After finishing fifth at the Pepsi Coliseum, in Indianapolis, Indiana, Colton Haaker savored a two week rest prior to returning to racing in round four of the 2011 Geico AMA Endurocross Series, at Citizens Business Bank Arena, at Ontario, California. One could say that during his off time, the rider took advantage of the opportunity to get his ducks in a row.
Colton Haaker recently earned a spot on the podium at the 2011 Geico Endurocross Series, round four, at Ontario California.
During a two week break between races, Colton Haaker foused on balancing riding, training, gym, friends and life properly.
"Actually, it was the first week since well before X Games that I was able to balance riding, training, gym, friends and life properly! I had some great talks with my coaches, John Ellsworth and Charles Dao, solidifying my readiness," shared Haaker. "I was in a great mental state, and for the first time this year, I was a man with a plan."
Logistics played a large role in Colton Haaker's confidence level as well. In fact, the rider embarked upon a thirty-six hour drive from his home in Murrieta, California to race in Indianapolis just weeks prior, and Ontario was only forty-five minutes up the road. "My confidence level going into the event was good," shared Colton. I had more time to practice and train instead of having to drive thirty-six hours to get to the race," he continued. "Thirty-six hours is a long drive."
After rolling into Ontario, only two other riders exceeded Colton's time in the hot laps in the Pro Endurocross class. When his heat race was deemed underway, the rider experienced problems getting traction on his KTM 250 SXF bike during the start, but still managed to qualify directly into the main event. I knew that the race was going to be dependent upon the start," shared Haaker. "I was wrapping my brain around how I could keep from spinning."
After exploring several potential causes of the problem, the rider suddenly devised a solution upon arriving at the front of the gate, and realizing that previous runs had rutted the topsoil. In turn, Haaker simply leveled the soil from the sides of the grooves, which consequently produced better traction at his starting spot. "This way I could use my start device and start in my normal position without worrying about spinning," explained the rider.
Immediately upon the start, it became evident that Haaker had alleviated the problem, as he grabbed the second place position early on. Once taking the number two spot over, Haaker pursued, but never managed to overtake the leader, Taddy Blazusiak, before the race's end.
"I rode my race and finished a solid second place," explained Haaker. "I executed my game plan perfectly, and showed myself how powerful your mindset can be when you follow through with full intention of your plan. From there I was pumped. I mean I was absolutely ecstatic."
When asked about the importance of his team, the rider explained that friends and his father often serve as team members, but on occasion, he also heads out on the road by himself. Although, Haaker can and has raced alone, he was quick to explain that his team is a very important component and much appreciated. "It's one hundred percent better when they're there," shared the rider.
According to Colton, some of the riders competing in Endurocross racing modify their bikes while others, including him, don't. Regardless of any changes made, proper maintenance is essential if one plans to experience success on a consistent basis. That said, Haaker has been using K&N air and oil filters throughout the 2011 season. Although this is the first year he has used K&N products, Haaker stressed that he is very satisfied with their performance.
When asked what he enjoys about competing in the Endurocross Series, Colton Said, "I like the competition and the lifestyle. You have to get physically and mentally prepared for each race. I really like that. It's like a test every time."
In closing, Haaker said, "If endurocross is in your area, you should come out and watch, because it's some of the most exciting racing you'll see."
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