RCH RACING TEAMMATES EARN TOP-10 FINISHES IN HOUSTON
April 8, 2013
HOUSTON, TX (April 7, 2013) - Dodge riders performed well Saturday night at Round 13 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series as Josh Hill and Broc Tickle had top-10 finishes in the Main Event.
“It was a great day,” Hill said. “I was top 10 in practice and that really got my day started 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 best since his last full season in 2010 – led the Dodge riders. Teammate Broc Tickle finished 10th.
In Texas, everything is considered bigger and the characterization certainly played true inside Reliant Stadium. An estimated crowd of 40,000 watched the world’s greatest Supercross riders attack the difficult track layout that included a huge 80-foot whoop section and gnarly obstacles atop the soft sandy-based Texas dirt. Riders constantly searched for the preferred racing 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 were chores.
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 nine consecutive laps only to lose one position on the final circuit.
“I got a great start in the Main Even” said Hill. “I ended up picking off a few guys and rode all the way up to seventh and stayed there pretty much the entire moto but Andrew Short got me on the last lap and we ended up eighth.”
Hill used two solid afternoon qualifying sessions, both inside the top-10, to seed himself fourth in Heat 1. When the gate dropped on the eight-lap qualifier, he broke second and was able to miss a multi-rider pileup. He rode a solid pace and finished third, his best Heat finish of the season.
“I felt great all day,” Hill 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.”
Tickle earned his 13th consecutive Main Event of the season after finishing ninth in Heat 2. Tickle was fifth when the Heat was red-flagged on Lap 3 but couldn’t maintain his early momentum. He lost four positions over the final five circuits.
Tickle overcame an 18th-place starting position for the Main with a solid ride on the No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450 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 or what, I just didn’t feel comfortable. 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 take it. We salvaged points and we’re still top-10 in the rider standings.”
Ryan Villopoto won his fifth consecutive 450SX class race, edging Ryan Dungey and Trey Canard. 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.
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