Courtesy of Team Suzuki Press Office
Broc Tickle - 3rd
Justin Bogle - 12th
RCH Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Broc Tickle turned in a career-best 450-class finish at the weekend’s Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross ninth round at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Canada, putting his RM-Z450 onto the third step of the podium.
Tickle’s RCH stablemate Justin Bogle overcame a less-than-fortuitous launch from the starting gate but came from deep in the field to finish 12th.
“It all boils down to the start,” commented Tickle following the race. “I worked really hard over the off-season. The whole RCH/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing team has been working their butts off. It’s just about getting to the front in the first couple of laps. I did that and hung in there the whole race. There at the end, I was struggling, riding tight. (Ryan) Dungey passed me, I got in behind him and got a flow going again. Toronto is a great place for me. I got my first podium in the Lites Class in Toronto, and I got my first 450 podium, too. I’m stoked.”
While each rider had to race his way into Saturday night’s Main Event via his respective semi-finals, both Bogle and Tickle put the competition on notice that they’d be players when the starting gate dropped.
Bogle was fourth out of the gate during his semi but powered into second before the halfway mark of the first lap. The Cushing, Oklahoma rider held down the runner-up spot throughout the five-minute-plus-one-lap qualifier and looked to build on that effort in the Main Event.
Despite being saddled with the last gate pick for his semi, Tickle was at the front of the pack by the second corner and went on to pick-up his first semi win of the season.
When the gate dropped for the Main Event, officially marking the halfway point of the 2017 season, Tickle got another great start and was third in the running order before completing the first lap. As the race wore on, and attrition became a factor, the 2011 Western Regional 250 SX Class Champion made his way to second and held it down for most of the night. With the laps clicking off and the timer counting down, Tickle would ultimately yield the runner-up spot to Dungey, the defending series champion. Still, the 27-year-old rider hung in for third to earn the best premier class finish of his career.
“I was trying to focus on myself and run the lines I needed to,” added Tickle, who held on to 10th in the points standings. “I felt like there were some areas of the track where I was really good and some other areas where I kind of struggled. Ryan (Dungey) made the pass in the mechanic’s area, and that helped me get back in a flow. I caught on to some of his lines, and that helped me finish out the Main.
“I’ve been with RCH ever since they started. We’ve made progress every year. It’s been really good. I got two podiums last year outdoors, but then unfortunately, I got hurt. The whole off-season was the best we’ve ever had as a team. We put in a lot of work, and it’s finally showing. I’m stoked. Happy to be where I’m at.”
As one of the few riders who can typically win a holeshot at will, Bogle was unusually absent from the front of the field after the gate drop. After letting the 22-rider field sort itself out, Bogle rode smart, picked his battles wisely and came home with a workman-like 12th-place finish.
“Toronto was another week of mixed emotions for me,” offered Bogle. “There were certain points in the night where I felt like I was riding really well, but there were certain times when I felt like I wasn’t. Ultimately, it boiled down to getting a bad start and having another run-in mid-pack where some guys are a little out of control. I got shuffled back quite a way, came back through and just missed a top 10.
“It’s kind of a bummer because I’m improving during the week. I’m riding better, and things are coming along. I just keep finishing in about the same spot, so it’s been pretty frustrating. My team-mate was on the podium this weekend, which was great for RCH. I’ll use that as motivation and proof that we can run up front. It’d be nice to get us both up there. At the end of the day, we’re healthy, and I didn’t have any big get-offs. I’ll take that, keep building and moving forward.”
Monster Energy Supercross travels to the ‘World Center of Racing’ this weekend for the Daytona Supercross in Florida.
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