AURORA, Ill. – The Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open announced today that Suzuki’s Nico Izzi, of St. Claire, Mich., will race at this year’s Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open at Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Garden Arena October 10-12.
Izzi, 18, turned pro in 2007 where he raced a limited schedule following an illustrious amateur career. In 2008 he entered his rookie AMA Supercross Lites season and finished third in the Eastern Region. During the Eastern Regional AMA Supercross championship Izzi finished inside the top 10 at six races and earned a podium spot at Indianapolis’ RCA Dome, which was the second professional race of his career.
“Every weekend I learn something,” said Izzi about the experience he gained as a rookie. “In any race, unless you’re the fastest guy out there and in great shape, you have to get a good start and you have to throw down at least 8 to 10 quick laps. Everybody’s fast, so it’s not like there’s three or four fast guys; there’s a team of 20 fast guys out there.”
At the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open, he will race against the world’s top supercross racers for the first time in his young career.
“I think it will be a really good experience,” said Izzi. “You can learn a lot from those guys. They’re a little bit more calm than the Lites guys. The 450 guys don’t clean each other out as much as the Lites guys do, but I’m sure it’ll get a little hectic with the Lites guys -- with us Lites kids – and with the 450 guys. There are a lot of fast people on such a small track.”
Although riders have a choice to ride the 250F or 450F motorcycle, Izzi will race the 450F, saying neither bike has a dramatic advantage.
“The disadvantages are going be the starts, of course, and then some of the advantages are probably going to the tight turns … pretty much all the tight stuff. But if the track’s really tacky and there’s good grip to it, the 450 will be better everywhere. If it gets dry and slick, I think the Suzuki RM-Z250 will be better, just because you can control the bike a little bit better. You just have to wait and see how the track turns out.”
Izzi became the first rider in history to win back-to-back 85cc Mini Invitational championships at the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open. In 2003, he finished 2-1-2-1 in the four-race format beating Josh Hill, who now rides for the Factory Yamaha team. At the 2004 Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open, Izzi swept all four races.
“I haven’t raced it since I was 13, but it was pretty good,” said Izzi. “It’s always been good to me. I won all those years, and I liked it. It’s pretty tight. It’s like arenacross, and you just have to get a good start because it’s like a take-out fest. You can win a lot of money there.”
Tickets are now available for the 10th anniversary of the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas October 10-12, 2008 at www.ussx.com, www.ticketmaster.com, by phone at 702-474-4000 or the MGM Grand Garden Arena box office. Regarded as one of off-road motorcycling’s premier races, the Rockstar Energy Drink U.S. Open is the final ‘major’ race of the motocross season. Tickets are available for as low as $20 through Ticketmaster.com. All tickets subject to 5% Las Vegas Entertainment tax.