Ricky Carmichael, Josh Hill & Broc Tickle At Houston Supercross

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.

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.

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.

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“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.

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.

TICKLE OVERCOMES EARLY SETBACK, FINISHES SEVENT IN SX MAIN EVENT

SEATTLE – (Saturday, April, 20, 2013)

Broc Tickle led the Dodge/RCH Racing team at Round 15 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series with an impressive performance in Saturday night’s Main Event at CenturyLink Field. He finished seventh while teammate Josh Hill was 12th.

Rain Friday and Saturday made for very sloppy track conditions and forced organizers to condense the schedule. The untimed practice schedule was eliminated leaving only two timed sessions for the riders to dial in their bikes before the evening program.

Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) rebounded from a disappointing 10th-place finish (only the top nine finishers advance to the Main Event) in his Heat Race with a strong performance in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to earn one of two transfer spots into the Main Event. His 15th-consecutive Main Event start of the year was secure.

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“I was frustrated that I had to go to the LCQ because you never know who will be in it,” said Tickle. “I rode really well in the LCQ. For six laps, anybody can hang on and step up to beat the field. I just focused on getting a good start and made sure that I rode clean for six laps.”

The wide starting position wasn’t too much to overcome in the 20-lap Main Event. The Michigan native busted out of the gate13th. The determined Tickle went to work and emerged from a four-rider battle to take 11th on Lap 10. Despite the rutted-up track surface, Tickle continued the pressure, gaining three more spots by Lap 14 and used one last pin of the throttle to claim seventh at the checkered flag.

“It was a pretty good Main tonight,” Tickle said. “It always stinks when you have to go through the LCQ. My main goal was to get into the Main. I knew that the track was going to deteriorate. I like rutty tracks. My goal was just to go out there and ride hard for 20 laps and I felt that I did that tonight. I made one mistake in the middle of the race by following somebody and two guys got around me. I recovered pretty well. I think that I had a top-five bike tonight. I’ll take it. This was my best race of the year under some tough circumstances.”

Hill led RCH in the first timed qualifying session, recording the sixth best time on the hard-back and modestly fast race surface. Slower high-banked corners allowed for riders to brake-slide the 180-degree corners. Hill was ready for the challenge. A gnarly start straightaway section made the race start critical. Throttle control was mandatory on a circuit where full power wasn’t necessary to be fast.

Hill was impressive in his Heat race, finishing fourth in Heat 1 with a steady, workman-like ride.

In the Main Event, Hill couldn’t take advantage of his eighth position on the gate. He and Chad Reed collected each other in Turn 1. That dropped the Oregon native all the way down to 19th. He used the next nine laps to climb seven positions and held the spot, finishing 12th.

Hill Seattle 2

“I went into the first turn and came in a little hot,” Hill said of his charge from the gate in the Main Event. “I thought that I was going to get the holeshot; it was me, (Justin) Barcia and (Justin) Brayton all going at it. I thought that I had it. Brayton squeezed me off just a little bit. I grabbed some front brake, had nowhere to go and ran into the tuff blocks which took some guys out behind me. From there, it was tough because I had some clay stuffed in my clutch – I had no clutch. I tried to start my bike and I had to find neutral without using the clutch, which was tough. I started 25-seconds from the last guy on the track and just had to ride my guts out.”

“I feel like I am riding really well right now. I passed a lot of bikes tonight. If I had just a few more laps, I think I would have caught the two guys in front of me and thrown it in the top-10. I just ran out of time”

Barcia was the 450SX Class race winner, edging series point leader Ryan Villopoto by 3.885-seconds. Davi Millsaps was third.

The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to Salt Lake City for Round 16 next Saturday.

HILL EARNS HEAT WIN and EIGHTH-PLACE FINISH IN MAIN

MINNEAPOLIS – (Saturday, April, 13, 2013) – Dodge’s Josh Hill earned his first Heat Race win of the season en route to his second consecutive top-10 Main Event finish Saturday night to lead RCH Racing at Round 14 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.

A packed Hubert H. Humphrey Dome welcomed riders for the first time since 2008 on a chilly day in Minnesota. Riders and mechanics had to brave the outdoor working conditions that saw the ambient temperature drop into the 20’s by time the gate dropped for the evening session.

Hill’s comeback continues to be the feel-good story inside the 450SX Class paddock as the defending event champion had his most impressive ride aboard his Suzuki this season. The numbers tell the story as Hill was sixth in both afternoon practice sessions to earn the third gate for his Heat. He used a slick maneuver early in the eight-lap qualifier to claim the lead and never looked back, leading all eight laps. He edged Chad Reed by 1.131-seconds to secure RCH Racing its first qualifying race win of the season.

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“I was fourth (after the gate dropped), a decent start for me,” Hill said. “I set myself up where I could get one clean shot on those guys and I made a pass on all three. I was in the right place at the right time and took advantage of what was in front of me. Reed was coming fast but he made a small mistake and I was able to hold him off. It was cool. I got the jump on (Ryan) Villopoto and just pinched him off a bit. It was a solid ride. It was cool.”

