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Grate Starts

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This article comes to you from our friends at the Millsaps Training Facility. The Millsaps Training Facility or MTF as it is commonly known is one of the premier motocross training facilities in America. Owned and operated by Colleen Millsaps, MTF combines the latest in sport science technologies with over a decade of experience to offer complete motocross training programs for riders of all ages and abilities. MTF’s structured riding programs are under the direction of Colleen Millsaps and her riding programs have proven to be outstandingly successful. MTF is committed to assisting the rider in every aspect of their development. They also produce a monthly newsletter filled with all sorts of rider tips and useful information. This article is one such contribution. - Virtual Trainer

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Colleen Millsaps

A lot of the same things you focus on with regular starts are going to carry over into starting off a grate. Tight legs, not over reacting when you take off, focusing on keeping your eyes in the first turn, making sure the front end is loaded, and getting the slack out of the chain to be more consistent with clutch release all still apply. The grates are just going to take out some of the variables like how deep the ruts are coming out and over the gate and if the dirt is tacky or slick. We originally saw the grates at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm a few years back. Since then they have added the grates to the GPs and now SX for 2018. They were also at the Winter Olympics Amateur National this year. We don't know if we will start seeing more at amateur events but only time will tell.

One of the first things you are usually going to want to do is drop your holeshot device lower to put a little more wait on the front. You will get more traction coming out of the gate making it easier for your front end to come up. You shouldn't really have to worry too much about wheel spin,  although I saw a few people spin off gates at Winter Olympics, so it is possible. When it was damp and there was moisture on the tires and grates, it is more likely to happen.  We actually watered the grates at MTF and there was no wheel spin. The only thing we can think is when you had the combination of wet grates and wet tires I saw a few riders spin off the grates. It is important to clean off the grate as much as possible as loose dirt can cause you to get wheel spin or to be inconsistent.

Thanks - Colleen

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