At every round of the 2019 Rockstar Energy Triple Crown MXTour Series the riders have to face very difficult conditions at each track. Some tracks like Gopher Dunes have deep sand whoops that have to be navigated, plus Sand Del Lee and Deschambault are the same. Other tracks like this past weekend in Calgary are fast and hilly, and at times they develop deep ruts. Whether these ruts are on the faces of jumps or in the turns, they can give the riders problems. In most cases, those riders that handle the deep ruts with more efficiency are usually the riders who end up having better results at the end of the day.
This past weekend in Calgary, the Wild Rose MX Track was tilled very deep on Friday afternoon, so during Saturday’s practice sessions, each corner developed some very deep and challenging ruts. Some of these corners were slow and tight, while others were fast and wide open. However, the one common denominator was that they all had multiple, deep ruts to choose from. During each moto you could see some of the riders were enjoying these conditions much more than others, so in the end these ruts were a real separator.
Riding in rutted conditions is a very difficult thing to practice as it’s hard to replicate what 40 bikes will do to a track. But the top riders do their best to try and practice ruts as much as they can, and you should as well. As you can see in these photos from Calgary, there is a proper technique to riding in ruts, and the more you practice these techniques the better off you will be. The first thing that I saw on Saturday in Calgary was how much extra speed the top riders were carrying into the rutted corners. As much as you want to be a little cautious to make sure you’re lined up with the rut you want to enter, you do need a little extra speed as the moment your bike gets into a deep rut it will tend to bleed off a little energy. Extra speed will not only help you maintain your momentum but it will also help with your balance. The next technique I witnessed in Calgary was the best rut riders tended to stand up as long as they could until they were right into the rut they wanted. This allowed them to brake properly, continue to look as far ahead as possible. As far as I’m concerned, the longer you can keep your big bulky feet on the footpegs the better. Once you’re in the rut and are sitting down with your head forward and your butt slightly forward on the seat, at that point all you have to do is roll on the throttle smoothly and keep looking ahead. The elite riders make the entire corner from start to finish look as smooth as possible. Standing up as long as possible, good balance, and smooth throttle control are all keys to nailing deep rutted corners. Here are a few James Lissimore photos from the opening round of the riders trying to get through one of the most technical corners on the Wild Rose MX Track.