Sometimes we forget the little things. Sometimes the little things may be what win us the race. Those little things don’t seem so little when we find ourselves at the back of the pack headed into the first turn at 80-plus-mph.

So what makes someone a better starter than the guy next on the starting line? Practice. Like anything else, to pull that killer holeshot takes some time and effort. Lets take a look at some of the tricks I have picked up over the years that has sent me to the front of the pack year after year.

Positioning
The trick with positioning will be to counteract G-forces and to make sure the nose plains fast (keeping it from going too high, causing porpoising). Personally, I like to plant my left foot a little forward and my right foot a little bit back, almost like a track runner getting ready for a race. Once the band snaps, I send my upper body forward over the bars and at the same time, let my right leg step forward almost even with where I had my left foot positioned. This should happen naturally when you throw your bodyweight forward over the bars. Now, I have my chest forward over the bars, feet re-positioned and I am now forcing the nose back down as it rises up to get on plane. Once the watercraft is on plane, it is best to get your weight as far back as possible on the seat to get the nose high, the back end planted and reach for every MPH you can find.

Reaction Time
You need a few things to get that big holeshot and your reaction time is up at the top of the list. To some, this comes naturally, and to some, they really have to focus and work on their timing and hand/eye coordination to make it happen. I feel it comes natural to me, but at the same time I always find myself testing my reaction time. For example, at stoplights, I will see traffic coming to a stop and know my light is about to go green; I will tap the steering wheel or something that would physically replicate pulling the throttle. It just takes a lot of focus and zoning in on that moment and the band. If in those few second you can silence all your thoughts and zone-in on the band (I prefer to look over towards were the band initially snaps) your reaction time will be through the roof. You will start to even notice you can anticipate the snap.

Practice, Practice and More Practice
“Practice makes perfect,” they say. You can do starts during the week without holders to get your body positioning correct and also do little things to increase your reaction time. One last thing that has proven helpful is to do some mock starts at the races before your moto. You will find different people running the starts do it different. I always head down and act like I am on the line and do imaginary starts. I stand and watch the card, watch it go sideways and pull the imaginary throttle to see if my timing is “on” for the day. If I feel like my timing was lacking, I may watch another moto or two. The only time this does not come in handy is if you are in Moto One. But think about it this way, all the other racers you are lined up with have not had a chance to watch starts either.

Good luck and happy holeshots!

By : KEVIN SHAW | 2015

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