In his short time as a pro, GEICO Motorcycle Honda's Zach Bell developed a reputation for earning breakneck holeshots on the way to some wild, and at times, punishing rides.
After a season mostly lost to injury, Bell said he's going to take a new approach to his sophomore season that he hopes will translate to higher finishes and fewer bumps and bruises.
"Last year was not so great for me," Bell said. "It pretty much went down the drain in Toronto when I got hurt bad enough that I couldn't race the outdoors season. This year I'm going to get some races under my belt and find a comfort zone."
Bell has spent much of the off-season training at the facility of multi-time Monster Energy AMA Supercross champion James Stewart.
"I've been at his place in Florida," Bell said. "I'm just trying to pick up my speed, but I'm also concentrating on limiting the mistakes I made last year. It's so important to learn and move forward."
Racing a 250cc bike in Supercross was a bigger step than Bell anticipated it would be.
"No one can really tell you what it's like until you get out there and do it yourself," Bell said. "It was a big learning curve for me. Now I know what to expect, and I'm going to take the process a little slower so I can build on my successes and be consistent throughout the whole year."
The time he had to sit out recovering and rehabbing from injury was the longest he's been away from a motorcycle since he was 4 years old.
"I remember coming home from school and all I wanted to do was ride my bike," Bell said. "Even though my dad wasn't home from work yet, my mom would get my 50cc out, gas it up, and I would go to town riding in the yard until it was too dark to see.
"I was fortunate enough to win a lot of championships as an amateur. I didn't even really know what winning meant at first. I was just happy I was able to have fun riding my motorcycle."
With a more measured approach in 2014, Bell hopes to start adding professional wins to his collection of amateur titles.
"I learned the hard way last year," Bell said. "You have to be there at the end to be able to win the race, and I plan on limiting the tip-overs so I can get race experience that I can turn into wins."