8: 34 p.m.
Crosley Radio/RiderSur-ance-backed privateer
Jacob Baumert takes gate
four with the third pick. He
does his own work on the
gate, leaving mechanic/
agent/truck driver Brandon
Parrish to hold the bike. He
gets a good jump out of the
gate but Ganon Audette
crosses in front of him from
the inside, they collide, and
Baumert ends up way back.
He finishes twelfth in the
LCQ and misses the main.
8: 43 p.m.
450 Semi 1
Brayton has first pick and
uses the same gate he
holeshot with in his heat.
Wil Hahn picks second but
stays outside as well. Hahn’s
mechanic, Shawn Irwin, goes
back to the condition-over-position concept.
“We wanted to go
inside but the ruts are bad,”
he says. “Some guys will
double-clutch and the rut
gets wavy. You’ve got to stay
away from that.”
Nick Wey has the fourth
pick and goes for gate four.
He doesn’t get a great jump
but cruises down the inside,
makes a move, and ends up
with the holeshot. Score one
As soon as the gate
drops, Feld Motor Sports’
Sean “Gary Busey” Jacobi
runs out to drag giant Tuff
Blox and banners across
the start. There’s an army of
supercross personnel down
here making sure everything
8: 49 p.m.
450 Semi 2
Ken Roczen has the first
pick and goes sixth from the
inside, same as Hahn. “This
one has the best rut in front
of the gate,” Roczen says. “I
want it to be smooth.”
RCH Racing’s Broc Tickle
picks second and goes for
the fourth gate. His mechanic,
Tony Berlutti, wears an Oakley
shoe on his left foot and a rid-
ing boot on the right for gate
packing. The real news is that,
with only sixteen riders in the
semi, the track crew closes off
the inside three gates. No one
can line up next to Tickle, so
he shoots off the gate straight
as an arrow. He gets into turn
one first, but more important-
ly, gate four is starting to look
Pennsylvania privateer Ronnie
Stewart has second pick and
chooses gate four. Tickle’s
good launch a few minutes
ago helped clear the way,
and Stewart nails the start
and grabs a picture-perfect
holeshot—he’s the only rider
all night who will lead the field
into, through, and out of the
first turn. He goes on to finish
third in the LCQ and make the
third main event of his career.
9: 21 p.m.
250SX Main Event
“Check out those flames,”
Gary Busey says. “He’ll make
’em dance.” Busey and fellow
track man Zach Lawson are
showing me the flame machine that controls the burst
above the starting gate. You
“I think I got fourteen of twenty-four holeshots that
outdoor season,” Andrew Short says of the summer
of 2010. Back then Short was a factory Honda rider
on a CRF450R, and he credits the brand’s so-called
data bike used in testing. In those early days of EFI
and on-board electronics, telemetry and data acquisition helped Shorty become a better starter.
“For me it was a great opportunity to learn how to
maximize my rpm, the release of the clutch, and how
quick you could shift to third gear,” Short explains.
“It helped figure out that if I could shift in under two
seconds, we could really improve the starts. But every
time I would come in they would say things like, ‘Hey,
you shifted at this point, at this rpm, and pulled it
down to 7,000 rpm and then it had this much torque.’
Short is quick to explain that the team wasn’t
using traction control or other tricks on the bike.
Instead, Honda was able to break down starts scien-
tifically and build the perfect combination of clutch
release, rpm, throttle, and shift points. Then it was up
to Short to execute that plan in the motos.
“I was one rider that was able to adapt and use
that information, and I cared about it where other rid-
ers didn’t care at the time,” he recalls. “I even ripped
some massive starts at the des Nations in Colorado,
which was a career highlight for me. Once I learned it,
I could replicate it every time.”
Now that all bikes have EFI, telemetry and data
acquisition are commonplace for the big teams. And
as you’d expect in the field of electronics, what was
state-of-the-art in 2010 seems rudimentary now. Many
bikes today even use different engine-setting maps
specifically for starts—although ironically, Short’s
BTOSports.com KTM does not.
“I’ve always been kind of old-school, but I was definitely able to learn some things back then,” he says.
The Holeshot Machine
Andrew Short ( 3)
holeshots the 2010 Motocross
of Nations MX1/MX3 moto.