Racer X 450 Words: Tickle is Serious / Page 2

The story is the same every year, even down to the exact same words. “You know me,” Broc Tickle will say. “I start slowly and keep working and eventually things start to come together.”

It was his plan since well before anyone knew him. Back in the day, Tickle was just a random amateur in the crowd, known more for his funny name than for serious results. He kept improving, though, until he was a threat for top tens, top fives, podiums, and finally in his last year at Loretta Lynn’s, he grabbed a championship.

He built slowly as a professional, too. He’s the rare story of Star Racing Yamaha sticking with a rider long enough to finally get the rewards. His first career Lites SX win, also the first-ever for Star, took place in Seattle in 2010, his fourth professional season.

Then Mitch Payton and Pro Circuit called, and Tickle delivered the West Lites title in 2011. His transition to the 450s, though, was slow in developing. Struggles last year—he had just one top-ten finish in the first nine rounds of 450SX—seemed to leave him in a funk. In St. Louis, I found Tickle outside the Pro Circuit truck, and he was bummed. He said he kept riding tight, he couldn’t get into the right place, mentally. But he would keep trying. It all led into his familiar credo, about starting slowly, working hard, and eventually things will come together. Tickle kept repeating it, week after week, until he didn’t need to anymore. By the Nationals, things really were coming together.

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With the switch to Dodge/Sycuan RCH Suzuki this year, and the speed he showed on a 450 last summer, many were expecting Tickle to take a huge leap forward in 2013. So far, his season has been solid, but certainly not a breakout. But guess what? It’s coming together, slowly. His run in Toronto for eighth was his best of the season.

“I’ve was consistently scoring 10th and 11th at the beginning of the season but my numbers are trending upward now…8th, 9th, 10th,” Tickle said in an RCH report last week. “I feel like I’m riding really well, hitting my spots, making good passes and I feel strong. The only way to get better is to get on the bike and train.”

Tickle’s work ethic has never been in question. For the last month, he’s been in Florida at Ricky Carmichael’s track, grinding away. He took a brief trip up to Michigan for the weekend to spend Easter with his wife’s family, and then headed right back down to RC’s farm this week.

“With it being Easter weekend, these guys have been in the grind since well before the season started back in January and this would be a goodtime for a rider to take off,” said Carmichael. “Some guys do and it works for them. Some guys like to stay in the grind and that’s what Broc’s doing, riding down at my place this week. We’re moving up in points and he had a really strong charge in Toronto after a tough start.

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“What I’m seeing the last five weeks out of Broc is that he’s been more consistent,” said Carmichael. “You can see his confidence; he’s racing and battling with guys. He’s around guys that he needs to be racing with. Some guys are falling out of the point’s battle because of injuries. This is the toughest part of the season. If you can stay to the grind and keep pounding it out, you can take advantage of the guys who are beaten and battered. It’s an important time of the season and his riding is coming into form which gives me a lot of confidence in him.”

“I felt that I rode really well in Toronto,” said Tickle. “I’ve been down at Ricky’s, and it’s been good, quality work, and I think it’s starting to pay off.”

Day In The Life With BMX’er Heath Pinter On Crooked World

Many people know Heath as a stylish dirt jumper and trail building perfectionist, but his roots in snowboarding go way back. Before he was making a dime in the BMX world Heath was throwing down in Tahoe and still loves shredding Bear with the homies! Guest appearances by Mike Escamilla, Andrew Lazaruk, Jared Eberwein, TJ Ellis and Corey Bohan!

Coury Connects with Fans by Freeriding the Hills

Freeriding , which was formerly known as play riding or riding natural terrain in the hills, has been making a big comeback lately and seems to be gaining more popularity in the industry and among riders these days.

Street skating, backcountry snowboarding and backcountry skiing have increased the exposure of skateboarding, snowboarding and freeskiing thanks to some of the most skillful athletes in those sports. That has ultimately led to those athletes getting paid to make a living doing what they love to do while developing a subgenre within their respective sport.

