How to Select a Starting Gate in Motocross: Part 1 of 4

How to Select a Starting Gate in Motocross: Part 1 of 4


Welcome to our in-depth guide on mastering motocross starts, brought to you by The Moto Academy and pro supercross racer AJ Catanzaro. In this four-part series, we'll cover everything from selecting the right gate to perfecting your launch technique.

Choosing the Right Gate

When selecting a gate, weigh the pros and cons of position versus condition. Sometimes, the choice of a gate with the best line and rut for exit is crucial, especially on tracks with deep ruts. However, on tracks where the rut isn't a significant factor, prioritize gate position to ensure the shortest and most effective route to the first corner.

Seating Strategy: Positioning for Optimal Control

Begin by sitting at the front of the seat, then slide back about a hand’s width from the front. This positions you in the seat's sweet spot and pulls your pants tight underneath you, preventing any unwanted shifting during acceleration.

Foot Positioning and Stability

Foot placement is crucial for a good start. Position your feet tightly in front of the foot pegs, wedging them between the shift and brake levers and the pegs. This helps maintain stability and control during the launch.

Body Position and Movement

Lean your chest down to the crossbar pad and maintain this position until reaching the first corner. Minimizing movement ensures better control and a more effective start.

Gearing Up for the Start

Most riders should start in second gear. Use two fingers on the clutch for better control and a smoother clutch release. Avoid shifting from first to second at the start to prevent accidentally hitting neutral.


Mastering the art of the start in motocross is a combination of selecting the right gate, perfecting your seating strategy, and fine-tuning your body positioning. Stay tuned for the next part in our series for more insights. Don't forget to check out The Moto Academy Community App for more tips and tricks, and consider in-person training with AJ Catanzaro to elevate your skills.