The American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) is proud to announce that Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider Nico Izzi is the 2008 AMA Motocross/Supercross Rookie of the Year. In his first full professional season, Izzi started the year strong by finishing third overall in the Supercross Lites East Championship. The momentum continued to the AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF where Izzi claimed fifth overall in the Motocross Lites standings.
AMA Rookie of the Year honors are awarded to the eligible rookie rider with the most points accumulated in the Motocross Lites and Supercross Lites classes.
"Competing in one of the most talented rookie classes ever, Nico remained consistent all season and established himself as a championship contender for 2009," said Ryan Holliday, AMA Racing director of Motocross/Supercross/ATV. "We would like to congratulate the Izzi family and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team on a successful season."
In the race for Rookie of the Year honors, Izzi was 12 points shy of Supercross Lites East Champion Trey Canard coming into the final race at Steel City Raceway in Export, Pennsylvania. With Canard missing the last three races of the season due to a broken femur, Izzi closed the points gap and secured Rookie of the Year honors with an inspired second-place overall at the season finale.
"My 2008 season overall was really good," Izzi said. "I was happy with Supercross and finishing in the top three. I had some good races on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki RM-Z250 and some not-so-good races, that maybe could have been better. But in the end it all worked out and I just tried to be consistent. The Motocross season started a bit rough, with getting injured and everything, but it ended pretty good. I mean, it doesn't get much better than to finish the season with a podium in the last race at Steel City."
Izzi has a long history with motocross. He started riding at 3-years of age and was racing by the time he was four. Izzi blossomed into one of Suzuki's most-decorated amateur racers with more than 100 major amateur championships, all achieved racing for Suzuki.
Izzi came onto the pro scene strong at the end of 2007, finishing 10th at Millville, fifth at Steel City and ninth at Glen Helen to wrap up the year. It was a successful prelude to 2008, where the young star has proven a consistent finisher on the demanding AMA Motocross circuit.
Nico Izzi's 2008 highlights
2008 Monster Energy AMA Supercross, an FIM World Championship (SX Lites)
8th place — Georgia Dome, Atlanta, GA
3rd place — RCA Dome, Indianapolis, IN
12th place — Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL
9th place — HHH Metrodome, Minneapolis, MN
7th place — Texas Stadium, Dallas, TX
4th place — Ford Field, Detroit, MI
8th place — Edward Jones Dome, St. Louis, MO
15th place — Sam Boyd Stadium, Las Vegas, NV
2008 AMA Toyota Motocross Championship presented by FMF (MX Lites)
13th place — Glen Helen Raceway, San Bernardino, CA
15th place - Hangtown Classic, Sacramento, CA
8th place — High Point National, Mt. Morris, PA
3rd place — Thunder Valley MX Park, Lakewood, CO
5th place — Red Bud Track 'n' Trail, Buchanan, MI
7th place — Budds Creek Raceway, Budds Creek, MD
4th place — Unadilla Valley Sports Center, New Berlin, NY
7th place — Washougal MX Park, Washougal, WA
11th place — Spring Creek MX Park, Millville, MN
7th place — Motocross 338, Southwick, MA
2nd place — Steel City Raceway, Delmont, PA