With the second gate selection for the Main Event, Hill was able to bang handlebars with the leaders early, riding as high as fourth on Lap 8 in the 20-lap Main Event until falling off the lead-pack pace in the second half of the race.

“It’s been a long road,” he added. “I’m getting closer to where I want to be, happy about the stepping stone the last few weeks. I still have years of work to do to get to where I want to be. A few good weekends, for sure. I’m going in the right direction. I’ve worked so hard to get to this point and it would be stupid to give up now. I’m just going to keep working as hard as I can and keep challenging the best riders in the world.”

Teammate Broc Tickle finished outside of the top 10 for the first time since Round 11 in Toronto. He finished 13th in Saturday night’s Main Event. His fate was determined early as a pack of riders went down, blocking the racing line and slowing the pace. Tickle was 15th after Lap 1. He managed to gain two positions over the final 19 laps.

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“After the whoops section, some guys crashed and went down,” said Tickle. “I had nowhere to go. By the time I could react, I just basically ran into the guys in front of me. There wasn’t much I could do; three of us got together. I think it was (Phil) Nicoletti who went down, not quite sure. Just a tough deal.”

Hometown favorite Ryan Dungey was the event winner, beating two-time defending series champion Ryan Villopoto by a mere 0.903-seconds. Davi Millsaps, Justin Barcia and Chad Reed rounded out the top-five.

The series heads west for the final three races of the 2013 season. Next week, riders visit Century Link Field in Seattle.

Racer X 450 Words with Josh Hill

Momentum is finally starting to build for Dodge/Sycuan RCH Suzuki’s Josh Hill. For the first time since 2010, he’s finally able to ride and train and practice consistently, and he’s been making the races and making the mains. The results are trending up, too, and he finally delivered a top-ten on Saturday night in Houston with an eighth. Could have been seventh, too, but he was passed in the very last turn by BTOSports.com KTM’s Andrew Short. Still, for what Hill has gone through, eighth is good, and he thinks he has more.

For Hill, much of his story keeps revolving around where he’s been and what he’s gone through. We found him in the RCH rig after the race and, instead, we chatted about where he is, and where he’s going. Forget the past—he’s looking to the future.

Racer X: It did seem like you were just that much closer to the front or feeling better. That’s the way you felt?
Josh Hill: Today was… all day just kind of was good. I’ve been riding really well at the practice tracks. All the test tracks, out at Ricky’s, everywhere, I’ve been riding really well. I just haven’t been putting it together on the weekends. I’ve been coming out and tucking my tail between my legs and not riding like I know how. I still don’t think this weekend I rode to the best of my ability, or even close. But it was definitely a step in the right direction.

And that started right at the beginning of the day. You’re not just talking about getting the best result of the year in the main, but even practice and stuff.
Yeah. I was ninth in the first practice, eighth in the second, third in the heat race, eighth in the main. Should have been seventh. [Andrew] Short got me in the very last corner. I wanted to kill him for like five seconds, but then I realized it is racing. But it was good. If the tables would have been turned I would have been really happy with myself for the pass that he made on me. So, I give him that.

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Did it help even just having better gate picks and all that, going into the main and stuff?
I’m not trying to disrespect anybody but when you’re starting next to [Davi] Millsaps and [James] Stewart and the top players, it feels better than starting on the very outside, barely making it in the main. You go up to the line with the sense of “I belong here.” When you barely make the cut, you’re just all, “Well, 20 laps, starting from last. Let’s get this going.”

Just take me through that pass with Short, in the last turn. Did you even touch? He was squeezing in there.
He threw an elbow in on me, but it was a good pass. I rode too protective the last lap and just kind of didn’t go fast enough. I didn’t go fast enough on the last lap. I was too timid through the whoops. Made a mistake right before the mechanics area, gave him too much room. And I still thought I had it for sure. I thought he was going to try to swing to the outside and rail past me, so I protected the inside. Kind of went a little slow so I could jump out and kind of take the line away from him. And he just ran it in, stuck his elbow, and pretty much just out-muscled me for that 7th spot. Like I said, I was actually kind of out of line and stuffed the hell out of him after the finish. I had to take a deep breath and realize that what he did was great racing, and it wasn’t dirty; it was just a great racing pass. I came out on the short end.

Let’s talk about your riding in general. How close do you feel you’re getting to your potential? You said you still didn’t quite feel like your racing as well as you can ride. Are you close? Or do you think you’ve got a lot more to give?
I’ve got so much more to give. I felt like I rode… I’m telling you, right now I can go to the practice track and I feel as good as I ever have. I get on the Suzuki, the bike works like a dream. And when I’m in the flow on this bike I don’t know how many people could beat me. It’s just when I come to the races, it’s so foreign to me again. I’ve just got to keep racing. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do. I don’t have an outdoor ride right now, but I have to keep racing. I’ll go to whatever country will give me an opportunity to ride a good dirt bike.

