Three Secrets to Faster Lap Times

Lowering your Lap Times

In BMX racing we’re trying to out position each other out for the gate and down the first straight and around the track. Nowadays, we tend to use time as a measurement of feedback as well, and it’s good to understand your times, so you know where you stand against the competition.

In this post, we’re going to reveal three secrets on how to lower your overall lap time, so that you know you have more speed and more confidence…

As a pro, we used to have to do time trials for seeding in an effort to figure out gate selection and despite winning over 100 professional races, I was never a top 5 time trial guy. I just wasn’t, however, I studied and studied on how to lower my lap times because I kept getting it wrong. I knew I was one of the fastest, you don’t win pro race without getting the holeshot, but I learned a few things about lowering my times, and I want to share these secret discoveries with you.


Number One. Gate Start and First Straight

Having a great and efficient gate start and great power down the first straight is key to lowering your lap time. At the Olympic level of coaching, I was doing Dartfish overlays of my Olympic riders in an effort to win Olympic medals, and I always found that it was just too hard to make up ground on the rest of the track when you have an okay first straight, or if you fell behind. 

Because in BMX, you have one gear, you’re not going to shift and go faster with the same cadence. Are you going to pedal faster? Well, you’re already programmed to pedal at your maximum speed. So I found that if you want a good to great or even outstanding time then it starts with the gate and the first straight…

So in an effort to lower your lap times, addressing your gate start technique is the best place to start, and then of course, increasing your acceleration to the first jump, after the first jump, making sure you work on your top end leg speed.

Number Two: Turns

 Again, after doing tons of dartfish video overlays, the next easiest way to lowering your lap times is your line choice in the turns.

I used to make a mistake in my time trials thinking that I could just go up a gear and then rail the outside of the turns and pedal the whole thing and while indeed I was actually going faster, I was also taking a longer line around the track.

So, the next secret is to work on your line choices and also work on your ability to carry speed.

I used to coach this kid who won an Olympic medal, MIke Day, and one of the things we totally worked on was taking the tightest radius line that allowed one to maintain traction, because if you slid out, you were done. The tightest radius line that matched your entrance speed. 

The other thing we worked on was aggressively carrying our speed on the exit of the turns, getting on the pedals as soon as we could.

Now obviously in tight race situations, lap times are out the door, because if you win, who cares what the lap time was…

One of the biggest mistakes that racers make is actually worrying more about their exit speed rather than protecting their position. I can’t tell you how many times my father told me to protect the inside first when I was an eleven year old kid. I was too worried about my momentum, and to be honest, I was worried about it because I barely had enough strength and power to re-accelerate out of the turns. So the thing is, you want to work on re-accelerations even if you do inside entry coming out high and slow, you’re always better off being ahead out of the turn, rather than getting passed because it’s already hard enough to pass another rider in BMX.


Number Three: Track Skill Technique

The last secret is working on your technique and efficiency on the jumps. You have to change your mindset that jumps are meant to build speed, not slow you down.

Any mistakes you make on the jumps or in the rhythm section cost you speed and it requires exponential energy and effort to regain that lost time and speed - in other words, most times than not, you’re not going to make it up, like ever.

So working on your manualing, pumping, and jumping and mastering your technique is key to efficiency.


Keep working on all of the little things that add up and be consistent in doing do, and before you know it, you will lower your lap times, and be even faster, winning more races!


In Gratitude,

Greg Romero


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