Unfortunately, our guy Phil Nicoletti went down hard with an injury at the Oakland Supercross and suffered a dislocated wrist. He was pretty banged up so we gave him the week off his column. However, he jumped back on for us this week to answer all 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.)
Huge bummer to see you crashed and got hurt. What happened and how are you feeling? Any chance at outdoors?
Jake from Philly
Hey, Jake. I appreciate you reaching out. My crash was pretty simple in the second set of whoops in Oakland. I just happened to catch an edge and swap my bike to the right. It was just a freak deal on the way I landed. My shoulder and arm were the first thing to hit. I instantly knew when I tried to push myself off the ground that something was really wrong. That was all she wrote for me. As far as racing outdoors, that is still the plan. What race or what part of the season I will rejoin is still so far out from being decided.
First off heal up soon so you can get back to kicking ass! I'm wondering what your thoughts are on the media hyping up [Eli] Tomac on the all-time wins list I feel like they're disrespecting [Ryan] Villopoto and [Ryan] Dungey who both have four titles, but lately there’s never any mention of this. I think it’s bullshit! Titles are more important than wins right? Ricky [Carmichael] might as well say I don't care if you pass me in wins, I have five titles. They only ever mention [Jeremy] McGrath, [James] Stewart, and [Chad] Reed. Does this piss anybody else off? I mean come on Tomac couldn't even beat Dungy for a title. Can you talk to the SMX broadcast people and have them please put up the stats for titles along with the total wins?
Solid question. In my own personal opinion, championships of course outweigh race wins. That is just the media trying to spice something up. Don’t get me wrong it is an UNBELIEVABLY incredible stat, but you really can’t compare two supercross championships to four supercross championships. Especially when Villopoto has 41 wins. That’s insane. Dungey has 34. If Eli clinches this title and gets three championships along with his four outdoor motocross titles, and ends the year was 50 supercross wins then he surpasses everyone except RC. It’s going to be really, really hard not to rank him above those guys. He has also been racing the 450 class for a few more years than Dungey and Villopoto. I don’t know how to actually rank these guys. But RV is really underrated in my opinion.
Gutted to hear you went down, mate. Also, just curious to know if you made any bike changes before the practice where you wadded yourself. Is it true you guys need to stop modifying the setups and just ride the bikes you’re paid to ride?
Hey mate, I appreciate your concern. There were no specific chassis changes from free practice to first time qualifying. The only thing that was changed was an engine that we had an issue within free practice due to a radiator hose breaking. Other than that, suspension and everything had stayed the same.
To comment on modifying set ups and just running while we have is a bit complicated. Every Saturday the track is completely different with some different dirt. So the way the dirt is in the transitions and the ruts form, the settings will change throughout the day. Not drastic changes, but clicker changes for sure. There might be a few guys that still might be searching a little bit. Trying different spring rates here and there. But to your point, there comes a time when enough is enough if your bike is around 90 percent, I feel like you are doing pretty damn good. There are still some riders out there that feel like they shouldn’t feel a single bump on the track and let’s be realistic, that isn’t going to happen. I’m sure people have an idea which riders they are because you were always hear the rider or the teams mentioning the number of changes that get made.