The Breakdown:  Walker on Freestone

The Breakdown Walker on Freestone

May 30, 2012 12:30pm

What’s up, everyone! So good to be back with you guys again this week. I want to express my gratitude to you all for the love you guys have shown this column and myself! We are trying hard to offer something cool and different.

Now let me just say... Nah I'm not going to jinx it. All in due time, I suppose. But I will say, again, that James Stewart will finish the season strong and then dominate the des Nations and after the Monster Cup everyone will forget they ever said a negative word about him and be back on the bandwagon! That's the way it goes, I guess. I think back, and I know for myself having money can sometimes make you lazy. Not in Ricky Carmichael’s case because he is the tightest SOB that has ever lived! But for most, money can make you lose motivation or hunger. I'm sure Bubba is set for life by now and is not racing for the money at this point, obviously, but I do think that for him to "ride for free" has made him a lot hungrier to win. Now, onto the Breakdown.

What a better way to start this column off than to show Blake Baggett’s jump into the Texas 12-pack at Freestone! This jump has inspired me to put one in at my own facility.

If you noticed no 450s jumped this jump. Why? Well, more than likely it was probably too hard to time a jump this big on a 450. It’s also very easy to get whiskey throttle jumping into rollers on a bigger bike. Blake more than likely had it pegged in the right gear and his timing was spot on when he first hit it and then repeated the sequence over and over.

A lot of people asked why would he risk the title for this jump? Well, I can't say for certain, but I know a lot of riders look forward to jumping big hits like this during a race. It makes the moto seem to go by quicker because the whole lap you’re riding around waiting to get back to that big hit. I’m sure for Blake this jump was not that big of a deal.

Simon Cudby photos

If you think about it he is only jumping extremely high into a set of rollers. The first thing that stands out is how high his front end is in the air. When he first takes off he keeps the nose high until he knows for sure he has timed the jump right so he won’t jump too far or come up short.

Once he realizes he has the distance he still doesn't drop the front end like you would an SX triple. Why? Because he is landing in sand for starters. Too much weight on the front could make him endo after he lands. With a jump this big you want the rear tire to come down first. That's something for you guys at home to practice doing. On the right jump try to land the front tire first and the rear tire first. It will pay off if you get it down, especially on a jump like this.

The last thing here is, you want to make sure your Revs are up waaay high when you land. A jump this big, and landing this hard, can cause a hesitation on impact with a fuel injection bike or not!

Remember last week when I talked about dipping your inside shoulder in turns? Notice how James' shoulders are in this photo. This is textbook. I love how his leg is straight and his toe is pointing up. His leg is straight and is leading the way for the bike to follow.


Look at his head. See how it sits behind the bars, and his body is not all scrunched over the front? Textbook. All I can say is that this is a really cool shot.

I love this shot of Roczen. Check out his right foot. Look how his tippy toes are on the pegs and his heel is up. What you have to ALWAYS BE CAREFUL of when doing a scrub like this is your side foot. Look at Kenny's left foot. He knows that when the bike has this much tilt that the pegs are surely going to scrape up the face. If his foot is still on this peg it will rip him off the bike into a superman-like formation.

But Kenny lifts his left leg right before any of this could ever happen. If you look close you can see his foot is off the peg leaving all the weight on the outside foot.
He locks his left arm, which dictates how much he wants to scrub the bike. If the inside arm wasn't locked he couldn't put pressure on the bar.

Locking your elbow helps add the right amount of pressure to the bar, which in return makes the bike lean, which in turn makes you scrub. Get it? Good.


Although Eli Tomac rode the damn wheels off his Honda at Freestone I had to show this photo in reference to the last one of Roczen.

In this photo Tomac lifts his inside leg. Which is a given. You almost have to on these type jumps. But look at his left arm. See how it's slightly bent? He couldn't stay low and put much English on the bike because of his inside arm being bent. If it were locked he could have pitched the bike more sideways. But hell, he may not have wanted to. Who knows?


Now I wanted to show this last photo because it tells a story. I had a kid get hurt scrubbing like this at my class last weekend and I chose this as my last shot so maybe it doesn't happen to you.

When you scrub and the bike kicks out like Kenny’s, as the bike is coming down to the ground you have to turn the bars back! Most riders get caught up in the moment and forget to turn the bars back. If you don't you will land the same way you started. Sideways!


Thanks again for reading,

See you next week!

@Matt Walker122