Phil Nicoletti is back in action this weekend as 250SX West Region resumes in Oakland. Even though ol’ Philthy is busy getting ready to go racing again and flying all the way across the country, he still had enough time to answer some of your burning questions.
Want to rag on Phil some more? Send a question to the Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha rider to Phil@racerxonline.com.
(Note: Some questions have been lightly edited for clarity.)
Question: Since you are tearing it up on the 250 in Supercross, is there any chance you’ll hop on a 450 for some rounds? Also, when will you start transitioning over to the 450 for the outdoor season? Keep up the success!
Your old NY pal Jeff
Nicoletti: Hey, Jeff! Hope all is well! I’m not going to lie; I certainly entertained the idea about racing a few 450 races. But, if I did, I would end up riding them on the 250. Only because I have ZERO time on the new 450. If the chassis were similar, I would ride a 450. I have no base setting with the new 450 and don’t really want to go down that road trying to figure out a SX package. Especially when I need to be riding it outdoors and shaking out the kinks. So, I’ll utilize the break to start logging some time on outdoors. I’m looking forward to riding outdoors. I’ve been riding SX since October, so I’m ready to get some fresh air on a moto track and stretching the throttle cables a bit.
Question: Phil, Marshal Weltin and Nate Thrasher got passed in the last turn in Tampa. Why, why, why, why do these guys go outside in the last turn when they know someone is right behind them?
Nicoletti: Mike, it is really hard sometimes in the heat of the moment to make the right decisions. It’s like fighting with your misses in an argument and you end up saying something you regret because you were just in the moment. Well, same shit happens on a dirt bike. Hard to make the proper decisions in a fraction of a second. I will admit, I’ve been there as well. But the pay difference between Weltin and Thrasher is quite substantial. Weltin not making main probably cost him $1500-2k. Thrasher’s mistake cost him about 25-30k. Not making the main is tough pill to swallow, but losing the win and that amount of money in the last corner is even worse. I’m really surprised even on that corner with Hunter. He made the pass, but then went roll, roll, roll. If he lost that race because he went roll, roll, roll versus what Thrasher did going roll, table to single, then Hunter would be having the second-place blues.
Question: Don’t want to flog a dead horse with jumping or not jumping topic, but why technically can/do some riders not jump certain jumps? Is it not enough speed to clear it (corner speed), rutted jump faces, physical conditioning/strength or does it just come down to having big balls and a Seth Enslow absence of fear? (What do u call a guy with no fear? An ambulance ha).
Thanks, Weary Wes from Great white north!
Nicoletti: Wes, to be honest, it comes down to flow and skill. Being able to pick the right rut, the right technique, and the right amount of balls. A lot of times it comes down for me if I I’m going to case or clip something. If you clip something bad enough to where your front end dives into the transition, and there is another jump after it, you’re donezo. You are a passenger. You can’t get to the rear brake to stop. Well, you can, but your rear wheel isn’t on the effing ground. You can’t pull the front brake either. You are literally left with riding it out. Lord knows where the hell you’re going to ride it out to. But tripling the three in’s during practice on race day are so hard. It takes so much patience because the track is rough as hell. The track during practice gets ruts as deep as an outdoor track believe it or not. To have the patience to wait and not rush the corner and then seat bounce at the right moment so you don’t endo over the bars is a huge skill. It’s a combination of A LOT of shit. Each section and jump uses a different technique.