You just need to go over starting gates?
I just need to keep racing. I just want to race. Or maybe it’s a regional series. If I have a bike, that’s what I’m doing. I need to ride because I know I can get back up to the level I was. Just got to keep going. Other than the little wrist thing at the beginning of this season, this is the first time I’ve been able to ride consecutively for months. Every other time, I was riding three weeks, trying to go out and race. After that type of injury that’s just not ever going to happen, it’s never going to work. We’re gaining some momentum now and I’m hoping by the time Vegas rolls around I’ll be knocking on the door for a top five, or on a perfect scenario, a podium, if I ride like myself.

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Does the ankle, foot and all that hurt by the end of the night or anything like that? Or is that totally behind you at this point?
No, I don’t feel it so it doesn’t hurt! It’s completely numb. I mean, it hurts; I take that back. When I wake up Sunday morning and I’m walking through the airport I look like I got ran over. But in the race it doesn’t affect me unless I have an extremely hard landing or someone runs into it, which that doesn’t bother me. But it’s numb. I can’t move my toes and I don’t feel the thing. I can just rock my ankle that many degrees and make it work. But with modern-day suspension and boots, I can make it work.

And on a 450 you don’t need to shift that much, right?
No, not too much.

But you can do it when you need to.
I just throw the butt shift, like the 65 class.

Ah, when they’re learning to shift.
Yeah, I’m throwing the butt shift out. Watch it; you’ll crack up. I’ll go off a little jump, my whole ass just goes forward.

So you look like a guy just learning how to shift a bike.
That’s what I look like, yeah.

RCH RACING RIDERS EACH EARN TOP 10 FINISHES IN HOUSTON

HOUSTON, Tex. – (Saturday, April, 6, 2013)

Dodge riders were well represented at Round 13 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series on Saturday night as Josh Hill and Broc Tickle each scored top-10 Main Event finishes.

“It was a great day,” Hill said. “I was top 10 in practice and that really got my day starting off on a good note. My Heat Race was really good. I got a fourth-place start, ran second for a while and finished third.

Hill’s eighth-place finish – his first since his last full season in 2010 – led the Dodge riders with teammate Broc Tickle right behind scoring 10th.

Everything is considered bigger in Texas and the characterization certainly played true inside the enclosed Reliant Stadium. An estimated crowd of 40,000 watched the world’s greatest Supercross riders attack a huge 80-foot whoop section and gnarly obstacles atop the soft sandy-based Texas dirt.

Consistency and courage played a major factor for riders as they constantly searched for the preferred acing line on one of the most interesting track layouts this season. Conquering the 10-turn circuit was a challenge, finding speed and surviving the whoops was chore.

In the Main Event, Hill leveraged his third-place finish in the Heat and capitalized on a solid gate pick to score his best finish this season. The Oregon native never raced outside of the top-10 the entire 20-lap feature race. Hill rode in seventh for the final nine laps only to lose one position on the white flag lap and score eighth.

“I got a great start in the Main Event, a top 10. I ended up picking off a few guys and rode all the way up to seventh and stayed there pretty much the entire moto after (James) Stewart fell,” Hill added. “But Andrew Short got me on the last lap and we ended up eighth.”

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Hill used two solid afternoon qualifying sessions, each inside of the top-10, to seed himself fourth in Heat 1. When the gate dropped on the eight-lap Main Event qualifier, Hill broke second and was able to miss a multi-rider pileup that stacked field in front of him in the eight-lap qualifier. With a comfortable cushion on the field, Hill was able to set a ride a solid pace and score third – his best Heat finish this season.

“I felt great all day,” he added. “I’ve known that I could be a top-10 rider since the very first round. After I got hurt in Anaheim, coming back was tough. After missing so many years of racing, to get hurt in the first race really took the confidence out of me. I had to re-build myself as a racer. It was tough. I’m accustomed to racing for a podium and wins. When I came back in San Diego that was out of the question.”
Broc Tickle earned his 13th consecutive Main Event of the season after scoring ninth in Heat 2. Tickle restarted fifth after the Heat was red-flagged on Lap 3 but couldn’t maintain his early momentum falling four positions over the final five circuits.

Tickle overcame an 18th-place starting position for the Main to power the No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450 eight positions despite another handlebar exchange with rival Andrew Short.

“I just felt off all day and I’m not sure why,” Tickle said. “I don’t know if it was the track of what, I just didn’t feel comfortable on the track. My bike was working well; it just wasn’t clicking for me today. We got away with a 10th and we’ll take it. It’s not the finish that we wanted but we’ll have to take it. We salvaged points and we’re still top-10 in the rider standings.”

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Ryan Dungey won his fifth consecutive 450SX class race this season edging Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard on the podium. With the win, Villopoto extended his point’s lead to 21 over second-place Davi Millsaps. The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to Minneapolis next Saturday night for Round 14 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.

Racer X 450 Words: Tickle is Serious

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.”