AutoTrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing have announced Phil Nicoletti has inked a contract with the North Carolina-based squad. The deal is for a guaranteed spot on a coast of the 250 SX championship with the possibility of an extension through the nationals. Nicoletti has had an ongoing relationship with JGRMX for the past few years now.
Nicoletti will join Justin Hill, Jimmy Decotis, and Kyle Peters at the team’s growing 250 class operation, which comes thanks to Suzuki’s increased support. After talking to team manager Jeremy Albrecht, we’ve learned that the 250 team will have two riders on each coast of the Monster Energy Supercross Series and will then shrink to two riders for the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
The full press release from the team is posted in full below…
Brea, CA (November 6, 2017) – Suzuki Motor of America, Inc. (SMAI) and Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing Team are pleased to announce that Phil Nicoletti has reached an agreement to race for the team in the 2018 Supercross 250 Championship.
Phil Nicoletti has been a part of the Joe Gibbs Racing MX (JGRMX) squad since 2014, when the Cochecton, N.Y. native was offered the unique opportunity to fill in during the Supercross series and then contest the AMA Nationals. Determined to perform regardless of the task, the 12-year Pro has achieved folklore-type status with his ardent fans. The 28-year-old looks to maximize this new opportunity to compete on a factory-backed Suzuki RM-Z250 in a 250 Supercross-only deal.
"I'm looking forward to continuing my racing career with JGRMX. The crew members and I have formed a great relationship from our years of experience. It's exciting to see Suzuki's commitment to the 250 class, and I fully expect to be battling for podium finishes every weekend. I got a taste of 250 Supercross racing in 2017. With that under my belt, I'm looking for much more this coming season."
Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team manager Jeremy Albrecht is excited that Phil Nicoletti is continuing his journey with JGRMX. "This past year we were able to move Phil back to the 250 class in Supercross, and he showed promise. In fact, Nicoletti scored a fifth in the 250 West series before sustaining an unfortunate injury. Phil was on the upswing, and I wanted to see what he could do in 2018 on the newly formed factory Suzuki team."
Albrecht, a former AMA Mechanic of the Year and multi-time Supercross and AMA National-winning mechanic continued, "There's no question that Phil Nicoletti is dedicated to his craft. He puts in maximum effort, both on and off the bike. In fact, Phil moved near the shop in Huntersville, N.C. to work closely with the team. It's a testament to his tireless work ethic."
Phil Nicoletti completes the Autotrader/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing 250 team for 2018, joining Kyle Peters, Jimmy Decotis, and 2017 Monster Energy AMA Supercross 250 Western Regional Champion Justin Hill. A team breakdown, including which coast each rider will contest, will be revealed in the coming months. For more team news, please visit www.jgrmxraceteam.com.