Rider Broc Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan/RCH Racing/Suzuki RM-Z450) will be the lone RCH Racing entry this weekend. Tickle is looking to make his third consecutive Main Event of the season. He had a season-best finish of 12th in Round 2 last week at Phoenix. He is currently 16th in the SX 450-class point standings, 33 behind leader David Millsaps. Tickle was 18th at season opener in Anaheim after colliding with two-time defending champion Ryan Villopoto on Lap 1 in the Main Event.
“Last weekend in Phoenix wasn’t what Broc (Tickle) wanted,” said team co-owner and 15-time AMA Series champion Ricky Carmichael. “It’s a long season; I tell everybody this. There’s a lot of hype going on around our team. Let’s just see where we’re at around Round 12. That’s when you see the veterans separate themselves from the rest of the riders. Take a rider like Chad Reed, he’s just back there lurking. He’s got two fourth-place finishes but look where he is in championship points. A guy like Broc, he’s a slow starter but consistent. Most of the time, he capitalizes on everyone’s misfortune and that’s what I like about him.”
Tickle believes the track testing this weekend with Carmichael will pay dividends. Poor starting gate positions and slow starts have been the Achilles Heel for Tickle through the first two rounds. Race-week practice sessions have focused on the importance of starting gate execution and had to stay clear of the usual Turn 1 chaos.
“The main thing for the first corner is to be smart,” Tickle said. “I need to line myself up on the gate to where if there is a problem I can get out of it. Last week, I didn’t have a good Heat Race and didn’t have a good gate selection for the Main. I was way outside and it put me in a bad position. Eventually I got pushed off the track. The main goal this week is to be good in practice, have good practice times, have a good gate pick for the Heat Race and just let everything flow together into the Main Event.”
Teammate Josh Hill (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan/Suzuki RM-Z450) remains sidelined after suffering a concussion and hand injury in the season opener in Anaheim. The mishap came during practice and Hill was unable to compete in his scheduled Heat Race for precautionary reasons. His return is tentatively scheduled for Round 4 next week.
“The hand isn’t doing too bad,” said Hill. “I’ve been having therapy on it every day. I’ve been working with a bone stimulator and all sorts of other things trying to work the hand and make the recovery happen as fast as we can.
“I’m shooting for Oakland. I have a doctor’s appointment next Wednesday and at that time the doctors will determine if the bones have grown back together. I just want to get back out on track with our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki and see where we are at.”
SPEED’s coverage of Round 3 will be tape-delayed and broadcasted at 1:00 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW The Race: AMA Monster Energy Supercross Series – Round 3 of 17 The Place: Angel Stadium, Anaheim, Calif. The Date: Saturday, Jan. 19 The Time: 10:30 p.m. (ET) TV: SPEED, Sunday, Jan. 20 at 1:00 p.m. (tape-delayed) (ET)