· Broc Tickle finished 18th in last year’s event at San Diego, his first outing at Qualcomm Stadium. · Josh Hill returns to the RCH Racing lineup this week in San Diego. He has been sidelined with a broken right hand since the season opener at Anaheim I five weeks ago. · Josh Hill has two previous starts at Qualcomm Stadium. He finished sixth in 2008 and earned a podium finish (runner-up) in 2010. · Due to injuries that have sidelined him for the last 39 SX Main Events, Josh Hill’s last top-10 finish came during the 2010 season at the Superdome in New Orleans.
FAST FACTS: SAN DIEGO · RCH Racing team owner Ricky Carmichael made seven SX starts at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego. He had one win along with two runner-up and one third-place finish. He had an average finish of 5.8. His worst finish came in 1999 when he was 19th. · RCH Racing’s Broc Tickle and Josh Hill will participate in the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series media event at Qualcomm Stadium on Thursday at noon (PT). · Speed will air the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series event at San Diego live on Saturday at 10:30 p.m. (ET). · There have been four different winners in the first five events this season. Defending series champion Ryan Villopoto is the only two-time winner.
THE DODGE BOYS · Dodge is seeking its first SX race win with RCH Racing. · Broc Tickle’s career-best finish of second came at the 2006 SX event at Toronto. · Dodge’s Josh Hill was the Monster Energy Supercross Series Rookie of the Year in 2008. · Carey Hart was the recipient of the first R.A.D. (Riders Above Dirt) Lifetime Achievement Award in 2011.
Highlights · First season riding the No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450. · Finished eighth in 2012 SX rider standings with nine top-10 finishes in 16 starts. · 2011 AMA Supercross Series Lites West champion.
JOSH HILL No.75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450 Birthdate: 07/30/1989 Hometown: Clackamas, Ore. Mechanic: Shawn Bell
Highlights · Returns for his second season aboard the No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450. · Has one career SX win (Minneapolis – 2008). · Career best sixth-place finish in 2010 SX point standings.
RCH RACING QUOTES BROC TICKLE (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) BACK-TO-BACK TOP-10 FINISHES. ARE TOP FIVES NEXT ON YOUR RADAR? “For sure. “It was kind of frustrating the way that I rode in Anaheim last Saturday, but then again, I finished in the top 10. The next step is to race inside the top five or higher. I want podiums and race wins. I feel like if I had rode to my ability on Saturday that I should have finished fifth. I need to keep pushing. I feel like the pieces of the puzzle are starting to come together. I finally had a good start in the Main. I just need to put everything together in one Main Event.”
TALK ABOUT PRACTICING STARTS DURING THE WEEK, IT’S SO DIFFERENT THAN WHEN 20 GUYS LINE UP AT THE GATE ON RACE DAY? “All of us work really hard during the week on starts. There are a lot of fast guys on the gate; everyone wants to break hard knowing how important the first few turns are in the Main Event.”
HAVE THE RACE STARTS BEEN MORE PHYSICAL THAN NORMAL THIS YEAR? “The 450 Class is pretty good. The Lites Class is a lot harder and physical. Those guys are young and just go for it. The last few weekends in the 450 class, we’ve seen some gnarly wrecks right after the start. You have to anticipate what’s in front of you and stay away from the carnage.”
HAVE YOU AND TONY (BERLUTI) SETTLED IN TO A COMFORTABLE BASELINE PACKAGE WITH YOUR SUZUKI NOW? “Oh yeah. We have a great combination on the Suzuki. We’re going to work on something with the forks. I think we’ll be pretty well dialed in at that point.”
DOES THE GAME PLAN CHANGE AT ALL FOR ROUND 6 IN SAN DIEGO THIS WEEKEND? “Our game plan won’t change much. We need to continue to work hard in practice to get a good gate selection for the Heat Race. We’ve been so-so in practice and I need to improve early in the day on track. I need to have a better start in the Heat Race: I haven’t had one all year. I want to have a good Heat Race and hopefully carry that over into the Main.”
JOSH HILL (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) HOW IS YOUR RIGHT-HAND FEELING? HAVE YOU BEEN CLEARED TO RACE THIS WEEKEND? “The right-hand is feeling good. I’m heading out to the track today to ride. I haven’t ridden yet, but the hand feels good. The doctor gave me the OK and felt pretty confident that it wasn’t going to give me any issues. So we’re going to head out to the test track today and get some laps in. Hopefully, I didn’t lose the pace that I had coming into Anaheim 1. San Diego will be a go, that’s the goal for today.”
