It was the best of times and potentially
some of the worst of times for the RCH Soaring Eagle Supercross Team in
Atlanta. In a twisted version of literary classic “A Tale Of Two Cities” both
Josh Hill #75 and Broc Tickle #20 went from their best times of the SX season
in Dallas last weekend only to have what could have been the worst of times in
Atlanta this weekend. However in a demonstration of maturity and
professionalism, the entire RCH Soaring Eagle Supercross Team showed their
true colors and turned in a performance that books are written about.
Actually their afternoon qualifying sessions were literally among the best of
times as Tickle was one of only four riders to turn a 52-second lap time. This
netted Tickle third overall and a great gate pick for his heat race. But a
bobble by Hill in the first heat and a cheap shot in the second heat that took
out Tickle after he had charged into a qualifying position resulted in both
RCH Soaring Eagle riders having to ride the semis.
Heat #1 saw Hill get a top 5 start, but a miscue dropped him to 8th. He
regrouped and tried to make a run for one of the four transfer spots, but only
made it up to 7th at the finish, resulting in a trip to the semi. However the
real drama was in Heat #2 as Broc Tickle arguably rode the race of his life.
“I felt awesome today,” said Tickle. “I had great practice times and rode
great in the heat. I started third and tried to make a pass on Wil Hahn for
second when I stalled my bike.” From stalling out of contention, Tickle then
put on an epic charge!
“Broc has been on point all day,” said team principal Ricky Carmichael from
the broadcast booth. “He has been great in the whoops. I told him if he had
any problems getting by someone, just to wait for the whoops.” It looked like
everything was going exactly to plan as Broc charged from 8th to 4th on the
last lap (remember, only four riders transfer in the new semi format for this
season). Tickle’s charge earned him a transfer spot when he passed Mike
Alessi then all Hell broke loose!
Knowing that Carmichael couldn’t say too much about the incident, Jeff Emig
jumped in on the TV telecast and said “That was a straight T-Bone move” as
Alessi appeared to deliberately launch his bike right into the #20 machine. If
you haven’t seen it enough times yet, check this out:
After seeing the replay, RC admitted it looked like a cheap shot to him, too.
“I try not to pump my own team too much on TV, but Broc has been riding well
all day and that was a cheap shot that took him out. You just don’t do
something like Alessi did. Poor decisions like this are what have kept Mike
from realizing his potential.”
On the positive side RCH Soaring Eagle received more TV time than the race
winner Ken Roczen. During the afternoon qualifying, RC shared the view from
the announcers box to his social media followers:
http://instagram.com/p/ku6JE9uRKM/ <http://instagram.com/p/ku6JE9uRKM/> ‹
then before the first 450 Heat, Broc Tickle did a quick trackside interview.
However this was just the beginning of the media furor that unfortunately
overshadowed just how well Tickle had been riding. Broc was interviewed by Fox
Sports’ Jenny Taft again after the incident. Showing true poise and composure
fresh from the heat of battle in the heat race, Broc said, “My perspective?” I
thought I had made a clean pass and I wasn’t expecting it.” Tickle was
remarkably calm trackside before having to ride in the semi. “I got taken out
and ejected off the bike, it caught me off guard.”
Tickle shook off the crash and put in a strong ride to finish a solid second
just behind Andrew Short in the semi. Rather than letting the incident with
Alessi upset him, Broc was totally focused in the semi, nearly taking the
holeshot and riding smart the whole race. “Short rides a really wide bike at
times,” noted RC. “I’m happy to see Broc able to put the crash behind him and
ride so smart.” It wasn’t as easy as Tickle made it look, though. “My ribs and
breathing were bothering me,” said Broc. “Dr. G did what he could before the
main, but I wasn’t feeling it like I had earlier in the day.”
Like Tickle, Heat #2 saw teammate Josh HIll ride well and transfer into the
main. Hill had a top five start and held back waiting for any mistakes by the
leaders. However with one lap to go, Hill wicked it up and blew past a couple
of riders (one on the last turn) to take 3rd and get a better gate pick in the
When the gate dropped for the 450 main event, both the RCH Racing Soaring
Eagle Suzuki’s were 9th and 18th. By the fifth circuit of the 20 lap main
event, Broc was up to 8th and Hill was in 16th finding himself in an
unexpected battle with another Suzuki rider, James Stewart who had crashed
while contesting the lead. In the ultimate bit of irony, Broc found himself
catching Alessi as the laps wound down.
When the checkers finally fell, Tickle had tied his best result of the season
with 7th to match Dallas last week. By showing composure and professionalism, Broc maintains top 10 of the rider standings despite missing two rounds. “I’m
looking forward to this week and riding the rest of the series. I’m pumped
with the way I rode all night.” he added of his speed.
Teammate Hill hung on to finish 13th and stays top 15th in the standings. “Bad
starts just hampered my night,” said Hill. “It was hectic with people going
down everywhere. By the time I got going, everyone was gone.”
Whether it is on the track or in the pits, the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle team
is always in the thick of it! Join us in the pits before each Supercross race
where we have everything from the Suzuki Holeshot Experience to the team
autograph signing. Some lucky winner every week gets an all-expense paid trip
to the Soaring Eagle Luxury Resort! Next week the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle
Team heads to the Lucas Oil Dome in Indianapolis for Round 9 on March 1.
Photo Credit: Simon Cudby
About RCH Racing Soaring Eagle:
RCH Racing is in its second season of the partnership between Ricky Carmichael
and Carey Hart. Ricky Carmichael merged his Suzuki relationship and technical
development with the established five year marketing giant of Hart &
Huntington Racing in 2013. The RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Team continues its
partnerships with Suzuki, Fox, Dodge, Sycuan Casino, Yoshimura and Bel Ray.
stay up to date on all RCH Racing Soaring Eagle news, follow us on Instagram
and Twitter @RCHRacing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hartandhuntington