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In freestyle motocross, though, freeriding is not anything new. Not yet its own officially recognized sport, freeriding holds importance amongst the riders and helps build their street credit. It’s good to use freeriding, combined with social media, as a way for a rider to establish his name and affix a tracking light on himself amid the motocross industry’s wider radar screen.

This is the case for Lance Coury. Part of the new breed, Coury didn’t get the opportunity available in the earlier days of FMX when qualifying competitions led to the big events. Nowadays, breaking into the big-time events comes by invitation only to elite riders. Taking advantage of the new social media era, Coury is focusing on continuing to grow and establish himself amongst his riding peers that his talents are the real deal.

“I feel like your everyday rider can connect more with pro riders riding in the hills, versus riding ramps,” Coury says.

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XGames.com recently spoke with Coury to discuss the challenges of reaching the next level of FMX.

John SandersLance Coury doesn’t want to be labeled a “ramp kid.”
XGames.com: So what is it about riding in the hills right now that seems to have everyone so excited? It seems like the Instagram era has made everyone a freerider.
Coury: I think at the end of the day, both riding ramps and freeriding are pretty gnarly. However, riding ramps has gotten to a point where you have to be either the gnarliest guy out there, doing the newest tricks, or else you are replaceable. Where in the world of freeriding, it is a much more accessible way to ride for your everyday dirt bike rider.

The coolest part of it all is; the average person can connect more with us riding in the hills versus seeing us riding ramps. They can actually go to those hills we are on, whether it’s Ocotillo [Wells], Beaumont, etc., and they can do smaller jumps working up to the bigger ones, like we do. They can understand and relate to what we’re doing. They are able to relate to those pictures posted on Instagram and in return, get more stoked to go out and do it themselves.

I am not saying freeriding is in any way easy. From the small bumps, to the big hits, freeriding forces you to show your bike skills in many ways. You have to be a good, talented rider in order to handle the natural terrain. So it takes more than just balls, it takes balls and talent. Having the talent to ride outdoors shows what level you are on riding a bike, and the veterans of FMX out there know what it takes.

We rode on a film trip recently and you did really well, is there any correlation between that and your racing background?
Definitely. I’ve practically been on a bike since I could walk, so it is second nature to me. When I’m on my bike, it’s just natural. Riding from such a young age allowed me to learn to control my bike in any situation. Freeridng is about controlling your bike. When we were riding on the film trip, some instances brought me back to being 15 years old, and hitting a kicker, which could throw you left or right, and having to be able to control your bike is definitely something I learned from a young age.

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What excites you about riding in the hills the most?
Riding in the hills is exciting for a couple of reasons. One, you’re going out riding with your buddies. Second, every time you ride, it is a different experience. The jumps change, the terrain changes, and there is always room to go bigger. At the end of a good day of riding, everyone’s proud of each other and there is an overall good vibe out there.

How important is it amongst your peers nowadays to be respected as a good freerider?
Yes, it’s very important to have that respect, otherwise you are categorized as just a ramp kid. If you are labeled as one … you just don’t want to be.

Do you think having that credit or reputation can lead to increased exposure or increased sponsorship deals?
Definitely. I think that the magazines, Motocross Action, Racer X, Transworld (the three heavy hitters in the industry), would rather post a photo of you hitting a dirt jump in the hills than a ramp shot. I think the average person reading those magazines would rather see a person hitting those jumps in the hills.

At the end of the day, the more media of you that is out there, the more happy your sponsor will be. The more their logos are seen, the more valuable you are to them.

How much weight do you think social media is going to play in supporting that model of creating content to put out in the media, in hopes of increasing your value?
I think the Instagram world, the Twitter world, as well as the Facebook world have all helped everyone’s careers. I can do something cool and within 2 seconds the world can know about it, you know. And with that, chances are sponsors logos are in the picture or video I post. The majority of people have a social media site, so they’re going to see what a rider, or myself, puts out there and trust me, sponsors know about it.

By doing so, people are able to correlate what they see to what they will possibly purchase. For example, if a young kid sees a photo of me riding my Suzuki Hart & Huntington bike, and then goes to purchase his first dirt bike, the possibility of him remembering me on a yellow bike, and buying a Suzuki, are better because of the world’s access to social media.

John Sanders”When I’m on my bike, it’s just natural,” Lance Coury says.
Can you give me any examples of social media benefiting you in some way through a sponsorship deal or a film trip invite?
Yes, it has. Social media has allowed me to put my progress in the sport out there for the public viewing. Whether it is viewed by fans, or a possible sponsorship, it has made me accessible. It is a great way to stay current in the sport, and fresh in people’s minds.

And, I think if you are current, you definitely get more people calling wanting to go ride with you. For example, recently I was invited to Twitch’s Dirt Bike Kidz film trip. He must’ve seen some sick ass s— I just posted and needed my style in his video, you know?

I know ultimately your goals are to have the credit of being an accomplished X Games competition athlete but in between those select few invites, how important is it to you to be out freeriding?
Well, I know when I did a couple X-Fighters, and Dew Tours, some of the courses had a lot of small technical jumps that went into the ramps. With that being said, the more practice and opportunity you have out there freeriding, the more you’d be able to control your bike with those obstacles. The better rider you are, the easier time you are going to have riding that course, getting to those ramps, turning those corners, and being smooth. Being in those competitions is not just about what you do in the air, but how you handle the course as a whole.

Where do you think freeriding is going down the road?
I think all riders want to see freeriding progress as its own sport. If it were to become, say, like the world of freeride snowboarding, freeridng on a dirt bike would let the riders have more control of their careers in a way that they aren’t dependent on being invited to an exclusive event.

I mean, there is a handful of snowboard athletes that have a solid career just on venturing out on film trips, etc., breaking boundaries around the world with new innovations, bigger tricks, things that create headlines and write the books of history in their sport.

I believe the same thing can be done in the world of freeriding on a dirt bike and I don’t think the events should be the end all of a career if the rider is capable, passionate and talented on a bike.

I rode the Great Ride Open and that was a two-week trip, with six different spots. There were four or five riders on that trip and to this day, whatever event I go to, be it a Supercross race or FMX event, I’m known as Lance from the Great Ride Open. People know it because they watched it so much. Kids love that show, and whether it was racers, surfers, whoever was watching Fuel TV, they watched this show and they appreciated us riders jumping 200 feet over a mountain. People want to see that!

So there’s no reason why dirt bike riders can’t do that if we get the outlet to get it out there. There would be no reason why people wouldn’t watch it.

You raised a good point, there’s a total of four (summer) X Games a year that last four days, that’s 16 days out of the year you can watch FMX, what about the other 349 days of the year?
Well then it’s clear to see how important and relatable freeriding is! The other 349 days of the year that FMX riders aren’t seen performing, we are out there, in the hills, just like you. We are practicing, having good times on our bikes. Those times could definitely be captured for the worldwide audience who also love moto and action sports.

RCH RACING’S BROC TICKLE USES OFF-WEEK FOR MORE SEAT TIME AT RICKY CARMICHAELS TEST TRACK

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (Wednesday, March 26, 2013)

Although it’s the first open weekend on the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross Series schedule since the season-opening event in Anaheim, Calif. in January, RCH Racing’s Broc Tickle has his priorities. He knows the only way to build upon his momentum in the 450SX rider standing is to get back on the bike and train.

Forget the aches and pains the world-class dirt acrobats deal with during the three months of body-pounding racing. There’s no break to heal. Riders continue to do what riders do. Ride.

“I’ve was consistently scoring 10th and 11th at the beginning of the season but my numbers are trending upward now…8th, 9th, 10th,” Tickle said. “I feel like I’m riding really well, hitting my spots, making good passes and I feel strong. When I’ve gotten a good gate, we’re riding top-five or so. The Main Event starts are where I’m losing positions and shots at podiums. The only way to get better is to get on the bike and train.”

BT Holeshot

Instead of traveling back home to spend the season’s only off week, Tickle packed his bags after Round 12 in Toronto last Saturday and headed back south to team owner Ricky Carmichael’s test track in Tallahassee (Fla.) to log more hours on his Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450.

