Tuesday Tip | Enzo Lopes

Taking On Rutted Speed-Check Rollers


Here in Southern California, speed-check rollers are an obstacle that we don’t encounter very often, as they’re primarily found on professional race and practice tracks. Commonly found on past Red Bull Straight Rhythm courses, the purpose of a speed-check roller is just that; a tall, steep roller designed to check (slow) a rider’s speed as they roll over it. Often times, these rollers are usually located within high-speed sections for obvious reasons, but they can also be found at the exit of a few corner, which seemingly defies the purpose of a speed-check, right? Yes, however it makes for yet another unique obstacle that the pros must perfect.

Just recently, Milestone MX introduced a massive speed-check type roller to it’s main track that later turned out to be a double with a very small landing. Naturally it’s become a roller for the majority of the motocross community, as many of us lack the courage to attempt the intimidating jump. Since it’s introduction, many riders have been left scratching their heads when it comes to the proper technique, so we felt this was the perfect opportunity to squeeze some knowledge from another rider that knows exactly what their doing.

Born in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, Enzo Lopes has been racing since the age of six, and after a number of years of racing in his homeland, the young racer began traveling to the United States for a better opportunity in racing, and quickly became established as one of the sport’s rising stars. Currently racing in the A Class, Lopes prepares to turn pro next season, so you better believe this 17 year old has a few tricks up his sleeve, and that’s why he’s the subject of this “Tuesday Tip.” After watching Lopes tackle this steep roller lap after lap, we felt it was necessary to get a few riding tips out of the number 16 after his training session with Brett Metcalfe on Milestone MX’s Supercross track, and this is what he had to say.

1. Entering the turn

“When you are entering the turn, remember to be patient, as you don’t want to come in too hot. You can upset your rhythm and timing by doing so.  Always look ahead, and maintain a comfy, but proper position on the bike. Remember, if you are doing a 15 laps moto, you have to make the least amount of mistakes as possible; that’s why it’s important to find the proper timing.”

2. Body position

“Approaching a turn on my feet feels better, as I can maneuver the bike a little more efficiently. I feel like I’m able to guide the bike into the rut better when I’m standing, and then once I’m about to go over the roller I sit down and follow through the rut without rushing!”

3. The roller

“Going through these types of corners with a roller at the exit is always challenging because the large rut that typically develops isn’t straight, and you can’t see the end of it. To help with this, putting in lap after lap is the best thing you can do, as each rut is different. Once you conquer the rut, you can then focus on putting the rut and roller together as one obstacle.”

4. Rut

“As I mentioned, the roller usually carves out a very deep rut over the top, and that’s something you must pay attention to. When you’re going through the rut, make sure your inside leg stays very high, so it doesn’t get caught on the ground. This will eliminate any chance crashing! Always have one finger on the clutch, even tho you’re not using it. If something happens though, you can use it to possibly avoid a crash.”
5. Exit

“This is the fast part. After you make it over the roller and through the deep rut, get your eyes up and the power to the ground as you charge into the next obstacle.”