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Behind The Board #11 - The Soap Opera

3/29/2002

Recapped By: Carl Hein

 
 
Wow, what a week……

Wow, what a week……..there was more drama and intrigue this week then a daytime soap.  After last week, where Nick finished a strong 8th, factory Suzuki approached Nick after the race about possibly joining their team for the rest of the 2002 Supercross season as they have no riders in the 250 class right now and their sponsors need to see someone out there on a yellow bike. Suzuki had offered Robbie Reynard, a former Suzuki team rider a deal for Supercross only and Robbie turned Suzuki down. A guy doesn't want to just burn all of his own sponsors just for 8 races or whatever it would be. So anyway, Suzuki arranged a test for Nick on the following Tuesday after the race. He went and rode the bike on their private track and then his agent and Suzuki sat down and tried to hammer out a deal.

 

I think the thing that everybody has to remember is that Nick is not unhappy about his current team at all. Moto XXX has been excellent with us, they always come through with what they say and the guys are all very cool.  Kurt and Jay team managers of Moto XXX are very no pressure kind of guys. They are happy to have Nick in the top ten and they know that he is trying his best at all times, it's a good situation for them because they are getting plenty of exposure and they are finally recognized as a legitimate privateer team. They have come a long way from being kicked out of the pits for having strippers to being the number one privateer team out there today.

 

Now having said that when you're a rider and a factory team approaches you about being on their team you'd be a fool to not listen.  When you are a snot-nosed peewee rider playing in the sandbox making tracks, you don't dream of being on Moto XXX, you dream of being on a factory team. So I feel Nick did the right thing and listened to what Suzuki had to say. He was told that I could not work for him in Supercross because they had some guys doing nothing and didn't want to bring me on, however for the outdoors I would be in. This was good news for me but I wasn't getting to excited because I have learned, until you see the contract in front of you don't assume anything!  At least if I DID get the deal, I would no longer have to live in a box van. This was a plus as it gets hard to find a girl when you tell her you have NFA (no fixed address). Imagine that?

 

So in the end, as you all probably know, we stayed with Moto XXX. It seems that Suzuki and Moto XXX could not come to terms with how much the buy-out amount was to be to release Nick from his deal. You can't blame Moto XXX because Nick is the best rider they have ever had and he is doing well and Moto XXX IS getting a lot of press for having him. You can’t blame Suzuki because they would have to pay a lot of money just to get a guy, then on top of that they have to pay Nick a salary. As Mr. Lebowski says, there’s a lot of ins and outs to making a deal like this, new things have come to light man….errrr anyway, its not as easy as walking into a different semi and calling it a day.

 

So we showed up in Houston riding a blue bike and we spent the day answering questions about why we were riding a blue bike. CCE had arranged a special privateer practice on Thursday so we got a lot of riding time Houston always is one of the best tracks of the season, the floor is huge and there’s lots of dirt to be used. Dirt Wurx always builds a big tabletop in honor of CE Altman, one of the founders of the sport.   The promoter calls it the Altman Mountain or something like that. Its pretty cool, a few years ago they actually had two lanes on a straightaway where you had to stay on your side. Once again the track was very good with a lot of challenging obstacles. It was quite different from New Orleans where you could clear everything on an 80 and the object if the race seemed to be staying the lowest.

 

The race came and for the first time all year, Nick made it out of the heat! It was a cool race as well; Ryan Clark, JSR, Jim Povolny and Nathan Ramsey were all going for the last 2 spots. At one point Nick and Clark jumped over JSR and then JSR took a different line and jumped UNDER Clark to almost get him back. Then it ended up Clark and Nick were left to fight it out for the last spot, they swapped positions like 3 times, with lots of rubbing going on. But as they say, rubbin's racing!!!  Nick squeezed out the 4th spot but Clark was riding very well and it was unjust that he had to go and ride the semi. He did get in though so all was right in the world. For the main Nick chose a gate next to MC and was in the 9th spot from the inside. I was watching his wheel and when the gate dropped he just spun and didn't get a good drive off of the dirt. I think we maybe should’ve run a more aggressive tire for the main, it might've helped. I noticed that other guys like RC and Yogi had tires that almost looked like mudders!

 

So once again we came around on the first lap in 16th or so. It is frustrating for Nick and I that we cant get a start to save our lives. If you read this column weekly, (all five of you) you'll notice that I’m beginning to sound like a broken record talking about the starts. Well, I don't care, we still need some starts! Also, as always Nick rode really good in getting an 11th place. When Nick came in from the race he was unhappy with himself and the bike. So as we get ready for the off weekend we both have some things to work on to make the final 6 races successful. I know that Nick is going to work as hard as he possibly can and I have to as well. Well that's about it, thanks for reading and if you have any questions email them to me, I have been a bit slow in answering all of the questions but trust me I am getting to them…….see ya at the races!!!

 

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