JOSH HILL MAKES IMPRESSIVE SUPERCROSS RETURN BY WINNING LCQ
February 11, 2013
SAN DIEGO, CA (February 9, 2013) - RCH Racing’s Josh Hill didn’t match the runner-up finish that he recorded that last time he competed in a Main Event at Qualcomm Stadium, but his ride Saturday in Round 6 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series was the overdue medicine that the injury-riddled rider needed.
Hill made the Main Event by winning the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ). He parlayed the LCQ victory to score an 18th-place finish in his first Main since 2010 at the season finale in Las Vegas.
“It’s a great shot in the arm,” said Hill. “Finally, something went right. There were so many tough days the last few years. To overcome all the stuff that I have the last two or three years, this feels really, really good.”
Hill returned to racing action after missing the first five rounds of SX competition this season with a broken right-hand. In total, the Oregon native had missed the last 39 Main Events due to injuries over two years. Saturday night’s effort came after only two days of practice on the bike earlier in the week.
“It’s been a real, real rough couple of years,” Hill added. “And then I get to Anaheim 1 this year thinking that everything was going to go good and I break my hand. For me to come back with only two days on the bike and make the Main Event, it feels good. And the way that I did it, I did it the hardest way possible by having to go to the LCQ and then win it. It feels great. I never felt that finishing 18th would feel so good, but that did.”
Teammate Broc Tickle led Dodge with an 11th-place finish in the Main Event, a result that had much more potential early in the race. He had his best start of the season, breaking from the gate aggressively to grab second behind series point leader Davi Millsaps as the 20-rider field navigated Turn 1 and looked poised to challenge for the lead on his No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450. He would advance no further. Instead, Tickle uncharacteristically slide backwards from the lead pack and miss a top 10 for the first time in three races. He ended up 11th.
With his finish, the Michigan native still managed to jump up one position to 10th in the 450SX point standings and is only 10 markers out of ninth.
“Broc got a great start and then I saw his body language change a bit,” said Tickle’s veteran crew chief Tony Berluti. “He peeked behind him a couple of times and usually that’s a sign of nerves. It was a bit of a defensive ride; he just tightened up. He blew-up a bit early in the race and never really recovered. It happens. It’s just mental and he pumped up a bit.
“Broc really rode well all day, except for the Main. He was fast in practice and had a really solid Heat race. This track was really tricky and it had a whoop section that was gnarly. Just not our night in the Main Event.”
Tickle gained a berth into the Main after finishing sixth in Heat 1 with a business-like ride in which he started eighth and was never challenged.
Millsaps, the series point leader, was dominant in a wire-to-wire victory in the 20-lap Main Event to extend his point lead to 19 over Ryan Dungey. Millsaps shared the podium with Justin Barcia (second-place) and Ryan Dungey (third-place).
The next stop on the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series schedule is Saturday, Feb. 16 at Cowboy Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
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