Our man Phil Nicoletti will be back racing soon in the 250SX East Region Championship when it resumes next weekend in St. Louis. In the meantime, he's started outdoor testing for his Muc-Off/FXR ClubMX Yamaha team. He'll be back on a 450 for the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship! Also, he'll continue answering your questions.
(Note: Some questions have been lightly edited for clarity.)
Don't you think it's hilarious that the three riders known for way over the top aggressive riding are all taking each other out this year? During past supercross seasons I've bristled whenever I see [Malcolm] Stewart, [Jason] Anderson or [Justin] Barcia rely on a take out rather than speed or brains to make a pass, but this year they're doing it to each other. What a treat! Marvin Musquin should have Batman slapped Stewart for getting in his face, what Marvin did is exactly what Stewart is known for. Barcia would rather make sure everyone knows he's Bam Bam rather than ever race for a championship and Anderson finally gets a face full of karma for having done to him what he has done to others for so long, and now the #21 is no longer being in the championship hunt. This stuff is such a bonus, worth way more than the five bucks a month I pay Peacock!
I agree with all of that. Minus the part where Marv should have batman slapped Mookie. Only because that wouldn’t have turned out well for Marv! But I’m all for the bashing and banging. Makes it exciting. The goal for all those guys is to block/stuff a dude and get the fark out of dodge. But the way it has been going, they end up taking themselves out in the process. It does suck though when you have a guy behind you that has a tendency to go after your front fork lug and ankles more than another guy. There are plenty of guys that can pass perfectly fine without having to demolish someone. Tomac for instance, Webb is good with it, and Kenny when he is on point. If something does happen, and someone does get punted, or blasted off the track, there should be repercussions. I’m not talking about the AMA getting involved either. Our sport is gnarly as hell, and it gets turned into a chicken shit sport when someone speaks their mind to another rider, or sticks a visor in their face and “accidentally” blows out their goggle lens and then gets a penalty. Our sport is insane and it needs to have a hockey mentality! Arguing is fine! Quit making it so pussified! If a rider gets cleaned, and wants to push the guy, or give them a simple slap let it be. I’ll even bend a little bit. You know what? You can fine them, give them last gate pick, but DO NOT DQ them. I hate the DQing. This stuff makes for GREAT stories for years to come. Let’s not regulate it out of the sport.
I’ve often wondered why open seats on teams do not get filled, even temporarily, when riders are injured. For example, with [Ken] Roczen out for an unspecified amount of time, why not give another up-and-coming rider a shot? You would think manufacturers would want more opportunities to market themselves.
Good question. It honestly comes down to the team not willing to take away from their championship guy. Kawi for instance. They don’t really need a second bike out there, or a guy to be 11-20 when they have someone on the box and battling for championship. It takes away the focus on the task at hand. For instance with Honda, who would you ultimately pick to fill that seat? In the past they grabbed some really good 250 kids, like Trey Canard who rode for GEICO Honda and Cole Seely who rode for TLD Honda. They were all 250 guys, able to be top 1-10 on a Saturday in the 450 class. In a modern version of that, Hunter Lawrence would have been a great pick, but he can’t jeopardize his chances at the West Coast title. There isn’t much of a market to fill the seat in unless the guy can be 1-10 in supercross, IMO. Especially if they already have a championship guy. Not worth the time and energy just to put a bike in the main but out of the top ten. That might hurt some feelings, but that’s the way it is. Now, if Anderson or Chase Sexton were TKOed, you’d see the factory’s scrambling to pick up your local pro at your home track.
Full disclosure, you and Troll are two of my favorite riders. I hope you don’t mind me asking, but what the f*** is going on with Troll in the whoops? He looked pretty good in the beginning of the year but has gotten seemingly worse with every race. It culminated in Seattle with him trying to jump them and man did he eat shit in the qualifier! Even James Stewart was talking about Troll’s whoops in his Seattle podcast.
Can you get Troll patched up and back to blitzing whoops again during the week off? For my moto world to be in balance, I need a healthy Troll just and an angry Phil yelling at him.
Trolly came to ClubMX this week to ride. I obviously talk to him daily. The honest truth is, he doesn’t have the confidence to hit the whoops at the moment. Since you’re asking me, I copied and pasted this question straight to the source to get the answer.
Alex Martin: “Tell him my short little legs struggle with the East Coast whoops that get cupped out and I prefer to jump them.”
Which to me that’s a bullshit response, but that’s Alex for you! Same answer you’d get from Jen Psaki. But I’ll give the little fella credit! He has been taking hits like a champ and getting back up to continue the job. I’ll defend him a little bit. It’s hard to take those hits at 32 and not have lingering effects through the next week. It ends up taking away from riding and training. But this week, we all rode outdoors, and got a breath of fresh air from changing it up. It was quite nice!