Professional rider on closed course competition.
BROC TICKLE LEADS RCH RACING AT ‘TRICKY’ ROUND 9 IN ST. LOUIS
March 4, 2013
ST. LOUIS, MO (March 2, 2013) - Broc Tickle led RCH (Ricky Carmichael / Cary Hart) Racing with an 11th-place finish Saturday night at Round 9 of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series in St. Louis. Tickle’s workman-like performance vaulted him to 10th in the 450SX Class rider standings, two points ahead of Matt Goerke.
“We’ll take it,” Tickle said. “It wasn’t a top-10 performance but we worked our way back inside the top-10 in rider points and that’s a positive step. We just need to keep moving forward.”
Teammate Josh Hill wasn’t as fortunate in his quest to qualify for his fourth-consecutive Main Event since returning to competition last month after sustaining a broken right hand in the season opener. Hill battled flu-like symptoms throughout the day, leaving the Oregon rider unable to compete at 100 percent. He failed to qualify for the Main Event.
The winner of the last three SX events on the 17-race schedule led wire-to-wire en route to victory. The visit to the Edward Jones Dome produced a different script. Three different riders led in the 20-lap Main Event – James Stewart, Mike Alessi and race winner Ryan Villopoto.
A ‘softer’ racing surface produced excellent traction and the ability for riders to be ultra-aggressive. There were challenges including a gnarly sand section and the pass-friendly design developed rutted-up, 180-degree berms and treacherous whoops. The result was an action-packed night of racing.
TICKLE (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) used a pair of practice sessions to project two critical objectives heading into the Main Event – break from the gate fast and lay down a quick five-lap sprint in the 20-lap feature. His strategy was solid in theory but difficult to execute. His 10th-place starting position at the gate didn’t help the effort. The Michigan native found himself bottlenecked as the field reached Turn 1 and he dropped three positions.
“I had a goggle problem that really messed things up early,” Tickle said. “I had a lens issue that was pulling a big glare in my goggles and I couldn’t get another pair before the gate dropped. I thought the glare was under the tear-off. I was trying to rip it off and got passed by a bunch of people. I struggled the first three laps because I was too focused on my goggles.”
After a spill by Kyle Chisholm brought out the red flag to stop the Main Event on Lap 3 and set up a single-file restart, Tickle went to work to regain the lost positions in quest of a top-10 finish. He reclaimed two spots but the effort stalled and he finished 11th.
“I thought that I rode really good after the restart and passed a few guys,” Tickle added. I raced 11th but I think that I rode better than the results show. I liked the track a lot. Some areas were tough to pass on and it was tricky.
“After the red flag came out, I was trying to move forward and got within striking distance to make a charge at the top-10. Things got strung out a bit but I thought that I had a chance to get (Andrew) Shorty there at the end of the race. I was trying to get close to him, within striking distance to where I could stuff him and put him up high to make a pass. It just didn’t work out.”
HILL (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) had two sub-par practice sessions, which relegated him to an outside starting position in Heat 1. He finished 11th in the Heat (nine riders advance to the Main Event from each Heat), forcing him to the LCQ (Last Chance Qualifier). Hill finished sixth in the six-lap qualifier where only two riders transfer to the feature event.
Villopoto took control of the race on Lap 11 to earn his fourth win of the season, edging Stewart by 3.396-seconds. Chad Reed was third. Davi Millsaps continues to lead the 450SX Class rider standings. He finished sixth and has a 12-point advantage over Villopoto.
The series heads to the World Center of Racing – Daytona International Speedway – Saturday night for Round 10.
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