MPG / DAILY BREAD / FEBRUARY 1, 2017
Nick Romano is one of the most successful amateur riders currently gearing up for the spring nationals. The Team Green Kawasaki rider has not only experienced the prestige of a Loretta Lynn’s title, but he’s also racked up twenty-nine national titles to his name throughout his young career. The native New Yorker migrated down to the warmer climate of Florida for the beginning of the new year where he’s been putting in work. He was able to win a couple motos in the Florida Winter AM series and has his sights set on returning to The Sunshine State in winning ways for the Daytona RCSX in March. Romano will be a title contender at pretty much every major national that he attends throughout the 2017 season, so get used to seeing the #411 up on the podium. We caught up with Nick to talk about his diet during a normal race weekend, his first race ever, and what he’s got planned for the new season.
First of all, you’ve been down in Florida doing some racing in the Florida Winter AM series, how has that been going for you?
Yeah, it went good. We did Saturday practice at Reddick and then we did Gatorback. It was good! The track was good, I won all four of my motos.
So, you’ve been down south putting in work throughout the winter. Could you talk a little bit about your program down there and your preparation for spring nationals?
Yeah, my program’s good. We were down there the whole month of January just riding at a couple private tracks. Preparation is good, and yeah...I’m just hopin’ to do good at spring nats.
I saw you were at Wildwood Motocross about a week ago putting in some laps with your new Team Green teammate, Seth Hammaker. What was it like riding with him?
Oh yeah, Wildwood’s a great place. Yeah, me and Seth did a couple laps together. He would catch me and then I would battle with him for a couple laps, and um...he’s a cool kid; super nice, super mellow, and a great friend to have.
How old were you when you first rode a bike and kind of how did you get into the sport?
Ummm, I think I was five years old when I got my first bike. Yeah, and then we took the training wheels off and I just excelled from there. My Dad used to ride...um, he wasn’t any good, haha! But, he got me into the sport.
What’s your first memory on a motorcycle?
I don’t remember the first time, but my Dad told me from my first ever race -- it was a four lap race. I think I was on a PW50, I was fallin’ like every fifteen feet. I did two laps out of the four, and I pulled off and he told me that I said “Did I win?” Haha! I didn’t even finish the moto.
Whenever I’ve seen you at the races, it always seems like you’re kind of deep in thought. What’s your mindset like when you’re on the gate preparing for a race?
Ummm, at Loretta’s I’m probably more focused than any other race. I like to have fun with my friends and stuff, but when we go to the gate it’s all business.
Looking back on 2016, it was a pretty solid year for you… what was your favorite moment of the season in retrospect?
Ummm, 2016 was a good year. I got a second and third at Daytona, I went to Millcreek and won all those titles, and then went to Freestone and got another second. So, that was a pretty good moment. Before Mini-O’s I went to K-Roc; I won all my motos Saturday and then Sunday was the big race, and I fell in the first turn so I had to come from last...I think I got sixth, so I wasn’t happy with that. Probably winning Millcreek was my favorite moment of 2016.
Loretta’s was absolutely insane this year…the rain, the mud, the heat...it seemed like the track was never the same for any two motos throughout the entire week. How did the week go down for you?
Well, yeah. I mean, Loretta’s went good...I think I was the fourth moto of the week, and it poured. So, it was a complete mudfest, but I got the holeshot by quite a bit. I was leading the race and through the sand sweeper, I guess my front wheel hit a soft spot, and I went straight over face first into the mud. Jett (Reynolds) passed me and then I fell again, I think, my front end washed out; I got a third in that one. The week went alright, the track dried up for the second motos. And the third moto of my stock class, I think it poured again, but it wasn’t as bad. Me, Jett, and Caden (Braswell) were battling the whole moto -- we were all one-two-three on the finish -- I just got a third, I was close though. In my last moto, me and Jett were battling the whole moto in the mod class and it was probably about a second at the finish. I mean, I was happy with that. I obviously wanted to win, but it was a solid week for me there and I was feelin’ good.
You came away from Mini-O’s in 2016 with three second places finishes in four classes that you raced, walk me through the week of racing down there.
My week was good at Mini-O’s. It was kind of tough, but I kinda gave a championship away. But umm...I was pretty pissed. I think I was in second and some kid t-boned me and I went down. That was the moto where I got a fifth or something like that. My other motos went good, I was right behind first at the finish. So I wasn’t happy about that, but I was happy, y’know.
At a race like Mini-O’s, do you enjoy the SX or outdoors more?
I like SX a little more. I think it’s just more fun, it’s technical and that suits my style a little better, but I still like motocross a lot.
One of the biggest differences between amateur motocross and pro motocross is the rider’s diets. What is your typical diet like during a race week or weekend?
Umm, well at nationals I take it pretty serious, but at the end of the week I like to have a little fun...maybe have a milkshake. But um, to snack on we just have a couple protein bars and cliff bars, granola bars and stuff. My Mom always makes good dinners at the races, so we’ll have like steak, mashed potatoes, and some broccoli. For Thanksgiving we had turkey with the Reynolds’. But yeah, I try to have a lot of protein and a little bit of carbs, and that’s pretty much it.
So, your diet is actually more like a pro rider. You’re always rocking the #411 or some variation of that for Loretta’s, is there any significance to that number? How did you come to choose that?
Ummm, I didn’t choose that. My Dad and his best friend would ride -- they would always ride together. We were at my first race and we needed a number, my Dad’s friend was like ‘let’s do #411,’ and I guess we stuck with that the whole time. I think it was with electrical tape.
You’ve been part of Team D for three years now going into your fourth, tell me a little bit about the Team D Elite program and what it’s like working with those guys.
Yeah, it’s super cool. Their tires are the best and the team’s great. Rob, Cernic, and all those guys are super funny. Yeah, I mean the team’s great...all their riders are cool. I’m friends with pretty much all of them. It’s just a good experience to be on that team.
What’re your plans for 2017, classes you’ll be racing, etc…?
Yeah, I wanna go into ‘17 and stay healthy most importantly...and win! I’m racing the 85 (9-11) stock class and the 85 (9-12) mod. I just wanna be on the podium every race and win, if I can’t do that then I definitely wanna be on the podium. I just wanna stay healthy and do good. I’m gonna definitely be at Daytona, I think I’m going to Millcreek again, then Freestone. We’ll have a little break and then it’s area qualifiers, and regionals, and then Loretta’s!
Who would you like to thank for helping you out?
Mom, Dad, Sisters, Kawasaki Team Green, Dunlop, Pro Circuit, PR2 Suspension and Motors, Möbius Knee Braces, Alpinestar Boots, Bell Helmets, Renthal, Maxima Racing Oils, Razor Image, SOB MX, JT Racing Gear, 100% Goggles
/ Words / Lake Kilpatrick
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