Wright Out of the Gate

It’s the month of May. I’m back home after training down South for a couple of months. I participated in the first couple of MX101 IronMan Races at Sand Del Lee, as well as the Motopark Cup. My first national moto is only 1 week away. This time of the motocross season feels a lot like being in staging.

The major preparations are done. You might be able to tweak a couple of things before the racing starts, but the big stuff should already have been taken care of.

It’s no longer time to focus on training to achieve the physical strength and endurance required to successfully complete and win motos. You should already be there by now.

It’s no longer time to be experimenting with new parts or major settings on the bike. That testing should already have been done and the adjustments have been made to suit you as a rider.

The focus is now is on final mental preparation and strategy. It’s about building confidence. It’s about making those final tweaks and finessing the riding techniques that will help shave those last seconds or fractions of seconds per lap that can make the difference between being on the podium, being in the top 10 … or not.

Before a race, I often visualize the track … going over every turn, jump, whoop, rut and line in my mind. The only difference now, is that I try to visualize all the tracks, the order in which we’ll experience them and how we plan to adapt to the unique conditions and challenges each venue offers.

There are 10 rounds to come, each one just as important as the other. In the last couple of weeks before the nationals begin, I feel the same nervous tension, anticipation and excitement riders experience in the staging area just before a race.

I’m a little nervous.

My rookie year was not without its challenges. While I finished in the top 10 in 2014, I’m hoping for even better results in 2015. While I’m confident that I’ve definitely improved since last year, I know I still have lots to learn … but I’m hoping to do that with the leaders of the pack. I now have one year of experience under my belt. I’ve been to all the tracks and have a better idea of what to expect. I have put in the practice and the training. I have improved some of my riding technique. My mechanic has made some great improvements to my bike too. We’re optimistic that we’ve found a winning combination for the 2015 season.

I’m eager.

This is a time of great anticipation. I’ve been lining up to race almost every weekend for the last 2 or 3 months. It feels like someone is gradually turning up the heat. I always care about the results every time I line up to race, but in the US, there wasn’t a championship on the line and I didn’t know most of the racers on the gate. You don’t know what to expect but I think you ride a little more relaxed. Now that I’m back in Canada, I’m lining up against some of the guys I’ll actually be racing against in the nationals. It’s inevitable. You compare yourself to them and try to assess what kind of progress you and they have made. It’s just like being in staging where you look around checking out the other racers, sizing them up and waiting to be called to the line.

Once I return to Canada, everything starts to feel different. I’m not racing strangers. I have lined up with Kaven Benoit, Liam O’Farrell, Shawn Robinson, Westen Wrozyna and Richard Grey at Sand Del Lee, and with Kyle Keast at the Motopark Cup. I have worked my butt off. I’m loving my new Yamaha YZ250F. I’ve received the fresh new gear from our awesome new sponsors FXR, 6D helmets, Forma boots and 100% goggles. The MX101 team has also received great support from Canada’s Motorcycle, an awesome online retailer for all things motocross and motorsports.

My mechanic put the finishing touches on my race bike. I’ve met my new teammate Jimmy Decotis. (Welcome to Canada man!) The trailer is loaded and is already on its way out to British Columbia. I can’t wait to get the boarding pass that will get me on the flight to Kamloops for Round 1.

I am now in staging. I am prepared. I have fantastic support. I am ready to go! Thanks to all of you have wished me luck in the upcoming nationals. It’s nice to know I have so many great people cheering me on! I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the races!

@Tyler Spikman

@Tyler Spikman