PLENTY OF FIGHT LEFT IN RCH SOARING EAGLE/JIMMY JOHNS/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING FOLLOWING ATLANTA

ATLANTA (March 2, 2015) – In the ultra-competitive world of Monster Energy Supercross, there’s one sure bet. The pendulum swings both ways and stays in perpetual motion. On the surface, the fourth- and eighth-place finishes may not represent a tremendous shift, but for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing, the way those two finishes played out speaks volumes.

For Broc Tickle, rider of RCH’s No. 20 Suzuki RM-Z450, Saturday night’s fourth-place effort in the Georgia Dome matches his career-best 450SX finish and represents continued forward progress since being sidelined for one race following an ugly crash in Oakland, just over a month ago.

Tickle finished fifth in his heat Saturday night but went on to pick up his second semifinal win of the year. His solid showing in the main proved the semi was no fluke. The Holly, Mich., rider remains 10th in the 450SX Championship standings and now trials ninth-place Andrew Short by a slim four-point margin.

“Like I said after last weekend, Atlanta just has good vibes for me,” explained Tickle following Round 9. “It felt like I was almost riding effortlessly. The track was coming to me really easily. I knew I just needed to have a good flow and ride smart. That’s what my mechanic Ritchie (Matchett) and I worked on all week. We focused on not clipping things and riding clean. I think that helped me on Saturday. That’s why I was good in practice and in the main event. Towards the end, I tightened up a little bit because the track started getting blown out so I just tried to clean everything up and push through the last five or six laps. We’ve built some great momentum over the last two weeks. We’re in a good place. It feels good.”

On the flip side, Ken Roczen fought his way through an ankle injury to finish eighth, but continued concern about his ankle sent the 2014 outdoor champion for an MRI Monday morning. Roczen suffered a pair of incidents two weeks ago at the Georgia Dome, and he aggravated the same ankle during Saturday’s final qualifying session. Still, the 20-year-old German powered through the pain to notch a respectable eighth-place finish.

Roczen is still third in the standings but now trails second-place Trey Canard by 13 points and leader Ryan Dungey by 43.

“Obviously, our night didn’t go as planned,” commented Roczen. “There are some things that I have to figure out. I have to get an MRI on my ankle this week so we know what we have to do, pushing forward. We need to figure out if I can keep riding and keep training or if its better to take some time off and let it heal. It wasn’t that great of a night. We’ll figure it out and be back as strong as ever.”

While both of his riders finished in the top 10, RCH co-owner Carey Hart knows plenty of work remains to be done. Hart was obviously pleased with Tickle’s performance but, at the same time, perplexed with Roczen’s last two outings.

“It couldn’t have been a much better night for Broc,” said Hart. “He rode really strong all day long. He’s been putting in the work and it’s showing. I couldn’t be happier for him. At the same time, it’s been a tough couple of weeks for Ken. We spent a lot of time together after the race, trying to figure out how to get that program back on track. I think we know what we need to do to get him back in the same frame of mind that he had at the beginning of the season. We’re going to hit the reset button this week and go from there but first things first. He needs to get his ankle checked out. After that, we’ll have a better idea where we’re at.”

Monster Energy Supercross travels to the World Center of Racing this weekend for the Daytona Supercross by Honda. Round 10 of the 2015 Supercross Championship will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, March 7 beginning at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 7:30 p.m. Eastern.

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TALE OF TWO RACES FOR RCH SOARING EAGLE/JIMMY JOHNS/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING IN ATLANTA

ATLANTA (February 23, 2015) – It was a tale of two races for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing when the Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, mixed it up Saturday night at the Georgia Dome.

Broc Tickle, rider of RCH’s No. 20 Suzuki RM-Z450 turned in a solid overall performance by winning his semi-final race and following it up with an impressive sixth-place finish in the main event. Ken Roczen, rider of the team’s No. 94 machine, endured a pair of cringe-worthy incidents over the course of the day to finish 18th in the main.

“I’m always stoked to race in Atlanta,” commented Tickle, who jumped from 11th to 10th in points. “Last year I set a good tone for myself and I always seem to have a good vibe when we race in the Georgia Dome. I just wanted to have a good weekend. We went through practice and it was OK and my semi, I just kind of pulled it together. I got my flow down and put some good, solid laps together. That gave me some confidence.

“I worked on my starts last week but I didn’t have it for the main. My start ruined me. I think I could have been a little better, results-wise, with a better start. Overall though, I’m pretty pumped with my finish. I think I was 11th or 12th after the start and passed my way all the way up to sixth. I think that’s the best I rode all year so I’m stoked about that. My bike was working really, really good. I’m going to go down to Kenny’s farm this week and plan to work on my starts some more. I’ll work on more of what I practiced last week and see if I can improve.”

