RCH/YOSHIMURA/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING TO COMPETE FOR FINAL VICTORIES AT IRONMAN NATIONAL
August 25, 2017
CHINO, Calif. (August 25, 2017) – Saturday’s Ironman National in Crawfordsville, Ind., will close the book on the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. It will also mark the final chapter for RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing.
Just over a month ago, RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing team co-owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael made the difficult decision to cease operation and close the team they built together. It was a difficult decision driven not by performance issues, but rather a by a challenging business climate.
Still, much as they did last weekend when Justin Bogle rode his No. 19 Suzuki RM-Z450 to his first career Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship win, RCH will have its sights set on going out with a victory.
Over the summer schedule’s first 22 motos, Bogle won twice, earned six top fives and 17 top 10s. The Cushing, Okla., rider, who now lives in Tallahassee, Fla., comes into Saturday’s Ironman finale sixth in points with only eight markers separating him from a top-five slot in the season standings.
“The chips are going to fall where they may,” said Bogle. “It would be a good accomplishment for us to go out with a top-five finish in points. But, for me, it doesn’t really change anything. I would like to get that top-five spot because that would mean I had a great weekend. The bigger picture for me is to go out there and try and get back on the podium. That’s a good goal and if I do that, everything will work out the way it’s supposed to.”
Bogle has two previous professional starts at the Midwestern track where he finished 11th overall in 2014 aboard a 250 and 13th a year later in 450 Class competition.
Ironman Raceway doesn’t just feature elevation changes. It also provides some of the biggest, steepest combinations of jumps and hills in the entire series, including Godzilla, a massive uphill launch.
“It’s in the Midwest so it feels a little more normal to me,” Bogle explained. “My family lives close enough to drive to the race. My parents will be there and that always gives me a little extra comfort. The track, it’s about like most tracks are these days. It’s rough and rutty. There are some big jumps. It’s probably going to be hot. It generally is this time of year. However it works out is cool because we’ve prepared for any scenario. We’ve had crazy rain and the heat down in Florida where we train is unreal. I’m ready for whatever. I like that place, though. Any place with jumps, a lot of jumps, is fun.”
Meanwhile, Bogle’s RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing teammate, Matt Bisceglia, logged a fifth-place Ironman finish in 250 Class action in 2015. The Tualatin, Ore., native who now hails from Weatherford, Texas turned in an impressive 11-6 showing last August to come home eighth overall in last year’s 450 Class season finale as a fill-in rider for the factory-backed Yoshimura Suzuki team.
Last weekend, Bisceglia had a career day of his own collecting both premier 450 Class Holeshot Awards as well as logging a 6-10 finish to bring his No. 43 machine home eighth overall.
“Last weekend was a big confidence booster for me,” said Bisceglia. “I definitely was comfortable last week. I had my best-combined moto score in the 450 Class, so I was happy with it but not completely satisfied. I still want more. I’ve just been doing as good as I can every week to mentally know what I need to work on and knowing what I need to do every week coming into these races. This weekend, we’re going to give it our all and try to go out with a bang.”
While his time with RCH has been short – just five races – Bisceglia has quickly grown to appreciate the environment Hart, Carmichael and team leaders have created.
“It’s been an amazing ride,” Bisceglia stated. “Everybody would love to see us go 1-2 this weekend, as much as Justin and I would. That’s a big reason why I’ve loved working with these guys. It’s probably close to a month ago when they found out what the deal was for next season that RCH wasn’t going to continue, and they’ve pushed through. They’re acting like the championship team that they are going into this last race and that’s a big deal. I think that’s awesome. I’m glad to be part of it.”
The first moto of the Christi Hubler Chevrolet Ironman National from Ironman Raceway will be televised live on MAVTV Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern time, 10 a.m. Pacific. Coverage for the second and final moto of the 2017 season finale will be televised on a tape-delayed basis on NBCSN at 5 p.m. EDT, 2 p.m. Pacific.
All motos can be streamed live on the NBC Sports Gold app. NBC, NBCSN and MAVTV will combine to provide extensive television coverage over the course of the 12-round season. Capping off each round of the championship will be exclusive one-hour highlight shows on NBCSN, each airing within a handful of days of every National.
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