Tuesday Tip: Blown Out

Sebastien Tortelli Shows You How To Deal With Turn Imperfections

Intro and Photos >> Garth Milan

deep, loamy corners that even local beginners can drag their bars through are one of the simple pleasures in life that just never seem to get old. But in reality, without imperfect, chunky and inconsistent turns, motocross wouldn¿t be motocross.

Corners develop weird and irregular lines for a variety of reasons, but whatever the case may be, they must be dealt with. Team Makita Suzuki¿s Sebastien Tortelli knows this all too well, as the Frenchman grew up racing the gnarled European Grand Prix circuit for years before coming stateside, where he was then greeted by all sorts of nasty conditions on the U.S. Motocross National tour. Seb was kind enough to lend us his expertise through this corner, a nasty uphill left that tends to send riders too wide. The result is a trip into the grass and a sure position loss. So sit back, pay attention and quit overshooting turns, already!


¿This uphill berm looks great, and it was at the beginning of the day, but since it¿s in the middle of a fairly steep climb it wound up with a blown-out rut that curved too wide. Being on an uphill grade made it even tougher, because it¿s very hard to keep enough momentum to maintain a smooth line through it. This means that the two important things to remember here are to look way ahead and make a smooth, steady turn with good throttle control.

¿The reason looking forward is so important is that before you even enter, you need to assess the situation and see what your options are. You should know what you are going to do before you even begin your turn.¿


¿Since I looked ahead and saw that the berm was blown, I made my decision to pivot a little early and square it off. This keeps me on the inside of the bad line. I lean a little more into the berm at the beginning, then hit the throttle and pull the front end around slightly with my upper body at the same time to make a more aggressive turn and ensure that I don¿t get the front wheel into the bad rut. Once you do that, it¿s hard to get out.

¿After you¿ve made your line decision and started the corner, don¿t be afraid to use your inside leg to help you pivot around. Sticking out your foot will help with stability and balance. When you do, however, remember to keep your foot well ahead of the pegs. If you drag it behind, you risk falling, or at best, being laughed at for your goony riding style. Last but not least, keep your finger on the clutch to help power the bike up the hill, but don¿t stab it too hard or your front end will pop up.¿