For the Monster Energy/Star Yamaha Racing duo of Colt Nichols and Christian Craig, Tuesday night’s Houston 2 Supercross was about benefitting at others’ misfortunes. When Austin Forkner and RJ Hampshire crashed together, the Yamaha boys were quick to pounce on the final two podium spots. Nichols eventually got the upper hand on his championship leading teammate. Both riders spoke with the media following the race.
Colt Nichols | 2nd in 250SX
Racer X: Colt, these two races have been good, but you haven’t had quite as much hype as other guys have—Jett, Christian, Austin—but you’re in the mix right now. Tonight, when you were behind Christian you obviously had the pace to go forward. How do you feel right now after these two races, especially because you’ve been in the championship contention before in the past?
Colt Nichols: I feel like I’m sitting pretty good. I don't know exactly where I’m at in the points, to be honest with you. I’m happy. Three, two. I knew I wasn’t going to have as much hype as a lot of these guys coming into the series. I don't know, for whatever I just don’t and I’m fine with that. I just want to go out and try to perform as well as I can. Overall, the beginning of the main was just not good. I definitely struggled a little bit at the beginning and then kind of started to get going a little bit and was able to get by Christian there at the end. I feel like I’m in a good spot. I’m happy with where I am. We’re kind of stacking good points. I’m just trying to get through these first two weeks pretty good, and after that we’ll kind of figure things out. I feel like I’m in a good spot. I’ve been here before. Just try to learn from what I did in ’19 and try to be a little better. That’s what we’re trying to do, so hopefully we can go for a win Saturday and see where we are after that.
Christian Craig| 3rd in 250SX
Racer X: Christian, last week’s win was obviously dramatic, but how important or is it more important for you to get the podium two weeks in a row? Can you compare and contrast your feelings over these two races?
Christian Craig: Saturday was a pretty big deal for me. A lot of weight lifted off my shoulders. It was a quick turnaround to go race on Tuesday again, but it was a good day overall. I showed some good speed, fastest qualifier. Didn’t ride the best in the heat and the main but salvaged what I could. I had to manage a couple things towards the middle to the end of that race. I didn’t get to put on really a good charge towards the end, but still in a good position and leading this thing. I’m in it for the long haul.
Giving up the second position very late, was that making sure that you didn’t make any mistake, or Colt just caught you?
No. Like I said, I was managing something. He was riding good towards the end and I made a few mistakes. I misjudged a couple sections and he got by. Those were some valuable points I shouldn’t have gave up. I had to pass him early on in the race and was unable to hold him off. He rode good at the end. Props to him.
At the first part of the race, you seemed to be charging, but at the end you seemed to kind of get a little bit slower. Talk us through your race.
I was managing a situation with the bike. I felt good until the midway point, and then felt like I needed to calm down a little bit and kind of ride it out. I need to be better on those opening laps and make quicker passes, and then obviously just push all the way to the end. I wasn’t getting tired or anything, it was just managing a situation.
Obviously, you’re on a new team this year, new beginnings. Same Christian? You seem really, really focused and just the speed has been amazing and stuff like that. Talk me through the changes.
I kind of said it after the win on Saturday. I was a little comfortable with my situation at GEICO, which is a good thing, but a little too comfortable in a way, too. I kind of needed a little bit of a change. That’s what I did. I’m on the Yamaha now. I think the biggest thing is the program that we have, how we all ride together. I think that kind of brings out the best in us. When me and Colt were battling, it just felt like a normal Tuesday at the Yamaha track. That’s kind of what we go for, which is pretty cool. So, I’d say that’s the biggest change.