We caught up with Factory Connection Amsoil Honda's newly mounted rider RJ Hampshire while out at Milestone MX to take us through the start of a race. RJ gives us the step by step and talks about the mindset to be in before the gate drops along with tips and techniques to help with practicing starts- even if you don't have access to a starting gate. Get the jump on your competition by dialing in one of the most critical parts to racing.
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What's up? My name is RJ Hampshire. I'm out here, out on Milestone in California. Today, I'm going to teach you how to get a holeshot. First step, is to be sure and get your mindset going, and have the confidence to go out there and get that holeshot. You have to have confidence in yourself and your bike and get your mindset up of getting a holeshot.
When I'm on the line, first thing I do is close my eyes, and I picture myself getting a holeshot. The brain goes to that image. Picture yourself getting out of that first turn first, and coming out first, and more than likely it's going to happen.
First mechanical step for getting a holeshot is whoever's down on the line with you, your mechanic, dad, mom, sister, brother, whoever, is to get that holeshot device set. You cannot get that holeshot without the holeshot device.
The holeshot device locks its front end down, so once the gate drops, your front wheel don't come up and it helps to keep the bike down. As soon as the board goes down, click the bike up in a second. My mindset goes straight to the gate. Watch the gate and wait for that thing to drop.
A good way to practice starts is to be sure whoever is on the track with you getting a holeshot device, a lock holeshot device and get in that form. Have a rock ready with your mechanic, and as soon as that rock hits the ground you take off exactly as the gate drops. This is a good way to practice not ramming the gate.
Your body is more to the part of the bike. What I do is my legs, I lock them in between the brake and the peg and the shift and the peg.
A lot of people say shift your gear as it comes up, but I'm not a huge fan of that. A lot of times, you'll miss a gear or whatever, so as soon as your feet can get on them pegs, that's where mine are. I take off at the gate, I know I'm straight. My feet go straight to the pegs, and I grab a gear as soon as I can. The faster you shift the more you have on your competition.
After the gate drops, for sure, whoever hits third first is more likely to get the holeshot as long as you don't pull a wheelie. If you get out smooth, the first thing that goes through your mind is grab a gear and hold that balance straight. After you grab a gear, I don't go back, and so I'm 100 percent sure that my front wheel is not going to go up. It's about halfway down straight away. It's mainly to grab that third gear faster.
All in all, the holeshot is the main key to get that moto win, get that confidence up for the whole moto. If you don't pull a holeshot, it kills the mindset for sure, but if you get out front, just balls to the wall, just pin it the whole time.
RJ Hampshire here, and that's how I rip a holeshot.