RCH RACING'S TICKLE READY FOR FAST START IN OAKLAND
January 24, 2013
AUBURN HILLS, MI (January 24, 2012) - RCH Racing’s Broc Tickle knows if there is one single area of focus this weekend at Round 4 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in Oakland, it’s the first five seconds aboard his Suzuki RM-Z450.
If there has been an Achilles Heel in the Michigan native’s early season resume, it’s been his race starts. In the first three races this season, Tickle’s average running position after the first lap is 15.3 – Anaheim 1 (18), Phoenix (16) and Anaheim 2 (12). Turn 1 collisions have been the culprit relegating Tickle to the bottom-half of the field which turned the 20-lap Main Events into an exercise in recovery.
“From the first race to last week at Anaheim 2, I’ve felt like I’m fast enough to be inside the top 10 every week,” said Tickle. “It’s all about the start and putting myself in a good position to ride up front and not have to come from behind every week.”
With such a competitive 450-class that has produced three different SX winners this season, a fast start is a must in order to ride with the front pack. Practice this week has focused on attacking the gate and surviving Turn 1.
“I just need to put my 20 laps in at a good pace and ride,” added Tickle. “It’s hard to get around guys that are riding at a different pace than the leaders. If you get trapped behind slower riders, it puts you at a huge disadvantage. The goal this weekend is to be up front and get with the riders that are setting the race pace. I’m really looking forward to this weekend because Oakland was the site of my second Supercross Lites race win. That’s exciting for me. I’m really looking forward to racing Oakland again. I love the dirt (track) there.”
RCH Racing team owner and rider development instructor Ricky Carmichael continues to help guide his young stable of riders on the intricacies of race-day success. Tickle has made the Main Event at all three stops this season but has yet to claim a top-10 finish. However, the finishes are trending upward in each week. Carmichael knows the practice techniques are paying off and that his talented rider is ready to kick down the door on a string of top 10s.
“Broc’s making gains every week and that’s a great sign,” said Carmichael, a 15-time AMA champion. “He’s fast. We’ve made three-consecutive Main Events. Last week in Anaheim, we were focusing on being faster in the second practice session and we were. He posted his best time in the second practice, which he hasn’t done all year.
“It’s all about racing. The hard part is that if you show up to the race track and you’re two or three-seconds off; speed is extremely hard to find. We just need to work with the race track part of it. I’d rather have my riders work on race craft, making better decisions and putting themselves in better spots versus trying to go out there and find an extra two seconds. That’s going to be hard to do. Most of the time that you try that, you’re going to find yourself lying (crashed) on the ground. I really believe that we have all the pieces of the puzzle with our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450’s; we just haven’t put it all together in the Main yet."
Teammate Josh Hill (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan/Suzuki RM-Z450) will remain sidelined for another week after doctors determined his fractured right-hand was not sufficiently healed to compete in Saturday’s race. Hill will be evaluated again next week in hopes of returning at Round 6 in San Diego.
“The hand is coming together good.” Hill said. “I’ve been rehabbing the hand at Dr. G’s office every day and it’s just not 100 percent healed. It’s a four-week injury and we’ve tried to rush the recovery into two weeks. The hand just isn’t ready.
“I went in to see the doctors yesterday and they just didn’t feel comfortable to release me to race. I’m going to get re-evaluated again in eight days, just before Anaheim 3, and we’ll see how the hand looks. It looks like San Diego is the race that we’re shooting for to get back racing."
CBS’s coverage of Round 4 will be tape-delayed and broadcasted at 12:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.
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