Doug is always happy to talk moto.
MXA: How did you decide to start doing classes?
Doug: It’s something that developed over quite a while. Back in ’94, Yamaha offer a free school when you bought a YZ. It was something Rick Johnson and I did together, and it was a lot of fun. Through that experience I learned that it was rewarding to teach and that it involved talking moto and all the stuff I love to do day in and day out. But I never thought beyond it, I always had a full plate. When I started attending a lot of amateur races, more and more guys would come over to my truck and talk moto, and would share some of my knowledge. Then the next year we made it official, we had a space and announced it from the tower. From there it just kept growing, from 20 or 30 people to well over a hundred with standing room only at Loretta Lynns. We got emails for private lessons and schools for a year and a half or longer, until we finally decided to try it. It’s not something I will turn all my attention to, but people have sought me out and I enjoy doing it.
MXA: Can you take us through a typical day in a your class?
Doug: It’s a pretty full day, going from nine o’clock until past two in the afternoon. We gather everyone up and have a little talk in the morning. Then we go out and do starts right away. That’s one of the things I have been known for in my career, and to this day, I’m one of the better starters out there, so it’s something I can really expand on and go into detail on. Then we go into braking, which is important for the average rider for safety reasons as well as lowering our lap times. Then we go into corners, because the entire time we are talking about braking we are talking about how to set up for corners. We spend a fair amount of time on corners because on our little surveys asking what people want to get out of the class, the number one thing is corners. We provide a light lunch with sandwiches and what-not, and it’s always a great bench racing session during lunch hour. We pick back up on corners, and then move on to jumps. It’s always hard with jumping and riders of all levels because it’s uncomfortable to many riders, especially to do it well. So we just work on technique and not so much on clearing any specific obstacle. Well into the afternoon, we have sort of an open mic, and encourage people to talk about areas where they struggle, and everyone seems to learn from each other. Often, when the official class is done, we continue talking for quite a while.Even as a vet, Doug has been know to show-up young National pros.
Can you give us a teaser about specific tips?
Doug: Starts would be an easy thing for me. There are so many little things that make a good starter. In the class we go through the whole list, but a teaser would be to always be aware of the starting mechanism itself. Understand how it works and know the speed of the gate, there can be advantages there. Make yourself familiar, especially if you are new to the track. You have to get up there early and look for things that will give you an advantage over the next guy. The old rule of thumb is that if the gate is fast falling you want to be up close to it, but if it’s slow falling back up a foot and a half or so.How about a corners teaser?
Doug: There are so many things going on in corners. You need to be aware of your body position on the bike. You have to be loose and agile on the bike. A lot of the guys I work with are sort of stuck in one position. They learn when the bike leans, and they sit up straight when the bike sits up straight. They’ve got to learn to disconnect their hips and swivel around, letting the bike move under them. And then there’s that commitment into the corner. If you are going to go in there fast, you have to lean it over. If you go in slow, you had better keep it upright.
Thanks for the great tips Doug.
Doug: Okay, thank you.Visit www.dubachracing.com and for complete info, pricing and class dates.