Rockstar Energy OTSFF Yamaha’s Phil Nicoletti nailed down a third place podium finish in the main event at Round 3 of the MRC SX Tour in Quebec City on Saturday night. It was the New York native’s second consecutive top three finish in the four-round series.
Nicoletti’s teammate, Matt Goerke, also looked like he was going to claim a podium result at the Videotron Centre, but after a collision with another rider he ended up having to settle for eighth at the checkered flag.
Both riders were in good form during the qualifiers, in which they sealed the top-five aboard their YZ450Fs, with Nicoletti recording fourth and Goerke fifth.
In the heat races Nicoletti proved to be unbeatable, snaring the holeshot to then take the lead all the way to the finish line. Goerke started his heat in fourth. By the halfway point the Florida native had clawed his way into second, where he would finish.
In the evening’s main event action, Nicoletti commanded a third place start behind second place Tyler Medaglia and holeshooter Colton Facciotti. During the early laps Nicoletti meticulously worked his was past Medaglia to set his eyes on Facciotti. While trying to reel him in, however, Nicoletti suddenly found himself dealing with series points leader Cole Thompson, who had stuck a pass on Medaglia as well.
For a number of laps a mammoth battle ensued for second place, which to his credit Thompson managed to come out on top of. Thompson went on to unseat Facciotti for first and the top three positions were sealed at that point.
Goerke, meanwhile, charged off the start line into the first corner near the front, but a split second later he got hit by another rider, causing Goerke to go down hard mid-corner. After getting up and regrouping, he was unable to reconnect with the frontrunners on the tight and short Videotron Centre track. By the end of the race Goerke was running in eighth place, where to his disappointment he ended up finishing.
As the tour heads into the final round in Hamilton Nicoletti finds himself trailing Thompson by 18 points and second place, Facciotti, by nine. Mathematically anything is still possible. Goerke who sits fourth in the points – in a tie with Medaglia – trails his teammate by seven points. While the championship is pretty well out of reach for Goerke, he could still squeeze his way into the top three overall points for the series.
“Other than Matt getting hit in the first corner in the main, which for all intents and purposes took him out of contention, the team had a relatively good night in Quebec. Phil continues to hold his own and is looking good in the points to finish the season in the top three. For his part, Matt should be able to seal the top five in the series. We need to look at that as a really good effort for our guys,” team manager Steve Simms said.
The Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series continues after a two-week break on Saturday, November 17th, with the final round of the SX Tour taking place at the First Ontario Center in Hamilton, ON.
SX Tour Main Results 450 Pro – Round 3
1. Cole Thompson (KTM)
2. Colton Facciotti (Hon)
3. Phil Nicoletti (Yam)
4. Cody Vanbuskirk (Kaw)
5. Tyler Medaglia (Kaw)
6. Daniel Herrlein (Kaw)
7. Cheyenne Harmon (Yam)
8. Matt Goerke (Yam)
9. Keylan Meston (Husq)
10. Eric Jeffery (KTM)