Like any form of racing, there is no substitute for seat time and these sessions let riders keep their skills razor sharp, learn new ones and test different setups as well as try new lines through the turns.
One rider taking this opportunity was 14-year-old Gavin Clouser, who's usually a contender in any race he enters and has competed in several Dodge Amateur Nationals over the last few years.
"I started on 60's in the 7 to 11 class," he said. "I think I got top seven in every moto then top 10 in the 85's."
This year Clouser stepped up from a smaller 85cc machine to a 250F, which is a bigger and more powerful bike. So he had to make adjustments for his new ride.
"The transition is crazy, the power is unbelievable, the suspension is so much better, the bike is so much smoother and faster, I love it," he said. "I have to have my elbows out and my legs out so it turns sharper and leans it over."
The Nationals are a weeklong event in August where riders are on the track every day. This year Clouser finished second in the 125C and third in the 250 Mod classes.
Another major amateur event is the Loretta Lynn Nationals. Asked about that event, he said, "I've qualified every year I've tried out but there's just not enough money."
Clouser and his father, Bill, are one of those father-son teams that populate the sport. So making the trek to Tennessee takes some sponsorship money that isn't there at present.
"The practices are really important, you get to keep your speed up and practice your techniques. And it's really important to keep yourself fast and keep your stamina up," he said.
Conditioning is an important part of motocross, as it is so demanding physically. Clouser goes to the MRI Fitness Training Complex every Tuesday and Thursday where he gets help from trainer/owner Max McManus.
And like any motorsport athlete, Clouser has a group of sponsors that help him out. Besides his father, who does the wrenching, some of those supporters are, LivFast, Bridgestone, Wal-Mart, Hammerhead, Oakley Goggles, Monster Energy and several others.
A few weeks ago, Clouser was involved in another first where he was one of the riders signing autographs for fans.
"It was actually really cool because all the little kids came up to me and asked to autograph their hats and everything," he said. "It was kind of fun as it is a confidence and ego booster and I feel better about myself."
After following his heroes when he was younger, now Clouser finds that he's a hero to other younger riders.
While he won't race this winter, he and his father plan some trips to California so Clouser can practice on the tracks over there.
Another rider taking advantage of Sunday's practice session was Justin Mastalka. The veteran rider has been road racing but is coming back to motocross where he started racing.
"In 2006 I took off and tried my hand in it and fell in love with road racing," he said.
He also feels that both sports help a rider when they switch types of racing.
"Motocross helps road racing because naturally on motocross you stay loose and let the bike wiggle and move around underneath you," he said. "On the road racing you tend to freeze up when it starts to move around at 120 miles an hour. So the motocross allowed me to say, 'it's OK when it starts to wiggle and it's OK to slide.'"
He explained that he's brought lessons from the road back to his motocross riding.
"Your entry, your mid-corner, your apex and into your exit. Road racing teaches you how to flow because you don't have that 'park and shoot,' capability in road racing," he said. "You do that then six guys are going around you."
Sunday was his first time back on a motocross bike in three years but Mastalka felt good and thought his new corning technique helped him get around quicker.
One adjustment, besides getting used to a 4-stroke machine, was that in road racing everything is a push when you ride. In motocross a rider is also pulling as well as hanging on as they negotiate the course.
Mastalka also brought along a Reno rider, 13-year-old Cody Force, who was also taking advantage of the practice session.
"The sessions are very important as it gives you time to test suspension for races, learn new stuff, hit a jump you've never jumped before and I consider it very important," he said. "Keeps your strength up and is good."
So all during the day these three riders, as well as several others that ride in different classes, were honing their skills as well as testing their bikes. And they were all having fun, riding with their friends as well as enjoying the great weather.
Those wishing further information about the times and days Exit 28 hosts these sessions they are usually listed at, www.mx775.com.
OTHER RACING NEWS
•MRANN desert racers finish their season with a two-day meet called the Cranberry 100. The course is 20 miles on the dirt road leading from the Toulon exit (east of Lovelock) on I-80.
Saturday begins at 9:30 a.m. with the Pee Wee race followed by the Women and Mini Bikes racing over a 19-mile long course. Sunday is for the big bikes and they start at 9:30 a.m. and race on a 44-mile loop; to be classed as finish, a rider has to complete one lap.
•NASCAR'S Las Vegas trio finished their respective seasons at Homestead, Fla. this weekend. In Friday's Camping World Truck event Kyle Busch started sixth and finished second after leading late in the event.
The Nationwide series ended its season on Saturday evening and Kyle Busch ended up second again after starting on the pole while Brendan Gaughan had one of his best races qualifying 16th and finishing third.
Late in Sunday's Sprint Cup race Kyle had the lead but a late stop for fuel dropped him to fourth at the end while older brother Kurt Busch came from 26th to finish 9th.
•The Wild West Motorsports Park, north off the Mustang exit, will hold a Super Lite ride-a-long day on Friday, November 30. For further information and reservations those interested should call, 775-824-4300.
For anyone that attended the Lucas Off Road race this summer, this is a chance to see the course, and experience the thrills, from the cockpit of a two-seat truck.