Ricky Carmichael, Josh Hill & Broc Tickle At Houston Supercross / Page 2

Part owner Ricky Carmichael and team riders Josh Hill and Broc Tickle start the week off with appearances and autograph signings while the RCH team gets the trailer and fan experiences ready for the weekend. Ricky offers a glimpse into his duties away from the team including helping to design the 2013 Monster Energy Cup track. Josh races well over the weekend finishing 8th overall and Broc finishes 10th. Although the guys would like to perform better, it’s the first time both riders have finished in the top 10 together.

HOW FMX RIDERS JUMP INTO BIG TIME OF X GAMES

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In action sports, X Games is the one event that all freestyle motocross riders consider the holy grail of contests. It is the most coveted and exclusive event to be a part of. All year long, everything an FMX rider does is geared toward getting that invitation.

Typically, invitations to compete in a Moto X event at X Games are reserved for the sport’s most elite athletes — those who are pushing the boundaries of the sport — and the previous year’s winners (the gold, silver and bronze medalists from each previous X Games Moto X event are given automatic invites back to compete). Nevertheless, it’s not easy getting an invitation to compete at X Games. Some would go as far as to say that simply being invited to compete at X Games is an accomplishment in itself.

In the first several years that Moto X was included in the X Games, qualifying events, known as the X Trials, took place to determine who would compete. In the early 2000s, the X Games dropped the X Trials and focused on the main X Games events, prompting a switch to an invite-only process. All of a sudden, the stakes became a lot higher. Athletes no longer competed in qualifying events to acquire points that would lead to an X Games invite. But attaining an invite was not taken 100 percent out of the hands of the Moto X athlete. Athletes can still take certain avenues to ensure their inclusion in the X Games invite process.

X Games senior director of content strategy and sports and competition Tim Reed said performance and outside competition results play a hand in the decision process. “In terms of guys or girls breaking through, elite performance and competition results will always be the biggest factor in terms of selection,” Reed said. But it’s not X Games staff making the call.

“The invite selection process is managed through our sport organizers. The X Games rely on [the sport organizers] and their network of industry experts to ultimately make the invite decisions,” Reed said.

These experts, former athletes and industry insiders use their vast knowledge of the current FMX times to determine who gets an invite.
Paul Taublieb, who oversees the freestyle motocross events as sport organizer at X Games, said the event is not the place to come to prove one’s self.

“We look to see that [an athlete] has proven themselves in some other venue, because we think our event is the pinnacle of the sport,” said Taublieb. “It could be through other competitions, it could be through video or it can be a reputation the experts feel that this guy has established himself on some level where he should be part of the X Games.”

Name recognition
For aspiring FMXers seeking an invite, building a name in the sport is key. Some of the best, proven ways to get on the X Games committee’s radar include participating in FMX demos, filming video sections, freeriding with top riders and receiving general media exposure from the popular FMX Internet sites and magazines. Riding in FMX demos proves to the sport organizers that an athlete can perform when it’s go time in front of a crowd. X Games Foz do Iguaçu Moto X Step Up (a high jump on dirt bikes) gold medalist Bryce Hudson attests to the value of riding in demos.

“Demos help to build athlete credibility, because no one can really be thrown in on a big spotlight like that and be expected to perform. You’ve got to have some experience in showing that you can perform in front of a crowd,” said Hudson, who was also set to compete in Freestyle and Speed & Style before breaking his leg in a practice accident in Foz do Iguaçu.

Videos are a key part in building a rider’s name, by revealing their true bike skills. But the days of videos being a primary reason for an invitation are long gone. As FMX has evolved and grown, riders must have more than one trick in their repertoire. As in other careers, business is done and deals are made because of the connections someone makes. Freeriding is a perfect example of networking and maintaining contact with influential riders and industry people to build your credibility.

“Sometimes it’s based on someone’s freeriding or reputation that someone on the committee feels should be at X Games,” Taublieb said. “It’s a different process because there is no formal process.”

