Posts Tagged ‘NESC’
Note: This is the second in a series of posts where I will be reviewing the motocross tracks of New England from my perspective. Remember, I am not an expert racer, but a newly promoted Amateur. These posts are my opinion, just because I like/dislike certain characteristics of a track does not mean riders of other abilities/preferences will like/dislike them.
-Photo by Paul Buckley.
Even though Hemonds Motocross park is one of the newest tracks in New England, it has already gained itself a reputation as one of the elite motocross parks in the area. Located in Minot, Maine, the track is quite a haul for me and most other New England riders, however, it is worth it. The park features two full sized motocross tracks. The original is a little smaller, tighter, and features a supercross-esque layout. The newer track is wide open, featuring big jumps, fast corners, and long straightaways. Because the newer track is used much more often, it is the one I will concentrate on for the remainder of this post.
-Photo by Paul Buckley.
Hemond's motocross park has several different types of dirt throughout its layout. For the most part however, the track is fairly hard packed. Personally, I am not the biggest fan of hard packed dirt. I love deep sandy berms, so the dirt at Hemond's is certainly not my favorite. However, many riders like the dirt, and I feel that it suits the layout well. I know that the crew over at Hemond's has been doing a lot lately to make the dirt softer, and their efforts have paid off. The track has improved light years from its original dirt which was absolutely rock hard, unforgiving, and not fun to ride on.
Hemond's has been working hard to expand the track, and in their efforts, they have introduced some new types of dirt into the layout. One of my favorite on the track, the rolling whoops before the finish line, features very soft and sandy dirt. This dirt is perfect for this type of section and gives the whoops a Southwick feel. Unfortunately, because the track cannot afford to water the more hard packed sections without making them unsafely slippery, the sandy section often does not get enough water throughout the day and becomes very dusty by the second half of the day. Nevertheless, this added variety of the dirt makes the track much more interesting, fun, and enhances the racing experience.
Note: This is the first in a series of posts where I will be reviewing the motocross tracks of New England from my perspective. Remember, I am not an expert racer, but a newly promoted Amateur. These posts are my opinion, just because I like/dislike certain characteristics of a track does not mean riders of other abilities/preferences will like/dislike them.
MX338 in Southwick, Mass is by far the most celebrated track in New England. With its long history of AMA Nationals and its ominous deep sand layout, Southwick is a track all motocross riders should ride. The berms are deep, the braking bumps choppy, and the holes big. Southwick is one of my favorite tracks on the NESC circuit, its fun layout combined with great dirt and good lines make it a blast to ride and race on.
By far, Southwick's most famous feature is its deep, cocoa brown sand. The almost beach like terra firma is known throughout the country as some of the best motocross sand around. Fortunately, the dirt at the 'wick does not disappoint, and fully lives up to it's reputation. In the morning the smoothed sand is a highway for riders of all abilities, but as the day progresses, the sand begins to break down. Great lines form throughout the track and huge breaking and acceleration bumps form which separate riders in almost every class. If you like sand, you'll love Southwick. The sand seems bottomless in places, and it definitely takes a certain type of riding style to master. Unfortunately, some of the newer sections of the track seem to have a harder base underneath them which aids in the formation of square edge bumps. These are not traditional for the track at all, and truthfully, I am not at all a fan of them. Overall, however, the dirt at MX338 is excellent. It is some of the most pure motocross sand in New England and the lines it forms make for great racing at the end of the day.
The 2008 motocross season is over, and it was a huge learning experience for me.
2008 was my first year on big bikes, and it was a lot of fun. I took the spring season completely off from racing and almost entirely off from riding. This gave both my father and I a needed mental and financial break from motocross. In addition, it allowed to get in better shape, so I would be ready for the bigger bikes, and it gave my dad time to find me a bike. After a few weeks of searching, my dad and X-Pro put together a 2006 RMZ250f for me. Although it is a few years old, X-Pro completely went through the entire bike, getting in back into excellent shape. The suspension was sent to Factory Connection and it worked awesome all season long. It may not have been the newest bike on the track, but it definitely was sufficient for my needs, and allowed me to adjust to the full sized four-stroke motocross bikes.
NESC Fall Series
After spending the Spring Series getting my bike together, I finally began racing in the fall in the NESC Fall Series. I had to miss the first race at MX207 because of mechanical issues with our box truck, so this meant that my first race of the year would be at CCC in Central Village, CT. This race was humbling to say the least, I hadn't ridden in weeks, and it was my first time ever riding my new bike. After a few weeks of racing, however, I finally started to get the hang of the bigger bike. I even managed to win a race in the 125 Youth C class at Jolly Rogers. A few weeks into the season, and I had already earned enough points to move up to the 125 Youth B class. This class was a lot faster than the C, but it felt good to know that I had moved out of the Youth C class after years of racing that class on my underpowered (compared to the 250fs) KX100. My first few races were really tough in the newer class, but, eventually I got the hang of the new pace, and began to improve my results. My best finish of the year in the Youth B class was a 5th at Jolly Rogers.