Phil Nicoletti Announces Retirement Following 2024 SMX Season

Thursday, April 18, 2024 | 4:00 PM

Phil Nicoletti, a veteran of 18 full seasons in professional motocross and supercross, has announced his full-time racing career will conclude at the finale of the 2024 AMA season, with the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX) finale in September. Nicoletti currently rides for the Muc-Off/FXR/ClubMX Yamaha team in 250SX West Region division of Monster Energy AMA Supercross and will switch to the 450 Class with the team for the upcoming Pro Motocross Championship and the SMX Playoffs. He’ll continue to put in the work this season and try to provide more memorable moments, either good or bad, in typical “Filthy” Phil fashion.

“I actually made this decision at Anaheim 1,” says Nicoletti. “I rode press day, then I called my dad and told him, ‘It’s over.’ Just a feeling I had. Main thing, I just don’t have it in me anymore to take the chances I need to during the week. It’s not even a results thing, really. On race day adrenaline takes over and I feel like I can continue to be a fifth-to-seventh guy. But this sport is so freaking gnarly, you have to push to your limit every day even in practice. I don’t want to go search for tenths [of a second] on a random Tuesday. It used to piss me off when one of the kids went faster than me but lately, I’ve found myself not giving…a care about it on some days. I’ve loved the grind, but I always said as soon as I don’t want to do that anymore, I’m outta here.”

Nicoletti will attend press day at this weekend’s Nashville Supercross and East/West Showdown, and he’ll field any media questions there.

Phil, 35, raced a handful of pro races at the end of the 2006 and 2007 seasons, then followed that with 17 full seasons as a professional. He’s currently collected 71 total top-ten finishes in professional AMA competition. He scored fifth overall in the 2016 450 Pro Motocross Championship standings, as well as eighth in 2015 250 MX standings and sixth in 2018. In 2018, he also took an overall podium finish at his home Unadilla National. In 2019, Nicoletti ventured to Canada and scored the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Championship, with the most combined points from Canadian Arenacross, Motocross, and Supercross. After COVID-19 cut the racing options in Canada, he returned to racing in the U.S. full time for 2022, including a return to AMA Supercross. He has since logged 11 top ten finishes in AMA Supercross despite also battling injuries and typical “bad news Phil” luck on the weekends.

Phil, always an innovator, will leave a legacy as the first rider to ever don the new “leader lights” in AMA Supercross when he led last year’s Anaheim 2 event. He also snagged a holeshot against the likes of Jett Lawrence and Cooper Webb at the second SMX event in 2023 and looks forward to trying to do that again this season. Nicoletti plans to stay around the racing scene once he retires from full-time racing but looks forward to never having to jump three-in to a rhythm section again.