We did it! Heavy negotiations with Phil Nicoletti have resulted in this weekly advice column, with your questions and his answers. Negotiating terms with Phil is not for the faint of heart. He even broke down the math with three questions per week for 52 weeks to figure out how much we are paying per question.
It’s not a lot.
Luckily, Phil is a giver and is willing to accept these terms because he wants to help you, our readers. Three people stepped right up to ask Phil questions this week. Email Phil@racerxonline.com if you want in next week. Phil gets paid per question. Please make it worth the small fee.
I’ve been riding a couple years now and always trying to push myself to get better because I run with some pretty fast guys. I notice faster guys and pros often using their middle finger to clutch and brake and was wondering why that is? When I try that technique, I feel completely out of control. I come from the mountain-bike and BMX side of things, so I am used to using the index fingers. What are the advantages to this technique or is it just personal preference?
I’m going to be level with you. It comes down to rider preference. It almost seems 50/50 down the starting line who uses which finger. A lot of past champions used their index finger (RV, Anderson, Reed). Many use their middle finger (Dungey, Webb, J-Mart). I personally use my index finger, and have since I was a kid. I’ve tried the middle finger, but I feel like I’d have more control if you blindfolded me through a set of supercross whoops. I asked Troll Daddy [Alex Martin] and he said “Idk.. I guess because I can have a better grip on the handlebar when I use my middle finger.” I also asked Coop. Here’s what the 2019 Supercross Champ told me:
“Gary Bailey taught me to use my middle finger back in the day. For me I feel like I have better feel with my middle rather than my index finger. I sometimes will use my index in rhythms or a straight away for comfort, but I always try to have a finger on my clutch no matter what. I guess just preference more than anything,” said Cooper Webb.
Whatever. Cooper needs to get back to me more quickly with his responses but I’m glad he helped. I also want to add that although I use my index finger on the clutch and brake, there are other uses for the middle finger at the racetrack.
In these troubled, divided times it seems we all need to bridge the gap between ourselves and return to some sense of normalcy and decency. I believe the right place to start would be the SX podium interviews. I harken back to simpler days of "Golly Gee" and "Shucks" and thanking the "Man Above." Very Dungey-esque in its nature and NEVER offensive or combative. Now we have Cooper Webb here and it’s hard to say what direction he will go. Could the moto community do grand service for all of humanity by keeping all the interviews plane and sane?
P.S. nice of 'ya boy Weege to get you this Racer X gig. Over/under on how long it takes you to piss off Davey?
P.S.2 you ever go out with Troll Train's sister?
I appreciate the question. I’m not a fan of cookie cutter interviews. Week after week, it’s kind of the same song and dance. But at the same time, the podium normally has the same three guys 13 out of the 17 rounds. At that point, they are Mr. Robotic. Get a fresh face on the box, and the energy, enthusiasm will change. Obviously we all want some controversy for one guy to blow out another or say something thrilling. We feed off controversy as fans. From a professional manor, the podium interview will never be or sound like you’re sitting having a beer with the guy on the back deck. Lame I know.
If I do get in trouble with Davey, I’m just going to blame Weege and say he made me do it.
Hahaha never dated Trolls sister, Jen. She is such a sweetheart though.
With the level of skills these riders have its so disappointing that finish line celebrations are as boring as jury duty. Like you just won a 25-minute 450 supercross race against the gnarliest dudes ever and the best you can do is a fist pump or a finger in the air? What happened to the big fat nasty no footed whips off the finish line during a win? Are these guys wound so tight they can’t even celebrate?
If I won a 450 supercross, I can guarantee you I’d Brian Deegan my bike into row 69. Then get my win stripped away, lose my points, and bonus money. Whatever. If it’s a first time winner, you’ll get some flare possibly. If it’s the riders fourth win of the season and he’s in the championship battle, that race win celebration is just going to pass, IMO. And if one of those guys gets a win at round nine, all they’re thinking about is the points they made up going into round 10. By the way, at the end of a 450SX main, most times that finish line face looks like a death trap. So keep that in mind sometimes—it’s deathcross out there.