What To Expect For Your First Motocross Race

Your first motocross race is always the scariest. There is so much nerve and adrenaline that you don’t feel like yourself. So much, in fact, that you may feel like not racing that day. DON”T listen to that voice!!! You won’t regret racing, as long as you know what you’re doing and don’t go in over your head.

Get To The Track Early

The best way to start out the day of your first race is to get to the track early. Not much is more frustrating than arriving late to the races and having to scramble to get ready, ESPECIALLY for you first motocross race.

Before unloading everything, go up to registration and pay for your class of racing (make sure you have a membership if required for that track). Next thing to do is go and walk that track. Even if you rode the track the day before, things may have changed, or there may be a better line that you didn’t see before.

ERX 7 11 09 What To Expect For Your First Motocross Race
First Motocross Race

Unload And Have Bike Ready

After walking the track, go back and unload your dirt bike and gear if you haven’t already. Hopefully you remembered to pack all of your gear. Then go over your bike and make sure everything is snug and ready to go. Remember to put gas in the tank!!! I know it may sound dumb, but it’s a mistake that many riders make.

Pre-Practice Warm-Up

About 20 minutes before practice starts, stretch out and hydrate with water, Gatorade, or something similar. NO ENERGY DRINKS!! Then get your gear on and roll/ride your bike over to the starting gate a few minutes early. Practice sessions are usually separated by classes A/B, C/Vet, Womens, 85cc/Supermini/65cc/50cc, so make sure you go out with your class. Start and warm your bike up before you go out on the track to help prevent engine failures.


After practice, come back to your pit and re-hydrate. Then check your bike over again and adjust anything that needs it. Re-fuel if you need it so that you won’t forget about it later.

Race Meeting

After all the practices are over most tracks have a race meeting. Go to this so that you aren’t confused. They will tell you any specific rules, tips, how things work (starting gate), how many laps, etc. After the meeting go get a race order if you haven’t already. This will show when your class is up to race so that you can prepare for it in time.

Keep Calm And Race Motocross

Okay, now the races started and the adrenaline is probably starting to pour on even more. Stay strong and keep loose (stretch out, walk around, but don’t sit and tighten up).

About Four classes before yours, you should start to get ready. Hydrate again, go to the bathroom, get your gear on, and make sure you bike is ready to go. By that time your class will probably be 2 motos away. Roll your dirt bike up to the starting gate and stay calm. They will probably pick riders by random for their gate position, so don’t be late.

One moto away…. Your heart is pounding…. You can barely breathe. It’ll be okay. Just roll your bike up to the gate you choose and make sure it’s straight in the groove. By now you probably should have your bike running so that it will be warmed up and ready to go when the gate drops.


Breathe and Have Fun

The 30-second board is up. Keep breathing, shift your bike into gear (usually first or second), and get up on the tank. Once that board goes sideways look down at the gate because there’s less than five seconds. Once the gate drops the BS stops, so I can’t really help you from there. Just remember to breathe throughout the entire race. It gets hard to do obstacles when you have little strength to hold on.

Re-Hydrate and Repeat

Hopefully the first moto turned out okay and you’re still intact. You’ll probably be dehydrated so go and drink a bunch of liquids. Once again, no energy drinks! After that, it’s just rinse and repeat. Just make sure you and your bike are ready to go for moto two. Your gate pick will be determined by the result of first moto, so if you were at the end of the pack then you’ll have last gate pick.

Don’t be discouraged if you came in last place. Even if you did, I’m sure you still had a blast, because I know I did on my first race. If you didn’t have fun, then you better go to the doctor because there’s something wrong with you….

Click here for my article on How To Start Motocross Racing, or Finding A Good Cheap Motocross Bike


Kelley Fager

I help newer riders learn to safely ride with confidence by teaching basic techniques in a way that's easy to understand. Learn To Ride With Control Here

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