of the oldest and most traditional type of motorcycle racing, flat track - sometimes referred to as “dirt track” racing. A uniquely American type of motorcycle racing. Riders finesse their machines sideways through the turns, just inches apart from each other.
Since 1924, the AMA has protected the future of motorcycling and promoted the motorcycle lifestyle. AMA members come from all walks of life, and they navigate many different routes on their journey to the same destination: freedom on two wheels. The AMA sanctions more motorsports competition and motorcycle recreational events than any other organization in the world. No one who has ever seen an AMA Pro motorcycle race ever forgets it.