· Broc Tickle (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450) has made all 15 450SX Main Events this season and is currently 10th in the rider standings. He had a season-best finish of seventh last week at Seattle. He failed to earn one of the nine transfer spots in his heat race (he finished 10th) but rode second in the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) to earn one of the final two transfer spots into the 20-rider Main Event. · Josh Hill (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki RM-Z450) finished 12th at Seattle.
FAST FACTS: SALT LAKE CITY · SPEED will air Saturday night’s AMA Supercross Series event from Salt Lake City live on Saturday (4/27) at 9:30 p.m. (EDT) · RCH Racing team owner Ricky Carmichael won the inaugural 450SC Class race at Rice-Eccles Stadium in 2001.
DID YOU KNOW · Broc Tickle is currently 10th in the 2013 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series rider standings, seven points behind Justin Brayton in ninth. · Josh Hill has recorded two top-10 finishes this season (Houston and Minneapolis) and added a Heat Race win at Round 14 in Minneapolis. His season-best finish of eight came at Minneapolis. · Brock Tickle has never finished outside the top-six in 450SX starts in Salt Lake City. He was sixth in his first SX Lites West start in 2010 and earned his first podium – third – a year later. He made his first 450SX class start in Salt Lake City last season and finished sixth.
2013 AMA SX STAT CHECK Starts Main Events Wins Top 3s Top 10s Tickle 15 15 0 0 8 Hill 10 9 0 0 2
THE DODGE BOYS · Dodge is seeking its first 450SX race win with RCH (Ricky Carmichael / Cary Hart) 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. · Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas will host the season finale on May 4.
DODGE/RCH RACING RIDER QUOTES BROC TICKLE (No. 20 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) YOU’RE COMING OFF YOUR BEST FINISH OF THE SEASON LAST WEEKEND (7TH) IN SEATTLE BUT HAD TO DO IT VIA THE LCQ. DID YOU RIDE MAD OR MORE RELAXED IN THE MAIN EVENT? “(Tony) Berluti told me before the Main to just go out there and relax and have fun. We had such a bad gate pick that unless we broke out early and got a holeshot it was more important to stay up on the bike and ride consistent laps. If you tried to make things happen on that track, it was almost harder to go fast. There were so many lines to choose from that it would cause you to get tight and struggle. It was more important to get in a flow and ride solid for 20 laps.”
IS THERE SOMETHING TO BE SAID FOR RIDING A CONSISTENT PACE VERSUS PRESSING TOO HARD THIS YEAR? “There’s a fine line and that’s where (Ryan) Villopoto and (Davi) Millsaps have been pretty good this year. Millsaps looks like he’s just riding around at times and that’s because he’s carrying good speed and being smooth.”
HAS THE STORY OF YOUR SEASON BEEN MORE ABOUT MAIN EVENT RACE STARTS OR HEAT RACE RESULTS? “Probably a little bit of both. I’ve never had a killer Heat Race yet this year and that’s one reason why my Mains haven’t been top-five yet. Hopefully, the next two races I can be a little bit better in practice. I want to be right there inside the top-five. I know that we can and we’ve been so close. Last weekend, we were only three-tenths off of fourth-place in practice. I just need to find that little extra speed in practice and get a good Heat Race gate pick.”
BECAUSE THE TOP 10 IS SEPARATED BY ONLY TENTHS OF A SECOND, IS THERE A SINGLE AREA OF FOCUS ON THE TRACK WHERE SPEED IS GAINED OR LOSS THAT YOU HAVE TO FOCUS ON? “Not really. I think it’s a combination of everything during a lap. You can gain a thousand-of-a-second in the whoops, corners, and jumps…wherever. For me, in Minnesota, I was slow in the whoops so that’s where I was trying to focus on gaining more speed. We look at segments and see where we are at on race day compared to everyone else and try to improve on that section, make up those tenths.”
WHAT DO YOU THINK YOUR SINGLE-BIGGEST AREA OF IMPROVEMENT ON THE SUZUKI HAS BEEN THIS YEAR? “My riding has been good the whole time. Last weekend, we changed a lot of stuff but that’s to go with the track to help get some speed. I think we’ll start this weekend to where we were (setup) before Seattle. The track in Seattle is kind of a one-off track, like Daytona, just not as drastic.”
A SIXTH-PLACE FINISH LAST YEAR IN SALT LAKE CITY. TALK ABOUT RACING AT RICE-ECCLES STADIUM. “I like racing in Salt Lake City. I’m really pumped up to get there because the weather looks good and the last few times I was there it was raining and sleeting, hailing, snowing, just tough conditions. Last year, it rained on Thursday and race day and since we’re at altitude, the dirt is a little bit harder. We have to adjust to the altitude. Normally, when you get to Salt Lake, you can feel the altitude change just by walking around. By the time you’re racing, you don’t even feel it. The bike is de-tuned because of the altitude. I know the team and Suzuki have everything dialed-in, adjusted to the altitude. I think it will be important to get the bike running as good as possible early in the day so we don’t have to chase the track. Our Suzuki’s have been fast all year. We’re ready to go.”
JOSH HILL (No. 75 Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki Z450) YOU’RE RIDING AS WELL AS YOU HAVE ALL YEAR THE LAST FEW RACES. WHAT’S MORE GRATIFYING, THE PERSONAL FACT THAT YOU’RE SO SOLID ON THE SUZUKI OR PROOF TO YOUR PEERS THAT YOU’RE RACING COMPETITIVE RACE LAPS AGAIN? “They both are important. Everyday that I go out and ride my bike, I love it and I’m really pumped about my bike. Everything has been going so smooth on the bike. I feel I’m getting better on it every day.
“Racing wise, I’m pretty excited about my recent rides. I still feel like I have a lot more in me. I thought Seattle was going to be a really good weekend for me. Practice was good and my Heat Race was good. I just fell down in the first turn and that was it.”
HOW HAS YOUR RIDING APPROACH CHANGED OVER THE COURSE OF THE SEASON? “Coming into the season, I was really aggressive. Then, I had the crash and broke my hand. It took me a little bit to get healthy. Now it’s coming and I feel great. I’m attacking the track instead of just feeling everything out. As soon as I get out there, I’m attacking and the speed is coming with it.”
NOW PEOPLE LOOK AT YOUR RESULTS ON-TRACK EACH WEEK VERSUS A COMEBACK STORY OF SORTS: “For sure. It definitely feels good being out there racing against the guys. This is what I love to do. I just want to get results for myself and the team. Now, I feel like I can push as hard as I can until I’m up there battling for podiums and wins.”
TENTHS-OF-A-SECOND ARE SEPARATING THE TOP 10 GUYS IN THE 450SX CLASS THIS YEAR. ARE WE AT A POINT IN THE SPORT WHERE THE GUY WHO CAN FIND THAT EXTRA TENTH OF A SECOND IS GOING TO BE THE GUY TO BEAT EVERY WEEKEND? “What’s happening is the guy that’s bringing the intensity to the Main Event is pushing everybody wide on the start and just peppering that intensity in the Main. You can’t slack off at all in the Main Event this year. You have to be fast every single lap. If you watch the race, there are no breaks out there during a race. It’s a fast pace.”
IS A TOP-FIVE FINISH A MATTER OF ELIMINATING A SIMPLE MISTAKE EARLY IN THE RACE? “It’s just getting a solid start, trying to get out front and hit all my marks. If I can put down a solid 10-laps after the gate drops, I’ll be able to ride the last 10 really fast. I need to get out fast, set a solid pace and just ride.”