Having an agent or a manager pull for his or her athlete is also an added benefit. The last thing a rider wants to do is sit on the phone and sell himself or herself. Time is better spent riding. And this was the case for Hudson, 22. Not really having much of a name on which to sell himself, Hudson concentrated on building up his reputation on the Moto X scene. His agent, Dan McGranahan, took care of business behind the scenes. McGranahan helped to build up Hudson’s reputation as an athlete who would do well in the scope of X Games competition. Hudson’s persistent hard work on the bike, coupled with McGranahan’s behind-the-scenes efforts, ultimately paid off with X Games gold last month in Brazil. But there are other circumstances to consider.

Second chances
What if someone is an all-around good FMX rider with a solid name and a proven track record in other events but still can’t manage to get an X Games invitation?
Lance Coury, 23, can identify. Coury was trying to get invited throughout his career as a Moto X Speed & Style (which combines freestyle with elements of Supercross racing) athlete. Three years ago, he was given an invite to compete at X Games in Los Angeles. But two weeks before the event, he dislocated his elbow and was forced to give up his invite to an alternate. It took Coury three years to regain the X Games invitation he had lost to injury.

“X Games is the top of our sport, the cream of the crop; I believe it is what every FMX rider wants to be [in], and every athlete in action sports for that matter,” Coury said. “And to want to be in it and not [make] it is hard because there are only so many spots they have available. And it’s a difficult task to get in because there are so many great athletes.”

Ultimately, Coury did receive an invitation to X Games Foz do Iguaçu in April. He took gold in the Moto X Speed & Style event and will return to defend it at X Games Barcelona. But he was forced to push hard for three years (riding 69 shows in 23 days last year, for example) before that opportunity presented itself again.The sport of freestyle motocross has only a small number of elite riders, yet many veterans are still competitive. This makes it difficult for riders to break through when just eight to 12 riders are in each of the four FMX disciplines at X Games. One to two spots created every year by guys who filter themselves out — either because of injury or retirement — are the toughest invites for which a global field of riders are competing.

Up-and-coming riders need to keep their game tight, practice tricks until they can be done instinctually on command and line up as many demos as possible to prove to promoters they are worthy of putting on a show. Riders need to make videos to get their names out there on the FMX radar screen. And most of all, the best way to ensure a rider gets an invite is to have something new. FMX is about progression and invention.

TICKLE 10TH AT VEGAS, FINISHES NINTH IN SX RIDER STANDINGS

LAS VEGAS (Saturday, May 4, 2013)

The 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series concluded its 17-race season Saturday night in Las Vegas. Dodge/RCH Racing was led by Broc Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) who finished 10th while teammate Josh Hill (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) slowed late in the race and ended up 14th.

“A real physical ride tonight,” said Tickle after the Main Event. “The start was really tricky, the entire track was tough tonight. I felt pretty good in the Main. I was there with a group of guys and kind of lost them for a bit. I regrouped with them near the end of the race and brought home a 10th.”

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Sam Boyd Stadium, home to the University of Las Vegas Runnin’ Rebels, is known for its huge SX layouts and the season finale continued the tradition. Riders were challenged by the ultra-fast “Monster Alley” – a section with a sweeping left-hand turn that took riders outside the stadium and back into a long straightaway where speeds reached 60 mph. The highly-technical rhythm section and gnarly 180-degree turns added to the challenge. Riders willing to grab a handful of throttle were rewarded.

Hill and Tickle were among the eight fastest riders during the afternoon timed practice session which provided better gate selections for the Heat Races. Tickle was seeded fourth for Heat 1, Hill fifth in Heat 2.

Tickle raced as high as fifth in the eight-lap qualifier but a slip on Lap 4 dropped him to sixth were he finished to earn his 17th consecutive Main Event start this season.

“I felt really solid on the bike,” Tickle added. “The track was really hard-packed and kind of tough to figure out for the Main. You had to focus on getting into a good rhythm and not make a mistake.”

