Determination is a huge factor in racing. Some racers have it and some search their entire careers trying to find it. The sad part for racers who struggle to find it is that it’s not a desire that can be found. It is a deep intrinsic motivator that has to come from within the rider. There are only so many times you can get beat and blame external factors like equipment or the track. The reality is it comes down to the determination of the rider. How bad do you really want it?
There is a feeling amongst top level riders that anything other than winning is losing and if I come home with second it is not good enough. Case in point, just a few days ago I was at Glen Helen for Quadcross. First of all you have to really want it in order to race Glen Helen in July as temperatures were up around a 100 and it is a dry heat. Dustin Nelson is the king of Quadcross, he has won every moto in the pro class for as far back as I can recall. There is something about his presence on the track at Quadcross that makes everyone look. If they see the number 94 coming everyone gets out of the way. He sets the standard at every race and all the competition watches him for lines.
On Saturday his moto winning streak came to an end. At the controls of MCR Racing’s Beau Baron. Beau is a great rider and he has kept Dustin honest for most of the season. In Moto 1 Baron got an awesome start and put about a 15 second gap on the field. Dustin had to come through the pack and finally caught Baron but just ran out of time. In moto 2 you could see the look of determination on Dustin’s face. He was not talking to anyone on his way to the line, he had his head down and was focused. I would say the race was over in the first corner for Moto 2. As Nelson took the holeshot and checked out by the end of lap 1.
His determination took over that race and everyone in attendance knew it. Dustin was the only racer on the day to jump the 100ft triple in the back and used that to gap the entire pro field every lap. Determination came through again and Dustin is back on top. His 2-1 moto score gave him the overall and extended his points lead. Dustin is a true champion in the sport and he has that deep intrinsic determination that cannot be taught. You either have it or you don’t and Dustin has it. This is about as close as anyone came to him in that second moto: