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 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.”
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.