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This rule has been improved upon in the last few years. It basically says that riders or their mechanics cannot touch the dirt in the front of the the starting gate. Since the starting lines at AMA National and AMA Supercross races are worked on and groomed by the track crew constantly throughout the event, there is no need for the rider or his crew to go out and stomp in a line all the way to the first turn like in the old days. It took a while for this rule to become as clear as it is. The previous version of this rule stated that only natural material could be used “to form elevated pads under the rider’s feet.” This led to riders bringing their own personal rocks, sometimes boulders, to the starting line to stand on. Then, after the gate dropped, their mechanic would pick the rocks up and save them for the next start. The current rule only allows loose dirt to be used on the track.

This rule is harder to enforce at local races because the dirt in front of the starting gate is rarely reworked by the track crew once the day starts. Rocks, ruts and debris litter the starting lines at a local races, so for safety sake, riders, their mechnaics or parents will often have to go over the gate to fill in a rut or pick up rocks that could deflect the bike’s front wheel. The gist is that if the track takes care of the dirt in front of the gate, the riders should not be allowed to work on it, but if the track crew doesn’t, then the riders should have the right to fix the lay of the land.

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