Hill’s fate in Heat 2 was nearly disastrous. He jumped the start causing his front tire to lodge against the starting gate, pinning his Suzuki while the other 19 riders rode off into Turn 1. Despite the hiccup, Hill stormed back and gained 13 positions over the next seven laps to finish sixth and advance to the Main.

“Just a little too aggressive, Hill said. “I had a great gate selection and just tried to anticipate the gate drop.”

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In the Main Event, gate selection and the race start were once again key factors in the outcome. Tickle overcame a sluggish start (14th after Lap 1) but quickly regained a fast race pace and was running 10th by Lap 10. He would advance no further over the final 10 laps.

“It was a solid run,” said Tickle. “We were able to move up to ninth in points.”

Hill got a fast start but got caught in slower traffic that inhibited his preferred racing line. As a result, he was shuffled back to 11th by midrace and fell three more positions after a late-race incident.

“I made a little mistake and fell back to 10th where Broc (Tickle) and I were banging handlebars a little bit,” Hill said. “Once he got around me, I was trying to pace myself and right around Lap 19 I crashed coming over the ski jump. My front tire felt like it went flat. It knifed out and I went sliding sideways like I was road racing. It just wasn’t a good race. It was miserable. I was trying so hard to get to the front that I just beat myself up.”

SX Series champion Ryan Villopoto earned his 10th Monster Energy AMA Supercross win of the season edging Ryan Dungey and Davi Millsaps. The three-time champion led the final 19 laps to win by 2.843-seconds.

Premiere: Big B’s “Here Comes the Lightning”

ARTISTdirect.com has teamed up with Big B to premiere the track “Here Comes the Lightning” from Fool’s Gold, out via Suburban Noize on July 9. It was co-written by pop diva P!nk with an assist from producer Butch Walker, who has worked with everyone from Weezer to Katy Perry to Taylor Swift.

“P!nk is a good friend of mine and we always wanted to do something together, but the timing never worked out because of her insane schedule,” Big B said. “For this album, everything just worked out, as she had the time to work on a track together with Butch Walker. It was a cool mesh my writing style with theirs and the song we created together turned out to be one of my favorite songs on the record.”

And now you can listen to the fruits of their labor.

Josh Hill & Josh Hansen Raw SX Practice Video

Last week at the Suzuki SX test track near Corona, Twitch This Films caught up with Josh Hill & DBK rider Josh Hansen while they did some motos on the Supercross track. No music, just bikes & both Josh’s tearing up the track..Enjoy!

Filmed & Edited by J.Sanders

For more free content check out Twitch’s Free app on iTunes & Android called TwitchThis (Search- Jeremy Stenberg)

HILL LEADS RCH RACING with 7th IN MAIN EVENT

SALT LAKE CITY (Saturday, April, 27, 2013)

The picturesque snow-capped mountains of Utah served as the background for Round 16 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at Rice-Eccles Stadium in Salt Lake City but Chamber of Commerce 70-degree temperatures greeted race teams and fans, the best weather for an SX race this season.

The racing circuit inside the outdoor college football stadium which serves as the home of the Utah Utes proved to be a major challenge for crew chiefs and riders. The extra-short straightaway between the starting gate and tight Turn 1 along with a racing surface filled with marbles and stones were factors in the Heat Races and Main Event.

Josh Hill (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) led the Dodge/RCH Racing team with a season-best finish of seventh in the Main Event. He raced inside the top 10 throughout the 20-lap feature.

RCH Racing teammate Broc Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) earned his 16th consecutive Main Event start of the season and finished 11th.

Hill was seventh fastest in the afternoon timed practice and Tickle eighth. Both RCH riders used aggressive starts in their respective Heat Races to easily transfer to the Main. Hill finished third in Heat 2 while Tickle was fourth in Heat 1.

In the Main Event, Hill was running ninth after the first lap. He moved into seventh on Lap 8 and maintained the position the rest of the race.

