At Anaheim 3, the fifth round of the 2014 Monster Energy Supercross, we were all focussed on the action at the front of the field, and understandably so. After all, the race for the lead in both the 450SX and 250SX classes was gripping. But, behind them, there were riders putting in great riders throughout the field. Join us as we put the spotlight on two of those guys.
Broc Tickle (450SX): Sometimes the results can fool you; Broc Tickle is a perfect example of that. I mean, if you look at his results from Anaheim 3, I can understand why you would be underwhelmed; we all expect him to finish higher than eleventh. However, this result was different, as he really earnt that spot on the cusp of the top ten. Personally, I was surprised that he lined up at all.
If you are not aware, Broc Tickle has had a rough time of it in recent weeks. At Anaheim 2, Broc crashed in his semi race and banged himself up, which ruled him out for the night. But, despite the pain, he lined up one week later in Oakland. However, Tickle ended up hitting the ground hard again, and injured his hand in the process. Fortunately, there were no broken bones, but his palm was severely bruised and he also sprained his hand. It was a “game time decision” to see if he would be able to ride at Anaheim 3, but it seemed unlikely, as it was very difficult for him to hold on.
However, despite the pain that he would experience, Broc elected to ride the fifth round of the Monster Energy Supercross series. Already, his season was in tatters after not finishing two successive main events, so you would think that the smart thing to do would be to sit out and ensure that he is one-hundred-percent fit when he returns.
In the end, lining up at Anaheim 3 seemed to be the right decision for him, as his thirteenth was a respectable finish; it also helped him gain some ground in the series standings, as he has passed Josh Grant and moved closer to the top twelve. Now, Tickle is looking forward to building off of this momentum in the coming weeks and getting some consistent finishes under his belt.
Broc had this to say post-race: “I knew today was going be tough because I wasn’t 100%. My shoulder, ribs and finger were getting weaker all night – I was definitely feeling it in the main. I’m not happy with it, but glad I’m getting healthier so I can regain the confidence I had the first two rounds. I wanted to get back out racing and start building momentum to be where I was the first two rounds.”
Cooper Webb (250SX): Cooper Webb is in the same situation as Broc Tickle, as his result was much stronger than it looks on paper, when you consider the factors that he overcame. Of course, a third is a great result whatever way you look at it, especially for a supercross rookie. However, the finish was great for Webb, and unexpected, as he is battling a wrist injury, which he sustained in Oakland.
Cooper had a monstrous crash in practice at round four, as he flipped off of the track and onto the concrete; he was lucky to walk away from it, that’s for sure. But, he is feeling the effects of the crash still, as his wrist continues to cause him trouble, and pop out occasionally, which is not ideal, obviously. Webb put it perfectly after the race: “I’m lucky just to be racing, so getting a podium is pretty cool.”
Sure, some people would argue that he was gifted a podium spot when Malcolm Stewart and Jason Anderson collided. However, staying out of trouble is a part of the race – Webb pounded out the laps and put himself in a position to claim the second podium finish of his career. Cooper has had a superb season thus far, as he is fourth in the standings, right behind some established title contenders. However, he will have to continue pushing, as Justin Hill is hot on his heels, and looking to steal the position.
Words: Lewis Phillips
Image: James Lissimore