ENG // MotoRC 3 – Being playful bit me

Lack of confidence is oftentimes detrimental... Duh! The arrival of the “prince of sightless change”


Bogdan Vrajitoru

6/4/20193 min read

First practice day

My tomcat, Boris, was missing for 3 days and I went to search for him the evening before. I found a bloodstain on the road in my neighborhood and some silver hair and thought he must have been run over by a car. I went home and told my wife, Georgiana. We both started crying and remembered in tears how we had saved him before from a deadly injury. She asked me to take her to the spot to see it for herself; we were looking for the smallest proof that it wasn’t him, but everything indicated otherwise. Then I had to leave for the racetrack. During that day, Georgiana couldn’t stand still. She went and asked around if people had seen the cat on the pavement and if they knew who took the body, because we wanted to bury it. But people described the dead cat as being black and white, while Boris was gray. She then found the lady that lived just across the bloodstained spot, who confirmed that it was in fact her cat that was killed and encouraged Georgiana to keep searching. She called me at the racetrack. Our tomcat was most likely alive! I was relieved, but I still couldn’t figure out where he was...

I returned from the racetrack and posted a “Missing cat” status on Facebook. Later that night, at around 12 p.m., Georgiana heard a faint “meow” outside, in the distance. It came from inside our neighbors’ house. We woke them up politely and told them we heard our cat inside their house, all the while hoping that we were right and we didn’t bother them for nothing. It turned out our tomcat had entered their attic while they were renovating and they closed him in there by mistake. He was locked for 3 days. We only heard him at night because there wasn’t any street noise.

With Boris saved once again, I could finally focus on the race. I was now willing to play.

Qualifying day

I met my main opponent on the track and just wanted to play the arrogant card. I would just stay behind him and he hated it. I was having a blast; I just wouldn’t leave him alone. One time he almost stopped at a standstill; I stopped also. He nodded his head at me and after that he launched his fast lap. I immediately followed him. With him in front of me, I had a visual marker to lean on, so I got the pole position. Don’t worry, I also did a faster lap by myself, but in my mind the main event was the game I played.

Race day

After the hassle with my missing cat and the way I annoyed my opponent (I knew he was going to be extra motivated for the race), I got a bit mentally tired.

I tried to stay relaxed and focus, but the idea that I needed to do something – “to be smart” in order to win this race – grew inside my mind. Now, this is too much thinking, the kind of thinking that will bite you. Mentally, you put yourself in a position where what you offer feels not enough of a performance. Because I sat behind him during qualifying, I was anxious about the straight line, where he kind of pulled away; this thought stuck in my head.

We started the race and I played the observer. I was sitting behind, trying to see where I could make a difference. I felt tired from all the stress. I remember seeing the sign for 5 laps to go and thinking “I’m not ready to pass”. This was a hesitation. With 2 laps to the finish, I found a spectacular move. I passed him on the outside, in front of the crowd, going around him. But for the next corner he had the inside line; he just blocked me, so I couldn’t make the pass stick for more than one corner. I was ready to try something again, when another rider crashed and his motorcycle remained on the trajectory. I hesitated a little once again and my opponent got a cushion of time for the final lap. I couldn’t make it. He beat me fair and square.

But, in hindsight, this was the race that gave me an advantage. Afterwards, I never hesitated again. Sometimes, a race teaches you a lesson and gives you the opportunity to correct yourself or adapt for the next event. This race showed me a flaw in my way of thinking. Now I’m trying not to get into this kind of mind trap ever again. All the preparations that you make before the events build up within you and, when you arrive at the start line, you present what you CAN do. Of course, it’s an art to make up strategies and take decisions as the race progresses and you can’t do that while training. During the race, you can always find something more. My mistake here was that I did not have the best level of confidence, so I couldn’t bring in that race what I could truly do. I wrongly focused on the idea that I needed something else.

At the end of the third race, I was second in the championship, 5 points away. Nothing was lost. From this episode, I learned something especially important that changed me as a rider.