Tickle, 23, has been under the careful watch of Carmichael, the 15-time champion, whose role with the team includes rider development coach where he shares his expertise to help craft the skills of his young riders. Along with teammate Josh Hill, Tickle will pound out laps under the watchful eye of Carmichael, one of the most talented riders to ever throw his leg over a motorcycle.

“With it being Easter weekend, these guys have been in the grind since well before the season started back in January and this would be a good weekend for a rider to take off,” said Carmichael. “Some guys do and it works for them. Some guys like to stay in the grind and that’s what Broc’s doing, riding down at my place this week. We’re moving up in points and he had a really strong charge in Toronto after a tough start.

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“We’re keeping our nose to the grindstone and building on our performances. He wants to get better, keep going. I respect that and want to help him do it.”

Tickle’s issue this season has been race starts in the Main Event. Breaking through Turn 1 mayhem has been the key for success in the sport’s elite division. Win the race for the first 200 feet after the gate drops and a podium seems almost certain.

Dodge/RCH Racing Off-Week Story – Brock Tickle

Through the first 12 events this year, the rider leading the first lap has won 10 times. Only at Anaheim 2 (Round 3) and Toronto (Round 12) has that trend been broken.

“Historically, the race start has been critical in our sport but, for some reason, this year it’s just off the charts,” added Carmichael. “There is so much parity in the 450SX class right now. The guys are so close in speed that a holeshot is a must to get a podium.”

Tickle quickly points to two-time defending series champion Ryan Villopoto as the trendsetter.

“Villopoto is the best rider out there right now,” Tickle said of Villopoto. “He’s riding the most (timed practice) laps and just grinds. I’ve been getting better each week riding more laps which is helping me get the track dialed in, finding the different lines and knowing where I can make passes.”

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Despite a disappointing 18th-place finish at the season opener in Anaheim, Tickle has scored seven top-10 finishes and vaulted nine positions in the standings. Despite the consistency, race starts have been the Achilles Heel for the Michigan native and negated even better finishes. He hopes the extra practice this week will provide valuable at the next event in Houston.

“What I’m seeing the last five weeks out of Broc is that he’s been more consistent,” said Carmichael. “You can see his confidence; he’s racing and battling with guys. He’s around guys that he needs to be racing with. Some guys are falling out of the point’s battle because of injuries. This is the toughest part of the season. If you can stay to the grind and keep pounding it out, you can take advantage of the guys who are beaten and battered. It’s an important time of the season and his riding is coming into form which gives me a lot of confidence in him.”

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With two days of scheduled rides this week at Carmichael’s complex, the 2012 AMS Supercross Lites West champion hopes to polish his craft in quest of his first podium of the season. Tickle knows now is no time to rest.

“I felt that I rode really well in Toronto last Saturday,” he said. “The only thing that I was disappointed in was the start in the Main Event. Our Suzuki’s are fast but so are the top-10 riders. You just can’t afford to take time off.”

RCH Suzuki Race Recap from Toronto

TORONTO (Saturday, March 23, 2013)

Round 12 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in Toronto proved to be a familiar scene as Ryan Villopoto picked up his seventh win of the season and extended his winning streak to four straight. Brock Tickle led RCH Racing with an eighth-place finish, his sixth top 10 of the season.Teammate Josh Hill was 13th.

One of the longest tracks on the circuit, lap times in the one-minute range made conquering the 20-lap Main Event inside the Toronto dome as much physical as mechanical. Featuring a long straight at the start followed by the combination of rhythm, bowl turn and whoop section, Rogers Centre proved to be a true test for riders.

Tickle posted the eighth quickest lap in practice – 58.528 seconds – which seeded him fourth for Heat 1. When the gate dropped for the eight-lap qualifier, Tickle broke eighth but was running fourth by Lap 6. He slipped one position in the final laps, finishing fifth which earned him his 12th consecutive Main Event berth of the season.
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Tickle’s ride in the feature event was challenging as the rider of the No. 20 Suzuki was bottlenecked in Turn 1 on the opening lap, leaving him 11th in the running order. He used patience and perseverance over the next 10 laps, stalking the mid-pack riders. He gained three positions over the second half of the race for his second consecutive top-10 finish. With the finish, Tickle is tied with Justin Brayton for ninth in the 450SX Class point standings. Teammate Josh Hill rode mid-pack in afternoon timed qualifying sessions. He started seventh in Heat 2. The Oregon native was running ninth when he slipped passed Ben Lamay to finish eighth and earn a berth in the main event.

