Catching Up With…Nico Izzi

Motocross is a fickle sport.  A rider could go out and dominate for a few months or even years, but as soon as an injury comes around, fans quickly move on to the next big guy.  While Nico Izzi did not exactly dominate in Supercross this season, he was no slouch either.  Then on the last lap of the final round of the East Coast Supercross Lites series, Izzi’s season came, quite literally, to a crashing halt.  Sustaining multiple leg and foot injuries, Nico was unable to race even a single National.  Fortunately, although fans may have not been thinking about him this summer, race teams still were and Nico was one of few riders this season to have his plans for 2010 done early on.  We ran into Nico during his first ride aboard his new Star Racing/Yamaha factory machine and he clued us into what he has in store for next season.

We were a little disappointed in your outdoor season.  We were expecting a little bit more from you.

Outdoor season? What outdoor season? You mean a season of sitting on the couch (laughs)!

Seriously though, the last time we spoke was maybe about three months ago out at Pala Raceway.  What have you been up to since then?

I have been pretty busy since then.  When I saw you I was still healing up and couldn’t do much.  Since then I have been training quite a bit.  I also went back home to Michigan and went to a big amateur race called the Baja Brawl which is at a track called Baja Acres near Flint.  That’s kind of where I grew up, so we went there and did a big autograph session. After that we just came back out to California and have been training a lot.  I have been going into the new race shop with the new team and getting to know everyone there.  I also took up bowling actually.  I bought my own shoes and bowling ball so I have been killing it with that.

What weight are you using?

I have a 13 right now.  I’m only packing 16’s in my arms, not big 22’s yet (laughs). But right now I am only riding and testing.  Trying to get the bike as good as we can.  The bike is really good.  I’m not going to stop trying stuff out until we get everthing right.

Have you ever ridden Yamaha’s before?

No, I have not. Never.

Does it feel much different from your Suzukis?

No, not really at all.  I got on it and I felt pretty comfortable right off the bat.  It was a little bit different but it actually felt more comfortable.  Just more solid feeling out on the track and it doesn’t dance around as much as what I am used to.  I think one we get the suspension setup right and find all of the good settings that it is definitely going to be a really good bike.  I am really excited about this change, so it will be good.

Talk about your new deal with the Star Racing/Yamaha team.  How did that all come about?

Well, I was laying in the hospital after Jacksonville.  I was pretty disappointed because I had a really good Supercross season and it was my last year in my Suzuki contract so I knew I had to put in a really good full season.  Bobb Nichols called me and at that point I wasn’t even thinking about my deal for next year, I was just in a lot of pain.  But he told me Yamaha really wanted to do something.  I thought that was cool and at least they were still even looking into me although I was still in the hospital.  It’s a really good change and that it’s for the best.  I like Suzuki and I grew up on them so it was tough.  When I got hurt no one really even called me to see how I was doing.  Roger DeCoster never called to see how I was doing.  I mean, I know I wasn’t out there winning every race, but I did get five podiums in a row.  I just think everyone should be treated the same and I never even just got a phone call to check up on me.  Even the next day after Jacksonville: nothing.  I had to call Roger and say, “Hey, how’s it going? I am actually laying in the hospital right now, did you know that?” And he said, “Oh, yeah.  How is everything going?” And I just said, “Oh, it’s going great! Thanks!”

I was just disappointed in that and now its good to be on a team that is actually behind you and wants to win as bad as you do.  This is definitely a really good change.

So did you feel like they favored Ryan Dungey over you a lot more at your old team?

Yeah definitely.  I mean I can see why, he’s a good rider.  But did they ever think if they put that same kind attention towards me, maybe I could get those same kind of results too?  But every dog has its day and I think with this new team it will be a good change for me.  I’m just going to work hard and put my mind to what I need to do.

Sometimes rider, and athletes in general just need that little bit of fresh air, to keep things interesting and that can make all of the difference.  Do you know who else is on the team with you?

I’m pretty sure Martin Davalos is.  I think they have also been talking with Austin Stroupe and I think he test rode the bike, but I don’t know if it’s a done deal.  It would be really cool to have him on the team because we are good friends and it would be nice if he could get on the team.  That would be a really solid team.  We’ll see.

Do you know what coast you will be racing on yet?

I will be doing East Coast.

Any other races that you have planned before the main season starts up, such as Bercy or something like that?

No, I try not to leave the United States unless I have to.  I just want to prepare myself and train hard so that I am ready when the season starts up.