When Jason Anderson went down after a practice crash last week at Glen Helen, he joined his Rockstar Energy Husqvarna 450 teammate Dean Wilson on the sidelines. With both 450 riders out Rockstar Husky team manager Bobby Hewitt told us the team would have to get a replacement. Hewitt mentioned quite a few wild cards to us—such as factory Husqvarna riders from the GPs during a few off weekends, or former team riders. The final answer is surprising—it's Phil Nicoletti, who, up until now, was racing for Autotrader/Yoshimura Suzuki.
Phil, though, was only a fill-in for the team, and fill-in roles in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross have become a specialty for the New Yorker. He was apparently able to get out of his JGR deal and is now part of the Husqvarna squad for the remainder of the summer.
Nicoletti is currently seventh in 450 Class points.
“I am happy to have the opportunity to finish out the Pro Motocross season with the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team," Phil said in a Rockstar Energy Husqvarna PR. "I look forward to getting on the bike and showing everyone what I have. Thank you to everyone backing me—see you at the High Point National!”
No word on JGR Suzuki's next move. Nicoletti was filling in for Justin Bogle, who is back on the bike and testing, but we're not yet sure when he will return to the racetrack. Suzuki has its other 450 slot covered with the steady Weston Peick.
“It has been a devastating week for all of us here on the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Factory Racing team," Hewitt said. "Losing Zach [Osborne] for the remainder of the season is unfortunate, but he will be back just as strong as ever. We are excited to have Phil for the rest of the Pro Motocross races and know he will mesh well with the team.”