There is nothing quite like track specific coaching when you are preparing for a big event. With the Mini Nationals soon to arrive at the Mere road track I had to remind myself of something very important. While the best riding technique will help you in all situations, getting the mindset right is just as crucial, hence our need to cover a variety of situations on the track itself before the big day arrives.
Soil type is obviously the number one thing to get used to, with the river silt of Mere Rd certainly showing its personality for us. Much of the track had hardened enough to rip some skin, although some nice ruts were still there from a recent practice day. We spent plenty of time making the most of these mini berms, using front brake, throttle control and outside footpeg to give our riders the skills and confidence they needed.
Amaedia and others even responded when I had them standing extra low to the bike through these turns with their head still past the handlebars. We also put that into practice on what you might call the “Snake Pit” where recent rain had left a softer patch that was full of ruts in every direction. Watching these little wheels flying through conditions like that is impressive and you know it will help, both for their technique and confidence.
Highs and Lows
Something else you need to know about your race track, are the shape of the turns and jumps. We talked through lines the whole way around the track, usually finding the insides to be best. The jumps also threw in their own quirks as always, so it was good to get some riders confident on the “Cabbage Tree” jump, and soaking up the sharp points of landings on others.
The 6-8 years MX 50cc class yielded some excellent results with Christchurch charger Levi McMaster taking out the title, followed by Jaxon Pardoe in second place who was one of our students for that session, Reuben Charmley finishing fifth. A big congratulations to them and all the other riders who did well, or at least enjoyed their weekend. After all, that is really what it is all about.
Training on the race track proved beneficial and we are planning to do the same for the Juniors in 2020.