News 4 Jun 2020

Podium finish further boosts Nichols upon return

Opportunity to complete 250SX East a positive following injured shoulder.

Image: Supplied.

The delayed end to Monster Energy Supercross has enabled Colt Nichols to comeback from a shoulder injury for the final rounds in Salt Lake City, already stepping onto the 250SX East podium.

Nichols was expected to miss the 2020 season after sustaining the injury while training last October, but was handed a late opportunity due to the coronavirus pandemic.

After crashing in Sunday’s opening race back and finishing 15th, Nichols starred on his way to second last night by leading six laps and eventually finishing runner-up to Monster Energy Star Racing Yamaha teammate Shane McElrath. He says his fitness and strength is good at this point.

“It was definitely a lot better for me, the track conditions were a little better, a little bit more technical and overall it held more moisture just being a night race,” Nichols reflected. “I don’t want to make a habit of trying to come back from things – I’m pretty over doing that, to be honest with you.

“It was more just doing the laps back at home, I felt prepared and had really done a lot. I felt like I was riding well and I got to work on some form and technique when I was coming back from injury, so I honestly thing that’s helped me a lot to get back up to speed quickly.

“The shoulder feels good, I actually feel healthy and I feel strong. We got to work on a few things body-wise while I was hurt as well, trying to make the comeback a little easier and the transition back into racing a little easier. I feel like we’ve done just that. Hopefully I can win one of these things before it’s all said and done.”

It appears that both Nichols and championship contender McElrath have benefited from the performance of their factory-backed YZ250F race bikes at elevation, each crediting the Star team for their part in development.

“I messed up the start pretty heavily last Sunday, but once I hit second and third gear it kind of took off,” he added. “It’s saved me, for sure, got me out of trouble on the start a few times. I’ve been on this team for four years now and the bike’s just incredible.

“It’s just a real kudos to the team because they do their homework, are never complacent with anything, keep kind of pushing the boundaries and making sure we get all we can out of the bike whether it be suspension or motor. I’m looking forward to racing again on Sunday and seeing what we can do.”