Roczen was bucked off his bike on two separate occasions, once in qualifying and then again later in the night during the main. Fortunately, the 20-year-old rider escaped serious injury but the disappointing result cost him one spot in the championship standings. Roczen slipped from second to third in points and now trails second place Trey Canard by six with nine races remaining on the 2015 Supercross calendar.

“The whole night, actually the whole day was kind of gnarly,” said Roczen. “I felt like we had the bike figured out pretty good. In the main, my bike worked really good and I feel like I could have made up a lot of ground. I went in the whoops and caught one of the tough blocks somehow. It wasn’t a problem with the bike or anything like that. Obviously, I just made a mistake. It just happened.

“The automatic thing, when you tuck the front end or have a problem like I did, you end up holding it wide open because you’re almost crashing. I just whiskey-throttled and crashed really hard. I got lucky that I didn’t get hurt. After that, the handlebars on the bike were bent really bad so it was hard to really do much after that. There’s no give up in this team. I’m really lucky that I didn’t get hurt and still picked up three points. It could have been a lot worse.”

RCH co-owner Carey Hart was on hand in Atlanta and kept things in perspective. A veteran of not only Supercross but Freestyle Motocross as well, Hart knows sometimes you have to take the good with the bad that comes with competing at a high level.

“Our night was good and bad,” explained Hart. “Broc had a great night and rode really, really solid. He fought all the way to the end and ended up sixth. Ken just had a rough day. Things just kind of started to crumble when he had that nasty get off in the second timed practice. Maybe he just didn’t rebound. Still plenty of season in front of us so we’ll get back after it next weekend.”

Monster Energy Supercross returns to the Georgia Dome this weekend for an encore performance in The Big Peach. Round 9 of the 2015 Supercross Championship will be televised live on Fox Sports 2 Saturday, Feb. 28 beginning at 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 7 p.m. Eastern.

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CONSISTENCY KEEPS RCH SOARING EAGLE/JIMMY JOHNS/ SUZUKI FACTORY RACING IN THE HUNT IN ARLINGTON

ARLINGTON, Texas (February 16, 2015) – Preparation. Consistency. Results. Those three words summarize any championship caliber race team’s mission statement. When the plan is properly executed, success comes naturally.

While success may not always be defined as victory, a good night can take on the form of a quiet second-place finish. And, a top 10.

Such was the case for Ken Roczen, Broc Tickle and the RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing Team in Saturday night’s Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at AT&T Stadium. Roczen finished second to championship leader Ryan Dungey. Tickle finished ninth.

While the top-two effort left him one step below the top of the box, Roczen felt good with the result but was quick to point out that second won’t be enough to close the deal at season’s end.

“I need to work on my starts,” explained Roczen following the race. “I’ve been working hard on trying to be better, I just have to get out front. Ryan (Dungey) was pretty much gone after two laps and I made one big mistake after the finish line but overall, it was a decent race. We got second again and we’ll definitely take the podium.

“It’s still a long season but I have to work on my starts so I can be out front. Ryan is a really good starter. I just need to get holeshots. Third and fourth out of the gate isn’t going to be good enough. We need to win races and can’t make mistakes. Obviously, there are enough guys who can win. You just have to go in the main, get that holeshot and ride smart. You have to win.”

Roczen finished second for the third time this season but still lost three points to Dungey in the championship standings. In the first seven races of 2015, the 20-year-old German rider has won twice, finished second three times and has only one finish (Oakland) worse than fourth.

Tickle’s evening wasn’t quite as straightforward. A red flag halted his heat race, forcing the AMA to restart the night’s first 450SX qualifier. Shortly after the ensuing restart, the Holly, Mich., rider tangled with Jimmy Albertson and Jason Anderson, forcing him to race his way through the semi where a gritty last-lap performance secured him a starting spot in the main event.

Despite starting deep in the field and the constant nag that comes with the lingering effects from a back injury, Tickle rode a smart, consistent race during the main to come away with a respectable ninth-place showing.

“We had a red flag during the heat race,” recalled Tickle. “I think someone went down in the rhythm section so they red-flagged the race about halfway through and we had to restart. I got a decent start, that time. I think I was fourth or fifth. Then (Jimmy) Albertson lost control and (Jason) Anderson ran into him and I ran into Anderson, so that caused a big pile up. Pretty much finished almost last in the heat race.

“Went to the semi and had a bad gate pick. Thought I had the holeshot for a second but I got pushed a little wide. The last lap of the semi was pretty hectic. I made a couple of mistakes at the end but it turned out for the best because it got my intensity level up. I’m not stoked with my riding, 100 percent. I kind of felt like I did last weekend where I wasn’t totally comfortable. I need to work on some stuff this week so I can get better. Working on the little things is going to help me a lot.”

RCH co-owner Carey Hart was at AT&T Stadium for the race and in the team’s post-race debrief after the checkers waved. Hart pointed out consistency will make or break his team’s pursuit of the ultimate goal, the Monster Energy Supercross title.

“It was a great night,” offered Hart. “Ken had a good day in practice and qualifying. He was solid through the night. We have to keep banging out first- and second-place finishes to stay in this championship hunt. It was just one of those nights. (Ryan) Dungey got a clear start and had a clean track. Ken had to work through three or four guys to get to second and by then, Dungey had already set the pace and pretty much checked out. Broc’s still feeling it in his back but he finished ninth so it was a solid night all around. The only unfortunate part is that Ryan won and we lost a few points. There are 10 races left so we have to keep grinding.”

Roczen, Tickle and the rest of the Monster Energy Supercross crew continue east this weekend when the series visits Atlanta for the first of back-to-back weekends at the Georgia Dome. Round 8 of the 2015 Supercross Championship will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Feb. 21 beginning at 4 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 7 p.m. Eastern.
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ROCZEN, RCH SOARING EAGLE/JIMMY JOHNS/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING FOURTH AT ANAHEIM

ANAHEIM, Calif. (February 2, 2015) – Ken Roczen and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing bounced back from a disappointing race in Oakland with a solid fourth-place performance in Saturday night’s Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

While the end result left him one spot short of the podium and a bit melancholy after the event, the solid showing was an important about-face from his previous week’s performance. Although Roczen was pleased with his overall race effort Saturday night, the RCH Factory Suzuki rider was less than thrilled with how he performed out of the starting gate.

“I started out in practice not feeling the greatest, for some reason,” commented Roczen following the event. “I just felt a little bit off. In the heat race, I didn’t grab that good of a start but I could kind of sneak around and then I rode a good race. Same thing happened in the main. I had a horrible start. I don’t know what I was doing. Then (Blake) Baggett held me off for three or four laps and that’s when the guys in front gapped us. We caught them at one point but then I got passed by (Eli) Tomac on the last lap, which I’m not happy about. Basically, the starts are what really hurt me. It is what it is. We’re looking forward to this weekend. We finished fourth, which isn’t awesome but it’s ok.”

The 20-year-old German was third- and fifth-fastest, respectively, in each of his two qualifying sessions and finished second to eventual main-event winner Ryan Dungey in their heat race.

In the main event, Roczen struggled out of the starting gate before eventually settling into sixth in the running order. Throughout the 20-lap main, Roczen rode a smart, measured race and steadily worked his way up to third. Even though he yielded the final podium position to Tomac on the last lap, he still left Anaheim with a solid fourth-place finish.

“The whole day was kind of a struggle,” said Roczen’s mechanic Kelly Lumgair. “It took a while to get the track figured out and Ken might still be feeling it a little bit from Oakland. He got better the more he rode but a bad start in the main cost him a few positions. He worked his way up to a podium but Tomac passed him at the end and we finished fourth.”

After winning the first two races at Angel Stadium this season, RCH co-owner Carey Hart was optimistic heading into the event but he knows that any minor hiccup has the potential to derail a championship effort.

“I think Ken was just a little bit off all day,” explained Hart. “He just wasn’t flowing like he typically does. We have to buckle down this week and get the train back on the tracks and get ready for San Diego.”

Roczen’s RCH counterpart Broc Tickle wasn’t able to race this weekend after suffering a back injury at the Oakland Supercross. However, the 2011 Supercross West Coast Lites Champion was on hand to support his RCH stablemate with an eye toward San Diego.

“The track looked super-tough,” said Tickle. “It was hard to pass and all about the start. Sitting and watching drove me crazy but I’m really looking forward to this week. Hopefully, I can get on the bike and give positive feedback. The plan is to go to San Diego and pick back up where I left off before Oakland.”

Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, heads south from Anaheim down Interstate 5 this weekend to San Diego’s Petco Park – home of the San Diego Padres – and the last leg of the series’ West Coast swing. Round 6 of the 17-race Supercross schedule will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Sat., February 7, beginning at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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RICKY CARMICHAEL UNIVERSITY TO BREAK GROUND ON NEW CAMPUSES IN 2015

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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (January 29, 2015) – Ricky Carmichael University will visit a new campus in 2015 when the one a one-of-a-kind outdoor motocross riding school founded by Ricky Carmichael opens instruction at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn., July 10, 2015. The move marks a shift for RCU after operating at Red Bud MX for the last two years.

In November, RCU will travel to Australia for the fall term where Carmichael and tenured faculty members Jeff Emig and Jeff Stanton will lead an all-star lineup of instructors, offering riders of all ages and skill levels the opportunity to train with an elite group of championship-winning Motocross and Supercross riders. Exact dates and locations for RCU-AUS will be announced once details have been finalized.

“Everyone is pumped about how 2015 is shaping up for Ricky Carmichael University and the Carmichael Camps at my property,” said Carmichael. “We spent the last two years at Red Bud and that was a great opportunity to host RCU at one of the most famous motocross tracks in the country. But, after two years in one US location, it was time for something different. Muddy Creek is a beautiful facility but it’s challenging and that’s going to be important for our curriculum.

“We’re also excited to take RCU to Australia for the first time. Australia has a great motocross scene and I’ve never been down under before so that makes it even more special. I’m stoked to have Fro (Jeff Emig) and Jeff Stanton come along as part of the faculty again and we’ll have a couple special guest instructors to announce pretty soon.”

In addition to the new venues, Carmichael will host riders at his private training facility in Cairo, Ga., and open the former by-invitation-only event to the public for the first time. Limited to just 12 students per session, Carmichael Camp is a specialized training camp for the serious racer looking to improve his or her skills. Camp includes personal instruction from Carmichael, his mother Jeannie Carmichael as well as training sessions with Clint Freisen that focus on weight training, nutrition and hydration.

“Carmichael Camp is a lot of fun,” said Jeannie Carmichael. “It’s always been a private event so it will be fun to see some new faces and work with the next generation. We’ll have sessions for big bikes and little bikes so we can work with riders who are getting ready to make that next big step and with some who are just getting started. It’s going to be hard work and when we’re on the track for classroom sessions it’s all business, but at the same time, we always have fun.”

Emig, a four-time AMA National Champion, has been a staple at RCU since it’s inception and will continue his role as not only an instructor but as a key member of Carmichael’s advisory committee with an eye towards the future.

“Ricky has put together a really cool, one-of-a-kind, opportunity to not only ride with an incredibly talented group of instructors, but to interact and socialize with those guys,” explained Emig. “Can you imagine going to Indianapolis and having Rick Mears show you how to get through the short chute or having Jimmie Johnson teach you how to get on and off pit road? It’s really an amazing opportunity. It also offers me the opportunity to see and work with a lot of riders who will be moving up the ladder and possibly competing at the professional level. As a broadcaster, that’s a pretty neat opportunity to get to know and work with some of the guys who will be competing in Supercross and professional Motocross before long. There are so many cool elements. That’s a big reason why I’m always glad to help Ricky with these programs.”

The Carmichael Camps will host two sessions, March 11-13 and March 24-26. RCU at Muddy Creek Raceway will take place on July 10 while the November Australian dates and locations will be announced in the near future. Following the RCU at Muddy Creek will be Ricky Carmichael Day. Ricky will be on hand checking out the racing on Saturday and signing autographs. For more information or to register for Ricky Carmichael University or Carmichael Camp, log on toRickycarmichaeluniversity.com

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About Ricky Carmichael University … Ricky Carmichael University began in 2010 as an opportunity for riders of all ages and skill levels to learn from The-Greatest-of-All-Time, Ricky Carmichael. What originally began as a once-a-year event, operated in conjunction with the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross at Daytona International Speedway, RCU has grown into an internationally acclaimed, world class riding school.

The faculty at RCU is literally a who’s who of the professional Supercross and Motocross world. Anchored by Carmichael, and fellow AMA SX and MX champions Jeff Emig and Jeff Stanton, RCU faculty focuses on key skill sets designed to improve every rider’s core techniques.

In 2015, RCU will host instruction at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn., for the first time on July 10 before heading to Australia for the fall term in November.

Roczen Earns Second Win of the Season, Tickle Fifth at Angel Stadium

ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 18, 2015) – RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing kept the momentum rolling Saturday night when Ken Roczen picked up the win and Broc Tickle finished fifth in the Monster Energy Supercross event at Angel Stadium of Anaheim.

The win was Roczen’s second of the season and third career at Angel Stadium. Tickle’s fifth-place finish was his best effort of 2015, less than a year removed from a potentially career-ending injury he suffered last March in Toronto.

Despite Roczen’s first- and second-place finishes, respectively, in the first two races, the 20-year-old 450SX sophomore standout was cautiously optimistic before the gate dropped on the third main event of the year.

“My day started out a little bit rusty,” commented Roczen, who is undefeated at Anaheim this season. “The track was really special and not easy to ride. I knew, going into the track walk, not to get stressed about the first or second practice. The track really came around in the main. It was pretty tricky. We had some ruts out there and it was a big track with long lap times. That definitely made it interesting. We got good starts when we needed them, and I think everyone can see that my Suzuki RM-Z450 works awesome. We had a great heat race so I was very confident going into the main. I didn’t get the holeshot but I was still near the front after the start and that was all I really needed.”

Roczen was second fastest in both of Saturday’s qualifying sessions and, coincidentally, finished second to Ryan Dungey in the first 450SX heat race of the program. The solid effort in his heat guaranteed the German rider a spot at the starting gate for the main event. While he settled for second in the preliminaries, that wouldn’t be the case when the money was on the line. Jimmy Albertson won the holeshot but it took Roczen less than a lap to pass Albertston, Davi Millsaps and, ultimately, Andrew Short for the top spot. From there it was all Roczen, all night, where he led all 20 laps en route to the fourth big-bike win of his young career.

“Shorty (Andrew Short) is a hard guy to pass,” said Roczen, who extended his point lead to 12. “I didn’t really want to get tangled up behind him so I had to make the move. After that, I needed to ride smart but stay focused on intensity because everyone was really fast. My bike worked awesome. It felt great and that’s all that matters. We put in a few strong laps but I couldn’t rest because Ryan (Dungey) got a bit closer sometimes during the race. Overall, it was a really good night. It was good to fight back after last weekend. We’ll keep going and hopefully, just inch away with the points lead. As long as we’re winning, we’re good.”

Tickle had a solid weekend overall. The Holly, Mich., rider was solid in both of the weekend’s qualifying sessions but a sixth-place finish in his heat race forced Tickle to race his way through the first 450SX semifinal of the night.

If confidence breeds confidence, then Tickle’s path to the main event was just what the doctor ordered. After winning the holeshot in the semi, the 2011 Supercross West Coast Lites Champion led every lap and cruised to an easy victory. That performance catapulted Tickle to his best finish of the year and offered the 25-year-old a welcome sigh of relief after a tough outing last weekend in Phoenix.

“Everything went pretty good,” explained Tickle after Round 3. “The semi set the tone for the night. Honestly, I haven’t gotten a holeshot in a couple of years. And winning the semi was important. All that confidence carried over into the main. All I did was go out there, try to ride 20 solid laps and it paid off. There was a lot of carnage midway through the race so I just tried to keep my pace going and look forward. (Justin) Barcia was close to me and I knew if I stayed close to him that I would leave a gap behind me. That was my goal and that’s kind of what happened. (Cole) Seely started catching me at the end but I still had some left in the tank, so I opened it up a little bit and gapped him just enough where I could cruise the last couple of laps. It was an awesome main event. It gives me goose bumps getting off the bike after a finish like that. I really appreciate everyone who stuck with me after the injury last year.”

RCH co-owner Carey Hart was on hand in Anaheim when the dust settled and was obviously proud of both his riders.

“The whole night is really bittersweet,” said Hart. “With Ken getting the win and to see Broc come back and finish fifth after the year he had last year is just awesome. I’m not sure who I’m happier for.

“I’m excited about next week,” continued Hart. “We’ve got a lot of momentum. Broc did great. He’s really getting his starts down. The win was a good boost for Ken to keep his confidence up. We’ll get back on the test track this week, put in the work and come into Oakland next weekend, rolling.”

Team manager Kyle Bentley was also pleased following the event but he was quick to credit the ongoing team effort that provides Tickle and Roczen with Suzuki RM-Z450s that perform at the highest level.

“I’m super excited,” said Bentley. “I couldn’t be more proud of Ken. He puts in the work during the week but I’m even happier for Broc. I’m super stoked for the whole team. We’ve put in a lot of work and a lot of effort. It’s a team deal. I also need to give credit to Ivan Tedesco for helping us during the week and getting our bike setups dialed in. I’m almost speechless. It’s a long season so we just need to keep rolling.”

The 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross heads up the Pacific Coast to Oakland next weekend when Roczen, Tickle and the rest of the RCH contingent trek to northern California for the first of two annual visits to the San Francisco Bay Area. The fourth of 17 races on the 2015 Supercross schedule will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan. 24, beginning at 7 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
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Copyright © 2015 RCH Racing, All rights reserved.

Roczen, RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing Kick Off New Season in Style

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DOMINANT, EMOTIONAL WIN AT ANAHEIM OPENER FOR KEN ROCZEN, RCH SOARING EAGLE/JIMMY JOHNS/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING
Broc Tickle Turns in Top-10 Performance in Supercross Return

ANAHEIM, Calif. – (January 4, 2015) – Ken Roczen and RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing turned in a dominant performance in Saturday night’s opening round of the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross season. Roczen parlayed his sizzling performance into a breakthrough, first-time 450SX win for the team co-owned by Freestyle Motocross pioneer Carey Hart and 15-time AMA National Champion Ricky Carmichael.

“It’s been a long time coming,” commented an emotional Hart following the event. “We’ve been at this eight or nine years and honestly, it’s very bittersweet. I have to give it all up to Mark Johnson, Kyle (Bentley) and the whole technical team. Ivan Tedesco did a ton of pre-season testing for us and that paid off in a big way. Ken put his head down and rode solid from the time the gate dropped. At the same time, Broc Tickle rode an amazing race. That was his first time back after breaking his back last year in Toronto and to get out of here with an eighth-place finish is an important accomplishment for him. I just could not be happier for my crew and all my guys.”

Not surprisingly, Roczen, last year’s opening round winner, was first- and second-fastest respectively, in both of Saturday afternoon’s qualifiyng sessions. After the gate dropped on the 450SX Main Event, he dispatched of holeshot winner Mike Alessi and took over the lead from Andrew Short before completing the first of 20 laps, never looking back. Over the remaining 19 trips around Angel Stadium of Anaheim, the 20-year-old, German-born rider would strech his lead to just over four seconds.

“Great weekend,” explained Roczen. “It was our first race together so it was cool to actually get going. The night couldn’t have gone any better. To come out with the win and obviously, the first for the team, I take a lot of pride in that. That makes me really happy and proud. It just shows how hard we have worked. We’re going to keep going from here. There’s more to come. It’s just good to get this first one out of the way. Now, we’ll go home and keep working.”

Tickle was consistently inside the top 10 during 450SX qualifying and maintained that consistency thoughout the night’s program. After finishing ninth in his heat race, the Holly, Mich., rider had to race his way through the semi final. True to form, Tickle finished third in the evening’s second 450SX semi, locking down a spot at the gate for the 450 Main. After getting a decent jump off the starting line, Tickle settled in and picked off spots one at a time, ultimately recording an impressive eighth-place showing.

“I’m somewhat frustrated, but as I sit back and think about it, the fact that I haven’t raced in eight months helps keep it in perspective,” said Tickle. “I’m actually pretty pumped about it. We’re starting a lot like we did last season. We built on it every week and once we got out to the east coast and back to Dallas, we started stringing together some good finishes. I got a little tight toward the end of the race so I need to ride more and get some intensity during the week. I think that will help.”

For his part, Carmichael was all smiles after the race. After spending the night in the television booth calling the race for FOX Sports 1, the five-time Monster Energy Supercross titlest was eager to get back to the pits and congratulate both of the team’s riders.

“I’m really happy for the team, Ken, Broc and all the people who have made the sacrifices that it took to put RCH in this position,” said Carmichael. “We’re like the Bad News Bears sometimes but we’ve got great personnel, great riders and a great technical staff. It’s really cool to see all the work and the plan come to fruition. Carey and I sat down three years ago and mapped out our plan but we weren’t exactly sure it would all be possible. We set our goals very high. I’m really proud of the guys in the shop who bust their tails every week. That’s who I’m most proud of.”

“I’m really happy for Broc,” Carmichael went on. “We all know he had a horrific crash last year and injuries that were almost career-ending. For him to bounce back from that and to come to Anaheim and finish eighth, I’m pretty darn happy for him.”

Roczen’s win proved to be a collective sigh of relief for the entire organization, especially Hart, the team’s founder.

“It was the longest 18 minutes and change of my life,” continued Hart. “I was watching the laps click off and every lap felt like hours. After about lap 12, I had a big grin on my face and was doing my happy dance. We came into A1 like it was just another race or another day at the test track. Everyone did their homework, stayed cool, calm and postive. This is a 17 race battle. This win wasn’t a one shot pony, by any means. We’ve got 16 races to go. We’re taking them one by one. We’ll keep picking away and take the good with the bad.”

The 2015 Monster Energy AMA Supercross tour rolls on next weekend when Roczen, Tickle and the rest of the RCH contingent visit Chase Field in Phoenix, Ariz. The second of 17 races on the 2015 Supercross schedule will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, Jan. 10 beginning at 6 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.

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RCH FACTORY RACING

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Healed and Hungry, Tickle Set Sights On Top of the Box

 

LAS VEGAS (December 16, 2014) – RCH Factory Racing has re-signed Broc Tickle to ride a second Suzuki RM-Z450 alongside Ken Roczen’s No. 94 for the team’s 2015 Monster Energy Supercross and Lucas Oil Pro Motocross campaign. Tickle, 25, showed great promise aboard the team’s No. 20 machine in 2013 and last season until being sidelined in March following a pratice crash at the Toronto Supercross where he sustained fractures of the T-6 and T-7 vertebra, two broken ribs and a collapsed lung.

 

Since then, the Michigan rider has fully recovered from his injuries, making it an easy decision for team owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael to include Tickle as part of the organization’s 2015 rider lineup, giving RCH a potent one-two punch heading into next month’s season-opener in Anaheim (Calif.).

 

“I’m really excited to be back with RCH for 2015,” said Tickle, the 2011 AMA Supercross Lites West Champion. “We’ve had an awesome two years together and for Carey and Ricky to bring me back after my injury really shows what kind of guys those two are. They stuck with me and kept a spot for me. We were heading in the right direction until I got hurt in Toronto. I’m glad all that’s behind us and I feel great. I’ve been riding and getting ready for the Supercross season for the last month and I’m really pumped with the progress we’re making. All of the work the team has done building and testing with Ivan Tedesco over the summer and fall has definitely paid off. The bike is amazing.

 

“I’m also really excited that Thor, Bell, X Brand and Sidi will be my personal sponsors for 2015,” continued Tickle. “Some of the brands I’ve worked with in the past with great success and some are new to me. I’m looking forward to building strong relationships with all of them and having a breakout year with RCH Factory Racing.”

 

After winning the 2011 Supercross Lites West title for Monster Energy Pro Circuit, Tickle made the jump from the 250 to the team’s big bike the following season. A fifth-place finish in the final 2012 Supercross point standings and a ninth-place end result outdoors netted him a new opportunity for 2013 with RCH.

 

The new combination proved to be a consistent mix for Tickle and RCH, with a solid first season paying off in the form of eighth-place finishes in both Supercross and Motocross season-end points.

 

Last season, Tickle kick started the 2014 campaign with back-to-back eighth-place finishes at Anaheim One and Phoenix before a pair of incidents in heat races at A2 and Oakland kept him from competing in each race’s 450 SX Main Event. From there, the Holly, Mich., rider only finshed outside the top eight once over the next six stops, including a career-best fourth-place showing at Daytona International Speedway before the injury in Toronto.

 

“I’m very excited to be bringing Broc back for a third year with the team,” explained Hart. “He was showing major gains each week last year, leading up to the Toronto Supercross. We’re all looking forward to picking up where we left off, and having a very successful year of Supercross and Motocross.”

 

RCH Factory Racing has seen steady progress since Hart and Carmichael formed a joint venture in 2013 and achieved the pairing’s first podium finish in April of this year at Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, N.J. Always trendsetters in the paddock, RCH continues to show the way with unique marketing initiatives and partnership activations, consistently influencing the feel and dynamic of the pit area. Tickle’s No. 20 RM-Z450 will showcase sponsorship from Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Jimmy Johns, Dodge, Sycuan Casino, Bel Ray, Suzuki and Rockford Fosgate.

 

“We’re glad to have Broc back with RCH for 2015,” said Carmichael. “We were really happy with the progress he was making last year. You could see his confidence building as he got better every week. We all know he got hurt in Toronto but, up until then, he put together some solid races and had the finishes to show for it. We’re looking forward to having him around this year so he can finsh what he started last season. I know that’s at the forefront of Broc’s mind, as well.”

 

The 2015 Monster Energy Supercross season kicks off Saturday, Jan. 3, 2015 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, Calif. The first of 17 races on the 2015 Supercross schedule will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern Time.

 

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About RCH Racing …

RCH Racing is a professional Supercross and Motocross team co-owned by 15-time AMA Champion Ricky Carmichael and Freestyle Motocross visionary and entrepreneur Carey Hart.

RCH enjoys factory support from Suzuki and Yoshimura research and development as well as marketing partnerships with Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Sycuan Casino, Jimmy Johns, Dodge, Fox, Bel-Ray and Hart and Huntington.

 

 

450 Words: Ken Roczen

It wouldn’t seem possible that a rider would be looking for a new bike with a different feeling on the heels of winning the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship 450 title, but Ken Roczen has apparently been looking to try something different for awhile. Roczen—who was raised racing Suzukis—is indeed leaving his old employer, Red Bull KTM, to ride for Soaring Eagle Casino/Jimmy John’s RCH Suzuki for 2015-2016. Roczen explained all in a press conference at Red Bull Straight Rhythm.

Racer X: How much can you say about the beginnings of this? When was the first time you started thinking about riding Suzukis?
Ken Roczen: I was thinking about it for a very long time just because I was at a point where I struggled a bit with the bike in 2013 and before. I’ve done my duty together with KTM. I love them, love the team, and everything, but KTM has their very own characteristic, the bike. At one point I was just like, you know what? I don’t believe in my bike anymore as much and I just felt like it was time for a change. We’ve been together for like four years or something. Luckily we have done a fantastic job this year and got the outdoor title. It was good to finish it off like that, but for me it was just time in my head for a change. I chose Suzuki because I like the RCH image, and I think together me and RCH we can do something big. I have 100 percent faith in the bike because you take them out of the box already and they’re just so good. I have a lot of good memories on Suzuki. My decision when I went with RCH, people were like, “It’s not factory.” Yes, we are factory. It doesn’t even matter; I have so much faith in the bike I’m like whatever. Just give me the bike and I’ll make it work.

