BROC TICKLE EARNS SEASON-BEST FINISH IN OAKLAND
January 28, 2013
OAKLAND, CA (January 27, 2013) - The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series made its annual trek to Northern California Saturday night for Round 4 of the 17-race series at O.co Coliseum in Oakland.
A former event winner in the 250 SX Lites Class in Oakland, Broc Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) was seeking his fourth consecutive 450 SX Main Event appearance and first top-10 finish of the season.
“I feel like I should have been fifth or sixth tonight, but we’ll take eighth,” said Tickle. “We had another good point’s night and continue to chop away at cracking the top 10.”
With teammate Josh Hill sidelined with a broken right-hand, Tickle was the lone RCH Racing entry on the very technical, slick and one-line race track where passing was at a premium.
“I loved the track conditions and the dirt here,” he added. “The track was rutted out and soft in some places. It kind of had everything.”
The night wasn’t without an anxious moment.
In his Heat Race, Tickle started fourth after posting the seventh fastest combined qualifying time (56.366 seconds) in the afternoon sessions. Running comfortably in the top five midway through the eight-lap qualifier, Tickle’s Suzuki went down when he cross-rutted a landing sending the rider off into a hay bale. The mishap dropped him 13 positions and out of one of the nine automatic-transfer positions.
“I came over a table-top section and when I landed, there were a lot of ruts,” Tickle said. “It jerked me to the right and threw me into a hay bale.”
Needing to finish in the top two in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to earn a transfer position into the Main Event, Tickle’s racing luck fared much better in the six-lap race. Breaking from the 17th position when the gate dropped, Tickle took the lead on Lap 2 and never looked back en route to the win.
In the Main Event, Tickle’s poor starting position left the first-year RCH Racing rider deep in the field early in 20-lap feature.
Tickle survived a multi-rider wreck on Lap 1 to jump eight positions into 11th. He continued his march forward and cracked the top 10 by Lap 3. He gained his final position on Lap 15 to finish eighth.
“In the Main, I started way outside and just did the best that I could to get up front and survive the first turn,” Tickle said. “I weaseled my way through the first two corners because a lot of guys went down and I started just picking guys off. I settled in and struggled getting around Shorty (Andrew Short) and had to be patient. There were a few guys that I just couldn’t get around but I was riding a good pace. We got an eighth-place finish.
James Stewart’s quest for an Oakland three-peat ended as Ryan Villopoto won his second-consecutive Main Event. He became the first rider this season to notch two race wins. Rounding out the podium finishers were David Millsaps (second-place) and Ryan Dungey (third-place). Millsaps remains the leader in the series point with a seven-point advantage over Trey Canard.
Tickle remains 13th in rider points, only four markers shy of 10th.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series returns to Anaheim next weekend for Round 5 at Angel Stadium.
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