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.
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.”
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.