RCH SOARING EAGLE TEAM THROWS DOWN IN THE ATL
February 24, 2014
Atlanta, GA (February 24, 2014) - It was the best of times… and potentially some of the worst of times for the RCH Soaring Eagle Supercross Team in Atlanta. In a twisted version of literary classic "A Tale Of Two Cities" both Josh Hill #75 and Broc Tickle #20 went from their best times of the SX season in Dallas last weekend only to have what could have been the worst of times in Atlanta this weekend. However in a demonstration of maturity and professionalism, the entire RCH Soaring Eagle Supercross Team showed their true colors and turned in a performance that books are written about.
Actually their afternoon qualifying sessions were literally among the best of times as Tickle was one of only four riders to turn a 52-second lap time. This netted Tickle third overall and a great gate pick for his heat race. But a bobble by Hill in the first heat and a cheap shot in the second heat that took out Tickle after he had charged into a qualifying position resulted in both RCH Soaring Eagle riders having to ride the semis.
Heat #1 saw Hill get a top 5 start, but a miscue dropped him to 8th. He regrouped and tried to make a run for one of the four transfer spots, but only made it up to 7th at the finish, resulting in a trip to the semi. However the real drama was in Heat #2 as Broc Tickle arguably rode the race of his life. "I felt awesome today," said Tickle. "I had great practice times and rode great in the heat. I started third and tried to make a pass on Wil Hahn for second when I stalled my bike." From stalling out of contention, Tickle then put on an epic charge!
"Broc has been on point all day," said team principal Ricky Carmichael from the broadcast booth. "He has been great in the whoops… I told him if he had any problems getting by someone, just to wait for the whoops." It looked like everything was going exactly to plan as Broc charged from 8th to 4th on the last lap (remember, only four riders transfer in the new semi format for this season). Tickle's charge earned him a transfer spot when he passed Mike Alessi… then all Hell broke loose!
Knowing that Carmichael couldn't say too much about the incident, Jeff Emig jumped in on the TV telecast and said "That was a straight T-Bone move" as Alessi appeared to deliberately launch his bike right into the #20 machine. If you haven't seen it enough times yet, check this out:
After seeing the replay, RC admitted it looked like a cheap shot to him, too. "I try not to pump my own team too much on TV, but Broc has been riding well all day and that was a cheap shot that took him out. You just don't do something like Alessi did… Poor decisions like this are what have kept Mike from realizing his potential."
On the positive side RCH Soaring Eagle received more TV time than the race winner Ken Roczen. During the afternoon qualifying, RC shared the view from the announcers box to his social media followers: http://instagram.com/p/ku6JE9uRKM/ — then before the first 450 Heat, Broc Tickle did a quick trackside interview. However this was just the beginning of the media furor that unfortunately overshadowed just how well Tickle had been riding. Broc was interviewed by Fox Sports' Jenny Taft again after the incident. Showing true poise and composure fresh from the heat of battle in the heat race, Broc said, "My perspective?" I thought I had made a clean pass and I wasn't expecting it." Tickle was remarkably calm trackside before having to ride in the semi. "I got taken out and ejected off the bike… it caught me off guard."
Tickle shook off the crash and put in a strong ride to finish a solid second just behind Andrew Short in the semi. Rather than letting the incident with Alessi upset him, Broc was totally focused in the semi, nearly taking the holeshot and riding smart the whole race. "Short rides a really wide bike at times," noted RC. "I'm happy to see Broc able to put the crash behind him and ride so smart." It wasn't as easy as Tickle made it look, though. "My ribs and breathing were bothering me," said Broc. "Dr. G did what he could before the main, but I wasn't feeling it like I had earlier in the day."
Like Tickle, Heat #2 saw teammate Josh HIll ride well and transfer into the main. Hill had a top five start and held back waiting for any mistakes by the leaders. However with one lap to go, Hill wicked it up and blew past a couple of riders (one on the last turn) to take 3rd and get a better gate pick in the main.
When the gate dropped for the 450 main event, both the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Suzuki's were 9th and 18th. By the fifth circuit of the 20 lap main event, Broc was up to 8th and Hill was in 16th finding himself in an unexpected battle with another Suzuki rider, James Stewart who had crashed while contesting the lead. In the ultimate bit of irony, Broc found himself catching Alessi as the laps wound down.
When the checkers finally fell, Tickle had tied his best result of the season with 7th to match Dallas last week. By showing composure and professionalism, Broc maintains top 10 of the rider standings despite missing two rounds. "I'm looking forward to this week and riding the rest of the series. I'm pumped with the way I rode all night." he added of his speed.
Teammate Hill hung on to finish 13th and stays top 15th in the standings. "Bad starts just hampered my night," said Hill. "It was hectic with people going down everywhere… By the time I got going, everyone was gone."
Whether it is on the track or in the pits, the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle team is always in the thick of it! Join us in the pits before each Supercross race where we have everything from the Suzuki Holeshot Experience to the team autograph signing. Some lucky winner every week gets an all-expense paid trip to the Soaring Eagle Luxury Resort! Next week the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Team heads to the Lucas Oil Dome in Indianapolis for Round 9 on March 1.
About RCH Racing Soaring Eagle:
RCH Racing is in its second season of the partnership between Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart. Ricky Carmichael merged his Suzuki relationship and technical development with the established five year marketing giant of Hart & Huntington Racing in 2013. The RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Team continues its partnerships with Suzuki, Fox, Dodge, Sycuan Casino, Yoshimura and Bel Ray. stay up to date on all RCH Racing Soaring Eagle news, follow us on Instagram and Twitter @RCHRacing and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/hartandhuntington.
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