Look, sometimes a block pass is necessary during a race. Maybe the rider ahead is slower and upsetting the tempo of your moto, or maybe it’s the end of a long battle with a rival that needs a fitting finish. In either case, the thought of blasting the opponent in a corner will likely cross your mind. If so, make sure the move won’t put one or both of you on the ground, because that can only cause more issues back in the pit area. We decided that a Tuesday Tip on the proper block pass would be an important lesson for racers of all skills and speeds, so we asked SmarTop/MotoConcepts/Honda’s Vince Friese for a few pointers. No stranger to aggressive moves on the track, Friese was more than willing explain the technique.
1. PICK YOUR PLACE
“You have to set it up one or two turns before, and hit the section before the turn better than the guy in front. You have to be quicker in the turn to make a block pass, but you also have to hit the section before that a little better than the guy so that you can get a wheel on him. If you don’t have your front wheel ahead of him, then you’re both going to go down.”
“You need to avoid making contact unless it’s completely necessary. If you do make contact, make sure that you’re on the gas when exiting the turn.
“You have to leave the guy a little room at the top. And I think that’s what I’ve been criticized for the most, that I don’t leave the guy enough room up high when I make a block pass. Which is understandable and it’s frustrating when it happens to me, but that’s part of racing.
“I’m never trying to hurt or knock anyone down. The tracks are tight and a lot of times in a Supercross turn, there are just one or two ruts to pick from. The rut often goes all the way to the top of the hay bales and if you knock a guy out of that rut, he’s going into the bales. I think that I caught a bad rep for that in the past.
“You don’t want to lose time or crash when you make a pass, so you need to be strategic. If you’re making block passes but losing time, the guys ahead will pull away and the guys behind will catch up. Then it’s a waste of time and energy. You need to make it clean and not lose time in the process.”
3. BUMP & RUN
“Once you make the pass, you need to go off instincts and think the guy behind you will do the same thing in the next turn. If you can carry your momentum you should rail the next turn, because chopping turns off to the inside and slowing down is how you will lose time. You have to carry momentum and keep a flow.
“You want to make the pass and then get through the next section well so that you can carry the momentum. If you do that, you won’t have to worry about the guy stuffing it back on you. That’s the tricky part, because you don’t have eyes in the back of your head, so you need to have an instinct of when someone is coming for you.”