Colt Nichols has certainly faced his fair share of adversity so far this year. A broken femur in the offseason preparing for the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross series was just the beginning, as he would later suffer a knee injury and broken scaphoid while competing in the 250SX East Region. Despite that, the Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha rider is back on the bike and ready to put the past behind him. We caught up Nichols to talk about how excited he is for the outdoor series.
The year started off awesome before you got hurt, you looked super fast and you had such a good base built up, to get hurt had to be a pretty big bummer.
Yeah, my year started off really well for being hurt and having a broken femur in November. To come back and race was a surprise to me and everybody else. I was just pumped to be out and I didn't really care what place I got, to be honest. Then at the second round, I got on the podium and that was a big surprise to me and everybody else. I was pumped on that. We were just starting to get the ball rolling and then I hurt my knee. It put me out for just a little bit, but that's okay, it's dirt bikes and those things happen. I came back from that and I'm just getting ready for outdoors now.
So you're coming into outdoors completely healthy?
Yeah, I'm coming into outdoors completely healthy. My knee is good. I actually had a broken scaphoid too that I had done at Minneapolis and I didn't know it. I rode with it for a few weeks and then I found out that I had broken it. That's fully healed and my knee is fully healed, so I'm trying to take my time and take it slow. We'll see where we are coming into the first race and hopefully be a competitor and end up on the podium.
How do you feel coming into outdoors?
Some people think that I'm a Supercross only guy, but I like to think that I'm good at both. Last year outdoors was a little rough for me, but it was also my first season. I've done three seasons now in Supercross and last year was my first outdoor season. It was a learning experience for me. I'm excited, I feel happy with the bike and the team. The suspension is awesome and the bike is so fast. I'm really looking forward to outdoors. It's going to be a fun year.
You've also got those Costa Rican championships too.
Those Costa Rican championships are giving me a good push here [laughs]. I keep reminding myself that I can ride outdoors. It's going to be good.
What are you goals for outdoors this year?
Honestly, the goal for outdoors is to get through the first three rounds before the break and see where we're at. I'm coming in a little under the radar and underprepared. I've only been on the bike for two weeks now, so really I just want to get through it and see where we are. I think I can do well, but I don't want to have expectations. After that, I want to be a top five guy and chase some podiums. I feel like that's realistic for me. We'll see though, it's going to be a fun season.
How psyched are you to be on Yamalube/Star Racing/Yamaha? For outdoors you've got a big, solid crew of people.
We've got a huge crew of guys and the team is awesome. There are a lot of guys on the team this year and the bikes are so good for outdoors. They're super fast and they handle really well. That's what makes the outdoors exciting for me. I know how good it is and we've got a good a solid team. It's going to be a good year for the Star Racing team between myself, Aaron Plessinger, Dylan Ferrandis – I'm excited to see how he does outdoors because he's fast as hell – Mitchell Harrison, Challen Tennant is going to race as well. He was back-and-forth on whether or not he was going to race and do Loretta's as well. I'm just excited; I think it's going to be a fun year.