It's a Fun Filthy Friday! Here's this week's Q & A with our resident expert in all things, Phil Nicoletti. Someday Phil might actually announce his official plans to race the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship this summer. For now, we have your questions and Phil's answers. Send your questions to email@example.com.
Dude Daytona. What’s that beast like to ride? I know everyone gives supercross a free pass like it’s not as physical as outdoors, because the races aren’t as long and it’s only one moto, but what’s it like having to time jumps right when the track is that rough. Also I hear guys say the lighting isn’t great in those ruts. So is Daytona the ultimate in Death Cross or is it actually a little more forgiving than a regular, more technical supercross track?
Daytona is like no other, man. Ridiculous ruts, sand, lighting is weird, and transitions are funky. Daytona is the only venue that works in the rider’s favor as far as time versus laps nowadays. I’d rather do 18 laps at Daytona, than 27 laps in Indy. Makes it so you don’t feel like a hamster running round and round. I get that everyone thinks Daytona is crazy rough and gnarly, which it is. But dude, the tracks at other races during practice are ABSOLUTELY INSANE with how rough and gnarly they get. Do you hear me? ABSOLUTELY INSANE by the end of the 450 main event. Daytona is just a different kind of rough, because the speeds are so fast and the shadows with the dark dirt makes you feel blind folded at times. It’s fine though because I’ve been accused of riding with my eyes closed before. That’s just deathcross for ya. I’ve tried some hybrid settings (fork/shock) for the that race, but doesn’t work well. You have to run regular supercross stiffness and just suck it up and deal with the harshness through the handlebars and foot pegs. You need the supercross suspension setting for the hold up off triple faces and rhythm lanes. If not, you’re taking a trip to Endonesia or going skydiving without a parachute. I’m not saying they don’t change a little bit of stuff, to bring some comfort for the rider, but it’s not very drastic. In other words: there’s no comfort for all 18 laps.
Your column has found a new gear lately, so props on that. Here’s my question:
It’s clear you’re a man who enjoys the finer things. I’m always hearing how Phil is sipping a glass of wine and I think you may have eluded to why on a Pulp Show at one point. But are you at all picky about your wine? Is there a grape, region or style you’re into? Or is just whatever? I’m sure you’re picky about your setup, your gear, so why not your wine?
I’d assume with your title, you’d like a “fat ass Jack and Coke”. I love red wine though. Either Cabernet or Malbec. I’m not a wino though! Anything over $12.99 for a bottle, I’m out. I’m not wine connoisseur sitting there, swirling it around and sniffing it. Those folks can suck it. I’m good for a glass or two a night on the couch or patio. I know, romantic as hell, I'm just all class that way. Even the night before a race I’ll have a glass. It’s a good night cap. Key words, a glass or two. Three and I’m waking up a tad hung and sluggish!
First, let me say that I enjoy your appearances on Pulp. Your sense of humor is great and you offer very good insight on things, so thanks for that.
It seems that people are really down on the depth of the 250 East class (Matthes) and now 250 West has had some injuries, too, but I’m thinking of it in a completely different way. I think it’s awesome to see a guy who many people know nothing about earn a top 10 or even a top five. So many up and coming riders are so hyped up at such a young age that we don’t get many "unknowns" that can show up and stun the motocross community. Now they are and I think it’s amazing. While they may not be beating the factory riders (many are hurt), they’re still putting in good results. I think it’s great when a privateer David beats a Goliath.
What's your opinion? Do you wish it were possible for more "unknown" riders to show up and pull off these great finishes? Do you think that the ongoing rise and popularity of amateur nationals has removed the possibility of a local pro showing up and putting in a top 10 or top 5?
Good luck on the outdoor season this year. I look forward to you beating some factory guys and putting it in the top 5.
I appreciate the support. I’ll start by saying, I’ll agree to disagree here. Yes, it is awesome to see the kids get there best finishes in SX. Regardless of the field, it’s the main stage for our sport. A sixth is a sixth, watered down or not! Now, I could go off and tell you how hard I was busting my ass to try to podium in the 250 class only to become one of the factory guys who got hurt…but Dallas is coming this weekend and I don’t want to be reminded of that nightmare. My foot still sucks to this day, that’s all the reminding I need.
Anyway, these privateers this year where still able to get there, survive practice all week, survive practice on Saturday, survive the heat race, and execute when it counted. So in my opinion, yes they deserve that spot! No ifs ands or buts and I’ll never discredit that. The issue comes into play, though, when they think these finishes are enough justification for a factory ride. When you get that fifth or seventh or whatever against all the wolves, then you know. Not only do you know, but the team mangers know. Confidence is key, but a false sense of confidence hurts. I’ve had hard fought ninths that I was more proud of than a fifth. That’s the reality. Deep down, you know when you know.