Team Suzuki Press Office – December 29
Ricky Carmichael and Carey Hart’s 2013 RCH Suzuki team has been testing in preparation for the upcoming AMA/ FIM Supercross season that starts next weekend at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
RCH Racing – a combination of Hart’s Dodge/ Sycuan Casino/ Hart and Huntington/ Bel-Ray team – will field a two-rider effort featuring Josh Hill and Broc Tickle aboard factory-supported Suzuki RM-Z450s with Yoshimura R&D serving as the team’s technical partner to form one of the most unique partnerships inside the SX series paddock.
Says Carmichael: “I’m really excited for the opportunity this year with RCH and Carey giving such a cool opportunity. A big shout-out goes to Suzuki for giving us the factory support and Yoshimura for all their research and development. I’m glad to have Dodge on board and to support all their cool products like the all-new Dodge Dart. Having two riders like Josh Hill and Broc Tickle makes my excitement level go through the roof.
“My end of the deal is to get our two riders as technically prepared as possible. It’s a win-win situation for all our sponsors, our team and riders.”
The partnership has leveraged key team changes including a new rider line-up, direct factory support and a key technical alliance for research and development. The long-term agreement with RCH and Suzuki, along with Yoshimura, provides the technical platform and factory-backed expertise necessary in developing a championship-calibre program.
Says Hart: “Entering our third year with support from Dodge, we have the equipment to do better on the track in 2013. It is awesome to have a strong brand like Dodge and its following with us and we couldn’t ask for a better sponsor and better people to work with. It’s a company inspired by the racing lifestyle and culture and it is important to us to work with a company like Dodge that gets it.”
Returning team rider Hill seeks revenge after injury-plagued 2012 season; healthy and eager for the gate to drop at the season opener at Anaheim on January 5th. A Supercross 450-class winner at Minneapolis in 2008, Hill was relegated to only one SX Main Event start last season after a lower leg injury at the season opener in Anaheim side-lined him for most of the season. In addition to his win, Hill has 15 top-five and 29 top-10 finishes. He has a career-best, fifth-placed finish in the 2008 Supercross standings.
Says Hill “I feel great on the bike; it’s been a long comeback process. I still don’t have all the feeling in the bottom of my foot. I was paralysed from the kneecap down in my left leg. I had a broken femur, pelvis and right humorous. And then last year I had a big string of injuries, not being healthy enough. I was concentrating on other areas of my body and you just can’t do that. This sport is too demanding to not be physically fit. I really want to be back on the track; I wanted to use last year as a learning year. It was a tough learning year. I had a lot of time over the summer to train up in Oregon with my family. Having my brother and my dad in my corner really helped.”
Team mate Tickle makes the switch to RCH after an impressive 2012 SX campaign which saw him finish ninth in the overall rider standings. Entering his second full season in SX 450 competition, the 2011 AMA Supercross Lites West champion, was fifth overall in the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, missing out on the top three by six points.
Says Tickle: “I think the knowledge that Ricky has brings immediate confidence to Josh and me. At the end of the day, all the guys that line up at the gate are awesome riders. We’ve been riding bikes since we were kids. I think having that edge over everybody else is really important. Having the greatest rider of all time in your corner, helping you develop, is an incredible opportunity. The guys working on our program are all there to win and help us win. It’s the job of Josh and me to put in the work and carry the torch for all the hard work that the team is putting in this year.”
Words and photo courtesy of www.supercross.com