Josh Hill Salt Lake City

“I got a decent start in the Main and made a few quick passes to gain some spots,” Hill said. “I got up into the top 10 early and that helped. The race start was so hard if you were starting outside of the first few gates because it was such a short straightaway and tight left-hand turn. Guys would just bang into each other. Riders with the first eight gate picks chose the inside. It was a battle.”

Tickle looked to be on his way to his ninth top-10 Main Event finish until a mishap on Lap 10 in the tough whoops section dropped the RCH rider seven spots to 17th. The Michigan native raced the next nine laps incident free and battled his way back to 11th.

“It was a solid start in the Main until I went down,” Tickle said. “I was riding ninth and about to pass Andrew Short but skipped over a couple of the whoops and crashed pretty good. So I got up, got in behind (Trey) Canard and just started picking guys off that I had lost positions to earlier.”

Ryan Villopoto earned the Nuclear Cowboyz holeshot and never looked back en route to his ninth 450SX Class win of the season, securing his third-consecutive 450SX Class championship. He held off Davi Millsaps who raced second for the final 18 circuits. The margin of victory was 1.528 seconds. Ryan Dungey was third.

Villopoto is the fifth rider in Monster Energy AMA Supercross history to win three championships, joining RCH Racing team owner Ricky Carmichael, Bob Hannah, Jeff Stanton, and Jeremy McGrath.

The 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series season concludes next weekend in Las Vegas at Sam Boyd Stadium.

Josh Hill To Hell & Back: RCH Racing Ep. 1

After a breakout Rookie season in 2008, Josh Hill’s career came to an abrupt halt in 2010 when he shattered his right femur, pelvis, and humerus attempting an 80-foot backflip while training for X Games. After numerous surgeries, Josh’s complications continued as he developed Compartment Syndrome in his opposite leg leaving him paralyzed from the knee down. Hear the full story of Josh’s persistence will and determination to get back on the bike and the support he’s found with the Dodge/Sycuan RCH Racing Team as he comes back against all odds to sit in 15th place in the 2013 Supercross season! Incredible comeback!

X Games rookie Lance Coury wins gold in the Speed & Style!

FOZ DO IGUAÇU, Brazil — X Games rookie Lance Coury, 23, won gold in the Speed & Style event on Saturday at X Games Foz after beating out Brazilian rider Gilmar Flores in quarterfinals, dispatching former FIM Freestyle MX World Champion Libor Podmol of the Czech Republic in semifinals, and finishing ahead in a final bout against Norwegian rider Andre Villa.

“It’s my first X Games. I love this,” said Coury, breathless and dusting himself off in disbelief after the head-to-head race. “I got into freestyle motocross because of Travis Pastrana and X Games.”

In quarterfinals, Villa beat French rider David Rinaldo, the current leader in the 2013 FIM Freestyle MX World Championship series, and took Swiss rider Mat Rebeaud down in semifinals. In the main event Coury took an early lead out of the gates, then slipped up in the rhythm section with Villa closing in fast.

The stadium-sized course was bigger and more open than the previous Speed & Style tracks at X Games Los Angeles, which were held inside the Staples Center arena, leaving room for both more speed and bigger airs.

“I knew I was in front,” Coury said, recounting the slip-up that sent both riders careening off the course. “I don’t know what tricks he’s doing, I’m doing the tricks that I have in my head, I’m going as fast as I can, I can hear him on my back. I make a mistake in that line, he jumps over my head, I’m like, ‘I’ve gotta take the inside, one so he doesn’t crash on me, two so I can maybe keep him off of me.'”

Villa won on style points, 84.66 to 84.00 — partly thanks to a huge whip flip on the course’s 75-foot FMX competition ramp — but Coury came out of the scramble first and finished well ahead of him, bumping his overall score to 97.85.

“I didn’t even expect to ride X Games this year,” Coury said. “I didn’t expect to make it to the final round… honestly, I just had fun out there.”

Villa claimed silver, his first X Games medal in four appearances. Rebead beat out Podmol for the bronze in the consolation round.