Hill was less than satisfied with his ride in the Main Event. When the gate dropped, the RCH rider was pinned outside which led to handlebars banging. Multiple riders went down. “Just not my night,” said Hill. “I got a bad start in the Main. I locked bars with the guy next to me. I just didn’t get a good start. With how rutted the track was, it made it really hard to move forward.”
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Hill’s shot at scoring his first top-10 of the season fell solely on his start and the ability to gain spots in the first 200-feet of racing. The task proved extremely difficult as he was pushed outside and could not secure the track position he needed.” “There was a pile-up in the first corner, bikes everywhere, and it was tough,” he said. “It seemed like every time that I made a good move, I’d make a bad one right after it. At one point I was 17th or 18th and just settled down a bit and worked my way up the field. I ended up 13th and just tried to make passes when I could.”

Villopoto, the two-time and defending series champion, proved again why he’s the fastest man on the planet in Supercross competition. He charged to the lead on Lap 12 and never looked back, beating Davi Millsaps by 3.598-seconds for the win. Ryan Dungey rounded out the podium finishers.

The series is off next weekend before heading to Houston in two weeks for Round 13 at Reliant Stadium on April 6.

H&H Off Road Turns Up The Heat in AZ, “No Sweat”

March 15th, 2013 – Chandler, Arizona

The Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series has arrived to Chandler, Arizona for the opening rounds of the 2013 season and brought record setting temperatures and an early spring to the region. It is blazing hot for this time of year but soaring temperatures is regularly dealt with for veteran LOORRS Racers like the Hart and Huntington Off Road Team. Watch the video to see how they prepare.

“We are very excited to be here,” declared Ryan Busnardo, Premiere Motorsports Group Team Leader. “We put in a lot of work during the off season and are looking forward to what can be accomplished this year. We always have many irons in the fire, so we have made special preparations and pre-planned considerations that are already making our lives easier during this first race weekend. Our drivers, Josh Merrell, Rob Naughton and Ryan Beat participated in all the practice sessions to take down as much data as we could get. Our master engineer, “Buzz” is observing, analyzing and discussing with crew and drivers. [No Sweat, We Got This! We are fast and are going to get faster.] Are his words.”

“From this point, we are looking for podiums. Our successful race program depends on capturing exposure for the team sponsors,” Ryan continued. ”Winning races and podiums produces the most exposure and branding impressions. Hart and Huntington Off Road is marching down that path and we owe it to our loyal partners like MAVTV, Lucas Oil, General Tire, and Lunarpages. We work very hard for these companies on and off the track and are always making a point to participate with and promote their functions.”

Lunarpages has garnered great success stemming from their involvement with Hart and Huntington Off Road. So much that Lunarpages has signed on as a sponsor partner for the Lucas Oil Off Road Racing Series and is developing a stream of promotions that will benefit the fans. Read more here about the partnership and/or Enter To Win a #54 Lunarpages replica RC-10.

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Ryan Beat, Driver of the #51 Lunarpages V8 ProLite has quickly made a name for himself finishing 2nd overall as a rookie in his division. Ryan worked non stop through the off season to better his program. His efforts paid off and Ryan was picked up by Loanmart as part of the Loanmart Racing Team and has also been officially labeled as a Rockstar Energy supported athlete. Beat showed up to the track with a freshly prepped truck wearing a great looking Dodge Fiberglass body by FiberwerX and nailed the practice sessions despite very wet and sloppy track conditions. Look for Ryan to hammer down for the top of the podium.

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Saturday starts with morning qualifying and than moves into Round 1 Competition. Get here early and bring the family and friends because it will be a full day of great wheel-to-wheel action, huge air jumps and seriously fast fun. Gates open to the public at 9:00am and it is rumored that nearby gas stations have discount coupons. Lucas Oil Off Road Racing is finally here!

