MotoOnline.com.au can confirm that Monster Energy Kawasaki has signed American up and comer Phil Nicoletti to ride its Pro Lites bike for the 2011 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals season.
Nicoletti rode KTM machinery in the U.S. last season and was set to do so again this year before striking a deal with the Troy Carroll-managed factory Kawasaki team in Australia for this season.
The 22-year-old, who is originally from New York, arrived in Australia today after flying directly from Los Angeles to Sydney, before catching a connecting flight to Brisbane where he’ll be based with the Toowoomba-based team.
Carroll’s Monster Energy Kawasaki squad has a rich history of bring over international riders to contest the Australian domestic series, last year winning the Super X title with American Josh Hansen and also taking out second overall in the MX Nationals with Scotsman Billy Mackenzie.
Nicoletti will campaign the team’s factory KX250F in the Lites class while Mackenzie will be joined by Aussie rising star Dean Ferris in the Open class this season.
Last season, a relatively unknown PJ Larsen signed for the JDR Motorsports KTM team before going on to clinch both the MX Nationals and Super X titles in the Lites class at his first attempt.