Ask any poker player and they’ll tell you being successful involves a lot of skill, mental preparation and a little luck.
Much can be applied to the sport of motocross racing, said Williams Lake professional rider Brock Hoyer, who recently wrapped up the western leg of the 2011 Monster Energy CMRC Canadian Motocross Nationals (MECMN).
“It’s just like playing poker,” the 24-year-old rider said. “If you’re getting good hands you’re going to have a good finish and that’s how this series is. If you’re starting off with good hands that sets you up for the overall finish.”
His fifth year competing at the MECMN, Hoyer’s best result came two years ago in Quebec where he finished second. That same year he finished seventh overall in the MX2 championship series.
This year, racing in the MX1 event featuring some of the best riders in the world, the ante was raised due to challenging track conditions. Hoyer said prior to the start of the series getting off to a good start is critical in determining the overall standings over the nine-race series that spans across Canada.
The first race, held at Kamloops’ Whispering Pines from June 4-5, saw Hoyer nab a sixth overall finish.
“The Kamloops run went well,” Hoyer said. “It was a good competition, really tough terrain and really dry and hot. I rode my Kawasaki the best I could have. That’s kind of the telling point, the first round, to see how everyone’s going to compete.”
Next, Hoyer, who competes for Leading Edge Kawasaki, travelled to Nanaimo’s Wastelands race track June 11-12 for the series’ second race.
“It was a little bit wetter weather there,” he said. “Still, it was a good weekend and I finished up seventh overall.”
From that point on, Hoyer said, the western races turned into mud races, as heavy rainfall pelted the tracks over his next two destinations.
The Wild Rose MX park in Calgary from June 18-19 saw Hoyer take eighth overall.
“It rained all week long and ended up being a complete mud race,” he said. “I didn’t even go out and practice it was so bad.”
The rain didn’t let up, either, for Hoyer’s next race at the Shadow Valley Raceway in Winnipeg from June 25-26.
“It rained and was even muddier,” he said. “After the first moto I was sitting fifth, and then I went down and got hit by another rider and broke two ribs. I got my bike cleaned up and went up for the second moto and finished 10th there, but the same thing — the mud was nasty. It was the muddiest race I’ve ever been to.”
Hoyer said he likely won’t compete in any of the eastern Canadian races except for the last one in Walton, Ont. from Aug. 20-21 due to travel costs.
“I’m just going to go out there and represent the west coast,” Hoyer said.
After missing the first eastern race in Courtland, Ont. Hoyer still sits 12th overall on the series leader board.
“My biggest thing with racing this year is to just have fun,” he said. “Just let it all hang out, but enjoy it. As soon as you aren’t enjoying it it becomes a job.”
As for whether Hoyer will compete at next year’s MECMN, he said there’s a good possibility.
“It looks like I’ll be racing again next year,” he said. “We’ve been talking with more sponsors and the deals keep getting better so I think for sure I’ll do another year of it.
“Next year if we’re going to do it we’re going to do all nine rounds.”