Sponsors

Hill Regains Form, Earns Season-Best Finish of 12th

INDIANAPOLIS – (Saturday, March 16, 2013) – The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series
returned to the Midwest this weekend as Lucas Oil Stadium in downtown Indianapolis played
host to Round 11 of the 17-race series Saturday night.
Broc Tickle finished 11th while teammate Josh Hill was right behind in 12th on a track where
passing was near impossible. Tickle’s ride was more impressive after it was discovered in a
post-race exam he had sustained a broken right pinky finger in the Main Event.
Wicked obstacle sections and a very short whoops section proved to be a major challenge for
the riders. Add a treacherous sand section and wall jump to the mix and riders faced one of the
toughest circuits of the season. With so many riders in such a small amount of space, the
advantage belonged to the race track.

Only one premier series rider dipped into the 50-second lap range (James Stewart, 50.565) in
the afternoon timed practice sessions. Broc Tickle, who posted a lap of 52.929-seconds in the
first timed session, led Dodge/RCH Racing.

Both RCH riders were seeded in Heat 2. Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-
Ray/ Suzuki Z450) finished seventh in the eight-lap heat, earning a berth in his 11th consecutive
Main Event this season. Hill (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/ Suzuki Z450)
finished ninth to grab the final transfer spot.

In the Main Event, Tickle and Hill both had poor gate selections for the 20-lap feature, making
the race start even more critical. When the gate dropped, the charge to Turn 1 ended in a multirider
mishap which collected Tickle. Hill managed to weave his way through.

“I’m pretty pumped,” said Hill of his season-best finish. “I had a great start and thought that I had
a holeshot when the gate dropped. I went for it; I went for broke. I tried to cut off the top side or
go down trying. I’m tired of riding around16th and just pinned it going into Turn 1.”
Tickle’s ride turned out to be equally impressive considering the Michigan native gave up 17
spots to the leaders on the opening lap. He methodically carved through the field, working his
way to 11th at the checkered flag.

“I had a good jump (start) in the Main and tried to stick the Suzuki in there, got hit and crashed in
the first corner,” Tickle said. “From there, it was like starting last. I had to fight my way all the
way back through the field. I felt like I rode pretty well tonight. I liked the track. I had a lot of
confidence all day.”

Tickle’s finish keeps the first-year RCH rider 10th in rider points, three shy of ninth-place.
Ryan Villopoto won his sixth Main Event of the season, edging Ryan Dungey by 6.537-seconds
with James Stewart finishing third. The SX Series heads north of the border next weekend for
Round 12 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ont., Canada.

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A3 RCH Recap: BROC TICKLE MANAGES TOP-10

BROC TICKLE MANAGES TOP-10 FINISH ON SLICK ANAHEIM TRACK

Teammate Kyle Partridge Caught in Mishap, Misses Main Event

ANAHEIM, Calif. – (Saturday, Feb. 2, 2013) – Slick track conditions couldn’t keep Broc Tickle from scoring a top-10 finish in Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series event at Angel Stadium. Tickle finished ninth, his second consecutive top 10.

Tickle transferred to his fifth straight 450SX Main Event with an eighth-place finish in his Heat Race. He had a good start in the 20-lap Main Event and raced in the top 10 the entire distance. He ran as high as sixth and gave up eighth to Ryan Villopoto, the defending series champion, on the final lap.

“A solid run for the No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450,” said Tickle. “I felt strong. The track was really tricky. The design was pretty basic but it was hard to get a flow going. We’ll take the ninth-place finish. I want more. We’re gaining in rider points and we want to keep moving inside the top 10. We’re going to get better.

“You had to be patient and not push too hard because the track really got slick. Rolling the center of the corners was key. You had to find a good rhythm while still finding speed on the bike to run fast tonight.

“It was all about cleaning your corners up and carrying all your momentum through the corners. That’s what I struggled with a bit and that’s what caused me to pump up a bit in the Main. Around Lap 14 I got a little (arm) pumped up and tried to make it go away and just got tight. I just didn’t get loose late in the race. We’ll keep plugging away. I want more. I don’t want ninth or 10th. I want top fives and podiums.”