DO YOU HAVE ANY ISSUE WITH GRIP? “I’m not sure yet. I’ve been riding around on a bicycle trying to pop the front end up, making sure that I have that full up. So far, so good. I went and saw Dr. G this morning and had him tape up my hand and I’m ready to go. We wanted to add some support to the hand for the first time that I go out and ride. I don’t think that the hand will give me any problems.”
HOW MUCH DO YOU PLAN TO RIDE THIS WEEK? “I’m going to ride on Tuesday, Wednesday, rest on Thursday and then I’m going to go race.”
ARE THERE ANY ISSUES WITH THE HAND THAT YOU ANTICIPATE WILL AFFECT YOU ON SATURDAY WHEN YOU’RE ON THE BIKE? “I may have some fatigue in the hand. I think just being able to have that grip for the whole 20 laps might be the only issues. I hope that I don’t have to compensate anything to make sure that the hand will be OK for the whole 20 laps. I’m hoping that my grip will be there. That’s my biggest concern. I doubt that there will be a certain obstacle that will give me a specific issue. I just want to make sure that my right-hand is strong enough for the entire 20 laps. I think we’ll be able to make it – mind over matter. I want to get it done even if all my grip isn’t there.”
WHAT’S YOUR ANTICIPATION LEVEL FOR GETTING BACK ON THE BIKE THIS WEEKEND? “It’s been a rough, rough month. It’s been tough on me. I really want to ride this weekend. I actually got an infection in my foot that postponed me from riding for another three days. It’s just been one thing after another. I’m so ready to get out there on my Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450 and just ride.”
YOU HAD A RUNNER-UP FINISH IN SAN DIEGO THE LAST TIME THAT YOU RACED AT QUALCOMM STADIUM. WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER ABOUT THAT RIDE? “I won my Heat Race. I came back from like 10th-place and was right behind Davi Millsaps. I felt really good that race. I’ve always liked racing in San Diego. The dirt is like the stuff that we practice on. It should be a good race for me. I’d like to get a west coast race underneath my belt before we head east. Just to have that comfort level of riding on the same type of soil that I’ve been practicing on and have the bike setup for is cool.”
RICKY CARMICHAEL (Owner, RCH Racing) HOW EXCITING IS IT TO SEE JOSH (HILL) GET BACK ON HIS SUZUKI THIS WEEK? “I’m excited to get Josh back on a bike. I know it’s been a long month for him. He had a fantastic off-season. I hope that he didn’t loose too much with the month off. I don’t expect anything earth shattering this weekend from him. I think the biggest goal that he needs to have, and for RCH Racing, is to get through the weekend and make as many laps as possible. No expectations; just try and build upon every lap that you make and stay healthy.”
HOW DOES A RIDER COMPARTMENTALIZE INJURIES? “When you get back on the track, it’s a great feeling because you have something to work for. You’re not just sitting there twiddling your thumbs at home and recovering. It’s almost like therapy for a rider. You just have to deal with it. If it’s sore, you nurse it along and do the best with what you’ve got.”
WHAT KIND OF RIDING ADVICE CAN YOU GIVE TO A RIDER LIKE JOSH (HILL) WHO’S SO AMPED TO GET BACK ON A BIKE AFTER COMING OFF A TOUGH HAND INJURY? “I think the biggest thing is that he shouldn’t go out there trying to impress anyone, just go out and do your thing. The minute you go out there and go above and beyond your limit, it can get ugly really quick. These guys have been racing for five weeks already and have a leg up on you already. Just go out there and do your deal and don’t get caught up in anyone’s mistakes. Stick to your plan and what you get is what you get.”
LAST WEEKEND IN ANAHEIM, RIDING A BIT CONSERVATIVE SEEMED TO BE A FASTER WAY AROUND THE TRACK? HOW DOES A RIDER THROTTLE DOWN WHEN GOING FAST IS THE NAME OF THE GAME? “Last week was strange. The track was really basic and it was hard to make time up on your competitors. The second thing was that it started to mist and the track got really slippery. If you tried to go fast, you would lose rear-end grip and slide around everywhere. It sounds weird but the slower you went the faster times you put down on the stop watch. The biggest thing is that you want to have the most traction you can. By throttling down and have really good throttle control, you could go faster.”