Jeff Ward’s school is in session

The deep rutted corner offers one of the scariest visuals in all of motocross. It conjures up cross rutting, catching a boot and torqueing you knee into yogurt, or just plain making a fool of yourself. Former champion Jeff Ward still motos weekly and shows the skills needed to conquer the fear and use it to put in faster and more consistent lap times.


It’s all about entering the corner with three things in mind, your speed, machine control and proper mechanics. Jeff says that choosing a rut is key, and this is something that you should have figured out in practice (or walking the track before your moto). Remember, do your braking early, maintain a good athletic pose on the machine and keep your mass centralized.

Wardy states that falling back on the machine is no bueno, work hard at keeping your head over the gas cap/handlebar zone. Feed the clutch smoothly, abrupt burst again are no bueno. Keep your eyes looking at your exit point, not right at the front fender.

Jeff acknowledges that a smooth and low exit is preferable to a lofted front end, but when the ruts start to intersect at the exit point a light front end and power will get you out of the turn and moving to the next track obstacle.

Even though the front end is high, Jeff is on the power and feeding the clutch to maintain traction. Too, his weight has stayed mid-machine with his head over the first third of the machine.

Jeff sets the front end down on a line that won’t interrupt his flow; he lets out the clutch and proceeds to hammer on the throttle. Look at his head; he’s focused hard on the track after the turn! This is classic smooth-to agro-to flow form that makes for fast lap times and keeps your dangling limbs from catching, ripping and vaulting to the back of the machine.

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