RCH Racing Suzuki’s Broc Tickle raced to his third top-10 Main Event finish in Saturday’s Daytona Supercross in Florida.
Tickle finished ninth in the 450 Main Event aboard his Dodge/ Sycuan Casino/ RCH Racing/ Bel-Ray Suzuki RM-Z450 and currently holds 10th place in the 17-round series after 10 races.
Said Tickle: “I actually got a pretty good start, but I just had a starting gate position too far out, but tonight was good. We got off to a decent start in the Main and just started picking guys off. I just wanted to be strong for the entire race because I knew that stamina was going to be a big factor. I knew that guys were going to make mistakes and if you ran your own race, things would work out. It was just a solid race. That’s the thing here; you have to ride consistent and it can either make you or break you.”
The Ricky Carmichael-designed track proved to be demanding: Riders faced a very technical course covered with a loose, sandy Florida soil. Riders had to manoeuvre through a series of jump combinations making “consistency” and “stamina” consensus buzzwords inside the paddock throughout the event.
“It was gnarly,” Tickle added. “You had to pick smart lines all night. It was a demanding track and it brought out the toughness in you. The sand is hard to manoeuvre and you have to be really accurate on your lines. ‘RC’ built a great track here. It was demanding and fun at the same time.”
Near 90-second lap times were the norm as riders hammered through the deep-rutted dirt. Tickle showed good speed in the afternoon practices. He posted the sixth-fastest lap in the second timed practice. Riding in the first heat, Tickle lined up third and used an aggressive start out of the gate to claim a holeshot and eventual fifth-place finish in the eight-lap qualifier to earn his 10th consecutive Main Event start.
In the Main Event, he started mid-pack (ninth) and had to overcome a log-jammed Turn 1 that dropped him three positions to 12th. Despite the heavily-rutted track that forced riders to navigate different lines nearly every lap, Tickle used his extensive motocross experience to thrive on the hybrid racing conditions.
“There were a few sections that I could run the same line and others that I had to change up,” he added. “When the track started to get eaten up, I had to change things up a bit and not try and use too much energy. Everybody in front of me rode solid. I’m really happy with this finish and think it’s another step in the right direction.”
Team mate Josh Hill rebounded from last week’s DNQ where the Oregon native battled a serious bout of Strep Throat. A podium finisher in his last 450 SX start at Daytona in 2010, Hill finished ninth in the second heat to earn his fourth Main Event of the season. Then things got interesting for Hill.
Starting 18th for the 20-lap Main, Hill was up two positions when a glare-issue forced him to toss his race goggles to the dirt on Lap eight, so he raced the final 11 laps without eye protection and finished 15th.
“He had such a glare and this is probably the worst place to have that,” said Hill’s lead mechanic Shawn Bell after his rider’s gutsy performance. “It’s so sandy; pretty much a sand dune. I’m guessing it was the hardest thing to do to ride around this place without goggles.”
Hill voluntarily sought care from the AMA Medical Staff after the race where he was treated for eye irritation and released.
The Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series heads to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis next Saturday for Round 11 of the 17-race series.
RCH Racing Suzuki Photos: Simon Cudby