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It’s been a rough year and a half for Honda HRC’s Colt Nichols. Yes, he did get a factory bike for this season, which was about the only thing going his way after sitting out all last season with injury. Nichols finally had some great juju go his way in Nashville and finished a strong fourth on a very precise track. This was another career best for him after a sixth at the Anaheim 1 opener. In talking to Colt in pre-season, he had some big goals that he wanted to accomplish as a former 250SX champion. This was another step in the right direction and he’s got his sights set on some more in the final two rounds.
I will say that the track did not look like much fun from the comforts of my seat in the stadium. The track went through some stuff throughout the day, which left the riders with a difficult time in the night show. After practice it drizzled for a bit, which I thought would be perfect for the night show, but then the sun came out and baked it. More than a handful of riders said that the track had a hard base, so when the track crew would prep it, it wouldn’t take long for the bikes to chip away at the fresh dirt and the hard base was underneath. That’s also why the dragon back was so difficult and why Barcia and Harlan had a rough go. Chisholm and Harlan made mention that the face of the dragon back was like hitting a wall. The track layout wasn’t too challenging as the rider’s said, but the conditions were difficult.
The writing is on the wall. Deegan is progressing at such a fast pace that once he gets more experience, well he’s going to be very difficult to beat. He was impressive again in Nashville. I’m pretty sure that when he made a pass he had the loudest cheers of the day, not to mention the opening ceremonies as well. This new wave of riders coming up with Jett/Hunter Lawrence and Haiden Deegan, plus with the moves that SuperMotocross is making, could be a very big future for the sport in general.
Look at Jo Shimoda! Nashville was only his third race back and he ended up second on the day! Look, I know that Jo expects to be on the podium, but this podium had to be a breath of fresh air for Jo as well as the Pro Circuit team in general. The year hasn’t been spectacular for the team by any means with everyone on the original roster going down with injuries at some point or another this season. Team fill-in riders Chris Blose and Carson Mumford have given it their all to put a bandaid on the wound for the team, so props to those guys. Shimoda was once a fill-in on this team as well. Now he’s here to lead the charge outdoors, but first see what he can do at the East/West Showdown in Salt Lake City.
Sexton should be able to finish out this season with two more wins added to his total 450SX win total. Nashville was a great success for him and he was indeed the fastest rider on the day. Yet, in the press conference, he said that he’s not exactly impressed with his win record, especially since he’s sitting next to Ken Roczen and Eli Tomac. He got his fifth win of his career, which currently ties his current team test rider, Trey Canard on the all-time wins list. Sexton looks to finish out the season strong and is in a great spot heading into outdoors, which is a title that he went tooth and nail against Tomac last season. It’s been such an up and down season for Sexton but he can really end SX on a high note.
Main image: Jessica Reed