Isn’t it about finding a bike and settings that work for you specifically, not necessarily about having factory parts or whatever? You can make it worth it if you’re comfortable on it?
For sure. It’s important. We have done some amazing changes to the engine and stuff. We got that way, way better, which helps out a lot. But I think in my eyes you can buy a Suzuki, I don’t even know if you need engine work really…more is not always good. It’s about putting it on the ground. I think if you have the right suspension guy, the guy you can trust, and I even have one in Germany. A guy that I’ve been with him since I was little, and he’s absolutely amazing. If I would have to I would buy a bike, get my suspension done with him, and I will be good to race.

Is that who we saw at Salt Lake a year ago? I think there was a guy that came out, no team uniform…
Possible. I think he was at a few races.

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I knew you when you were on Suzuki before and it was 250, smaller bike. How much of a change is it to jump to the 450?
It is. Obviously it’s been a very long time since I’ve ridden a 250 Suzuki, but that bike was trick. We had so many cool parts. KTM was always the fastest engine over there, but I had such a good chassis and such a good suspension, I didn’t need that engine. It would have been better if you would have more, but I just made it work. I’ve always loved my bike.

How much of a difference is it on this one now? I know nobody’s going to sign up for a new team and say, “Man, this is terrible,” but how do you like the bike, and how are you settling in on it?
It’s amazing, the characteristics that are different. It’s crazy how much you notice it and we have only had a few days of testing and we already have the bike where I’m like just leave it like this right now and I’ll ride it and ride it and ride it and get confident on it. I think we just have to do some little changes, meaning once I’m good and confident. I’ve been taking five-six weeks off completely. I just want to get my fitness back. I think at one point when I start riding the bike a little harder I think I can go a bit stiffer on the suspension, but for right now I’m already really comfortable.

Where are they going mount the electric start for you?
We’ll see by A1 what happens.

How long does it take you to get that feeling back and get comfortable and settled in on it?
It depends. If you’re riding an outdoor track not long, it’ll take a day or two. But for supercross you have to be so precise. In general if you come back from an outdoor season and do supercross everything kind of feels weird, it feels super stiff. It’s just so much different. Right now, especially we started testing really early, so now with the bike I have I really just have to put in time. Like I said, in supercross it’s a little bit more difficult. You have gnarly tracks plus a totally different bike, so it’s difficult. But it’ll just take a little bit of time. I’m not even worried because I have three months right now and you don’t need three months to get ready. I think we’re on a good schedule.

A lot of racers over the years, anybody who’s raced for a period of time and stick with one particular brand for a few years, when they switch things seem just amazingly better a lot of the times just because it’s different. It brings something new. How much of that are you dealing with too? Like, first time you threw your leg over it, it feels different. Maybe it’s wider in a spot or narrower?
That’s the thing, the Suzuki is a really good bike. It’s very narrow. I think I prefer the characteristic of an aluminum frame just because the frame is stiffer. Where the KTM, it’s a wider bike, it has a lot of power, and it just bends weird. It flexes very weird. Plus the suspension, it’s more of a dead feeling. For some supercross tracks it seems good, but if you take a Suzuki off the stand, it’s so free and it’s so plush, and that’s comfort. That’s a pretty big thing that I was looking for because that’s the stuff I’ve been telling KTM the whole time; I need more comfort. So the change is done now and I’m super happy about it. Like you said, it’s a lot mentally so it’ll be just fine. I’m 100 percent sure.

Is it two years?
Yes.

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What was it about RCH versus Yoshimura or some other team? What was it that attracted you here?
I don’t think Yosh was ever an option. One of the biggest things was Red Bull. All the teams they come with options. Obviously if you go to Factory Kawi you have to be Monster; there’s no way around it. I could have had my own gear deal, but here I have my own gear deal, energy drink, plus the image of the team with Carey and Ricky.

Free concert tickets…
Free concert tickets, free singing songs on the phone, I’ll just call in and start singing…plus I know Suzuki, and I think for me that was just the right direction to go and Red Bull was a big, big part of it. The last thing I wanted to do is drop Red Bull. I’ve been with them for so long, and they’re so solid that there was no way for me to leave them out.

You’re a very big guy on social media. How hard was it to stay off there during that time from the end of the season to now?
Super hard. Especially once I started riding. That was the worst part. I’m like, “Man, I want to post something so bad!” The first couple of days I posted so much because I already had pictures and stuff. It was hard. At one point I enjoyed not being on social media too much because it takes up way too much time of my day, but that’s what makes you happy, so you should do it.

RCH Racing Weston Peick has another solid performance!

Weston went 10-5 for 7th overall at Unadilla this past weekend, and maintains 7th in the points standings. Gotta love his effort week in and week out. Looking for another big weekend coming up.
Here are a few photos from behind the lens of Simon Cudby.

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