One of the areas Tickle and his team have targeted for improvement this season has been starts.

“It was better,” said Tickle. “We’ve been working really hard at it and tonight we saw some results. My Heat Race start wasn’t too good, but I broke great in the Main. On a track like we had tonight, breaking from the gate was really big.

“Everybody was fast tonight. We kept plugging away at it. We just need to keep working on the little things during the week and try to apply it on Saturday.”

For Kyle Partridge, filling in for injured Josh Hill on the second Suzuki RM-Z450 from RCH Racing, the night was an exercise in frustration. He finished 18th in his Heat Race which tossed him into the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) in quest of one of the final two transfer spots.

Transferring to the feature wasn’t meant to be. Partridge was sidelined by an accident on the first lap of the six-lap LCQ dash. He was running third when a rider braked in front of him after the first whoop section.

“I started all the way on the outside in the LCQ but came out of the gate with just a gnarly start,” said Partridge. “I got a great start considering where I started and just got put down right after the whoop section. Two guys got together in front of me and just smashed right into my face and arm and hand, which took me off the bike. There wasn’t really anything that I could do.

“I feel like the stuff that we worked on this week really showed today. I was relaxed at the gate and made sure that when the board goes sideways at the gate that I give myself a few seconds to relax and just get my composure. I did that and I felt that my starts were better. We just didn’t have that great of a starting spot at the gate and got caught up into some guys trying to power through Turn 1. We certainly made progress.”

Ryan Dungey won the Main Event, his first victory of the 2013 season. Rounding out the podium finishers were David Millsaps (second-place) and Justin Barcia (third-place). Millsaps has a 14-point advantage over Dungey in the 450SX season standings. Tickle is 12th, one point out of 10th.

The next stop on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series schedule is Saturday, Feb. 9 at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego.

5 MINUTES WITH CHUCKY NORRIS

Mate, right now you’re in the car on the way to the airport to grab a flight to New Zealand for the remaining Nitro Circus stops. Was that planned or are you filling in for the injured Cam Sinclair?

Yeah, I was first reserve for the tour. I spoke to the athlete manager after Cam hurt himself and originally they were just going to roll without him there, but I got a call last week saying they wanted to add another person into their trains and syncro sections, so I was fortunate enough to get the call to head over.

We just scored some pics of you riding at Cam’s demo at the Melbourne Casino and also riding with the Hart and Huntington boys down there, so it looks like you’ve been busy… Have you been doing a lot of riding though?

Yeah, lately I’ve found the fun in riding again. So I’ve been riding more than I usually would and having a ball doing it. That gig at the Casino was awesome and getting to ride with the other hart boys is always good fun.

Are you still working mate or are you making a crust out of riding at the moment?

At the moment it’s pretty much just riding. My boss is kinda funny… He’s usually down with me going away on tour or something, but when I get back he’s over it and usually lays me off. (laughs) So right now, yeah, it’s just the riding. It’s all good though, the money’s there at the moment and we just bought a house so I can’t complain.

Is the plan to jump on the regional Nitro Tour as well?

Yep, I’ve had a contract for that tour for a while now. I’ll be doing every stop of the Australian regional tour, which is awesome. I love being on tour with those guys.

Have all these tours and shows motivated you to learn some new tricks or revive some old ones again?

For sure. For the regional tour I’ll have my Cordova flips back and I want to be throwing KOD flips again. I started doing them just before Christmas again, but one went crooked on me and I went down and broke my finger. A broken finger has to be one of the most annoying injuries ever and it’s still all jacked up now. It’s stuck in the one position, but luckily they set it with a bend so I can still hang onto the grip fine.

You seem to have pretty good longevity in your career mate. What do you put that down to?

I think having the kids made me focus a lot more. That was the motivation for me to get fit, which helps me enjoy riding the bike more. I love the travelling around and I get to bring the family with me a lot of the time, which makes it even better. It’s almost like a work/holiday sometimes, so if I can keep doing it and stay fit and injury free I’ll keep doing it as long as I can.

Still got a few more years left in ya?

(laughs) Yeah, the old dog still has a few more in him.