They say you're only as good as your last race and if that's the case, things look pretty good right now for Colt Nichols. With 3-4 scores at the 2017 Ironman MX, he secured his first podium and capped a mixed season off on a high note. As the day’s countdown towards the 2018 season, Nichols is preparing to build on that momentum and be a regular podium threat. While shooting for Premix 2, we got the scoop on Colt's offseason plans.
Give me your take on the 2017 season. How do you feel like it went?
The year as a whole was pretty up and down. I wasn't even sure I was going to get to race Supercross because I was injured. I came in behind the eight ball and it actually went really well considering the circumstances. I only had a few weeks on the bike before Minneapolis and actually got through the first three races really good. It was better than I anticipated. Then I got injured again and that put me out for the rest of Supercross. I was really bummed that I didn't get to do what I wanted to do. Outdoors was really good. We started well at the first two rounds in California, but once we went back East I struggled a bit. It was hard for me to get my feet under me and I had a few bad weekends around Millville and RedBud. After that, we started working on the bike and the team did everything they could to make me comfortable. Once we did that it was good, especially those last two rounds. Unadilla wasn't even bad either, but at Budds Creek, I rode the way I wanted to and I got on the podium at the last round, which I hadn't ever come close to doing before. That was really cool and I was glad we were able to do that at the last round. Overall, it was a good year and we're going to be a lot more prepared for the next season.
Looking at this next season, do you have any specific things you want to focus on improving?
It's mainly just doing everything to be prepared, stay healthy, and take our time. Last year, I was coming off of an injury in the offseason heading into the preseason and I was struggling with that a bit. Plus, it was a new team and a new trainer. I didn't really know what to expect and I just learned and grew. I got to connect with a lot of the people around me and it made it a lot easier going into this offseason knowing now what to expect and how things will work. I really just want to take my time and get a better base built. We started quite a bit earlier this year, I think we only took about seven days off after Ironman this year. That's our main focus, we don't need to rush into anything and we just want to be as prepared as we can. We'll get all of that base training done now, but not rush into it and get injured or anything like that.
Along with many things being the same, you'll also have the same bike under you as well. Is it safe to say preparing the bike will be easier as well?
Oh yeah, it's a huge factor and it just makes everything easier, especially with the team. We didn't get to test much Supercross last year, and with me being injured, a lot of guys on my team that got to test stuff that I thought was better, but I didn't have the chance to ride with it. This year so far, we've only tested two days of Supercross and we've already made huge changes on the bike that I wish we could've done last year, but we just ran out of time. It's been really good. That part is awesome because we all work together, from the riders to the mechanics and all of the team. If somebody comes up with something better, we'll try it because it worked for one guy. It's pretty easy with the team because I've got the same mechanic and the same bike. This year should be good because the transition has been easy and we'll be prepared to come out swinging.
Looking at next year, it's obviously early, but do you have any idea whether you'll ride East or West series?
I think it's kind of up in the air. I'm still penciled in as West because Dylan Ferrandis is recovering from his injury along with Aaron Plessinger, but it changes so much that nobody really knows. Right now, though, we're shooting for that.
We're out at the Premix 2 shoot right now. When is the last time you got to ride a two-stroke?
Well, a 250 two-stroke, it's been a minute. I think Ponca City in 2010, maybe [laughs]. I actually just rode my dad's 125 back in Oklahoma about a month ago. That was some serious fun. I've got a little bit of experience on the two-stroke, but I'm excited to be riding one today. It's going to be a good time.