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.

Tickle Seattle 2

“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.

Hill Minneapolis

“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.

Tickle Minneapolis

“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.”

Hill Houston 2

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.”

Tickle Houston 2

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.”

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.”

Broc Tickle Indy

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.

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.

Carey Hart and the Suzuki Holeshot Experience

Since Carey Hart launched the Hart and Huntington race team, the squad has always caused quite a stir in the Supercross pits. Though dancing go go girls don’t quite fit the bill for the newest evolution of the team, RCH Racing, that hasn’t stopped Hart from concocting yet another spectacle in the pits. The Suzuki Holeshot Experience allows fans to don a helmet, mount a real Suzuki RM-Z450, and bust out a simulated start on top of a real Dynojet dynamometer. How’s that for fan interaction? In the edition of Pit Pass Video, hear from Hart himself how he came up with the idea…