Ivan Tedesco shows that stadium rockers are easier than they look
Intro And Photos» Garth Milan
There¿s no question about it¿deep stadium whoops are positively the scariest obstacle on a Supercross track, beating out even the triple jump in terms of both skill and danger. To prove this point, go early to the next SX round near your house and watch the non-seeded practice session. Every one of the triple digit riders will huck the triple, but only a select few will try their hand at blitzing the rockers full speed ahead like the factory boys do.
As technology gets better and suspension systems are able to handle more, the size of whoops increase at a similar pace, and these days it¿s not unusual to see rockers that are nearly hip deep. Whatever the size of the whoops, though, the same basic principles apply. We popped our heads in during a recent day of testing at Kawasaki¿s private Supercross track to ask the defending 125cc West Coast Supercross Champ Ivan Tedesco how he tackled the monsters with such dexterity, and he was eager to tell us that whoops are way easier and less intimidating than most people think when the correct blitzing procedures are used. Take it away, Hot Sauce¿
¿The first thing I do before even going through a set of whoops is to look ahead and assess the situation. Some sets are bigger and more spaced apart than others, so instead of blitzing over the tops of them, I jump rhythmically through the section. This type would be a whole different article, though; the ones I¿m here to talk about are the more evenly spaced, ¿normal¿ whoops found at most Supercross tracks. While you¿re looking ahead and deciding the method you¿ll use, also remember to take in all of the important aspects of the set, like how many bumps there are, how close they are out of a corner, etc.
FEAR OF COMMITMENT
¿Okay, here¿s where things get a little scary. Once you¿ve decided on blitzing them, the secret to the whole thing is commitment. You cannot enter slowly and off the gas or sitting down and still think you¿ll be able to skim the tops of the bumps. Instead, you need to sack up, up-shift a couple of times and be in an aggressive attack position ready to handle the jolts.
¿Believe it or not, I enter this set of rockers that sit right out of a tight bowl turn in fifth gear! I know it sounds ridiculous, but this is the only way to go in deep whoops. Any lower of a gear will cause your suspension to bind up, a result that the higher rpm levels of the engine have on the rear shock. Once in a high gear, stay centered to a little bit back on the bike, keep your elbows up in the attack position, continue looking ahead and be ready to make adjustments based on how your bike bucks you. You¿ll probably be kicked both forward and back as well as side to side, but if you are in the correct position and are prepared to deal with this, it will be no big deal. Remember, commit!¿