Racer X: Michael, well, Hangtown was full of ups and downs, but let’s start with the positives—you had one of your ARMA Energy/Suzuki City bikes in the lead of the 250 Class at one point, so that’s a promising way to start the outdoor season.
Michael Nasakaitis: Oh, for sure. Malcolm [Stewart] definitely showed that he’s got the speed and the skill to run up front. He kind of shocked us on the start. We know our bikes are fast, but Malcolm is a bigger kid on a 250F, so for him to pull a top two or top three start and to get up there so easily kind of surprised us.
A pleasant surprise…
Definitely. Very pleasant.
He was also a good starter in supercross and was also very close to getting a podium indoors. So let’s back up a bit and talk about how that series went for you guys.
Supercross was pretty much all positive for us. Even the times that he wasn’t running in the top five or top ten, he was still fast. Staying upright was the one thing that got him most of the time. A lot of his crashes were just from not letting up or not backing down when a lot of the other guys were there.
Still, he scored two fourth-place finishes and a fifth, I believe.
Yeah, two fourths and a fifth—we were really pleased with how he did.
I remember talking to you prior to the supercross season, and as usual, it was a mad dash finalizing your sponsorships, but it looks like you secured something really good with ARMA Energy.
Oh yeah, we couldn’t be happier with ARMA. They came in and put together a really good deal for us. Everything has been 100 percent professional on their part, from the look to the support—everything has been top notch.
Stewart showed flashes of brilliance in his rookie SX season.
Photo: Simon Cudby
I’ve heard and read more than a few people ask where they could get a set of your graphics. Are those available to purchase?
FLU Designs is finishing those up right now. We’ll have them available through our online store and through our dealership, and FLU will have them available as well.
I take it you can’t really elaborate on that.
No, not at the moment, Bill. Sorry.
No worries. Well, I also saw Scuba Steve [Steven Clarke] out there in the 250 Class running your graphics….
Yeah, Scuba has ridden for us the past two years and he called and was on break from the British World Championships and wanted to do a couple of rounds for us, so we had enough stuff sitting around that we put a bike together for him. He looked pretty good out there.
How many rounds is he racing for you guys?
He’s just going to do Freestone and that’s it.
After that will you guys be looking to pick up anybody else?
We’ll have a bike in each class. We got the 450 sitting there ready to go.
Well, man, although Malcolm’s results weren’t what you had probably hoped, he shows a lot of promise, and I think you guys really have something to look forward to this summer.
Yeah, we do too. I think the most important part is that he saw that he could run the pace and that he belongs up there.
Has he been nervous this year?
If he has, he hasn’t shown it. He’s handled himself really well. He’s just an all around great kid. If you met him you’d know that he’s just a very laid back, polite kid.
One last question: If you had to recommend a particular flavor of ARMA Energy SNX, what would it be?
[Laughs] I like the granola. Actually, you know what, I take that back—the new Hellfire. It’s really good.
Finally, you’re a busy guy and I’m sure couldn’t do this without the help of your sponsors. Who do you want to thank, Michael?
Yeah, I’d like to thank ARMA Energy SNX, Suzuki City, Nitro Circus, O’Neal, TCX, Pro Circuit, RG3 Biloxi, Motion Pro, Dunlop, Mishimoto, K&N, Motul, Tag Handlebars, Crew Wear, DC Shoes, HPI Racing, Works Connection, RK, Excel, Dubya, All Balls Racing, LeoVince Carbon Fiber, Vention, ICW, DP Brakes, Sunstar, FLU Designs, Hinson, Renegade Racing Fuels, SalvageAuction.com, Skull Candy, 7-Eleven, and am/pm.