25 Start Tips Of December - Day 16

Picking Your Spot On The Line

Photo by Shan Moore

When it comes to doing well in Supercross (or motocross), one of the keys to success is about getting a good start. Some insiders will even go so far as to say it’s 90-95% of the game. Of course, you have to be fast too, but putting yourself at or near the front of the pack after the start of the race certainly increases your chances of getting on the podium.

Dirt Rider recently spent a day with Justin Barcia at his practice compound in Greenville, Florida, working on an upcoming story for the April issue of Dirt Rider magazine called "The Art of the Start". We also spent a day with off-road star Charlie Mullins at his place in Hickory, North Carolina. Barcia was the king of the holeshot in 2015, grabbing 11 Motosport.com Holeshot Awards during this year's Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Series, while Mullins is a former GNCC and national enduro champ who gives us his tips on getting a good dead-engine start.

DR contributor Shan Moore picked the brains of these two powerhouse riders to find out the secrets behind their impressive start techniques. After collecting all the data, we decided we couldn't just sit on this treasure trove of information until release date, so Dirt Rider is leaking part of the info on the web for you to implement into your own start routine.

Here's tip #16:

Charlie Mullins:

Picking Your Spot

For GNCC’s, they line you up based on your ranking in points, so luckily I’ve always had a top three pick on the line. Usually I walk the start the morning before the race. A typical GNCC from the start to the first turn is probably 200-300 feet. It’s a good stretch. Then the first turn is typically a left-hander that chicanes right. So I analyze the first turn and pick a line that sets me up for the chicane, but not too far outside or too far inside.

Since it’s such a long way to the first turn in most GNCC races, it’s about the same distance from the start to the first turn no matter if you are on the inside of the start or the outside. I know a lot of guys line up on the outside so they can sweep the outside and have control of the inside of the second turn. But I like to just be in the middle and hopefully get a good jump and be in control.

If it’s muddy I’ll usually pick more of an outside line, just so I don’t get pinched off or anything like that if I get a bad start. So it just kind of depends on the weather.