Team Suzuki Press Office – January 26.
RCH Suzuki Factory Racing’s Ken Roczen and Broc Tickle suffered a hard-hitting night at the fourth round of the Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship at the 0.co Stadium in Oakland, California on Saturday.
Both RCH Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy Johns/ Suzuki RM-Z450 riders fell victim to the circuit, both taking a hit in the 450SX Main Event, as well as the 450SX point-standings: Roczen, who came into the event with a 12-point lead, now trails new leader Ryan Dungey by four, while Tickle slipped from seventh to 12th in the standings. Both riders and the team remain optimistic.
The night started-off well for both: Roczen picked-up his first heat-race win of the year and Tickle finished third in the same heat, guaranteeing both riders choice-spots on the gate for the Main Event.
Tickle was then caught-up in a multi-bike fracas heading into the first corner of the Main Event; and although he was able to recover quickly from the initial incident, he came up-short on a triple later during the opening lap, forcing him back to the paddock and an early exit.
“I’m super-bummed on the way the night ended up,” said Tickle. “I had an awesome second practice qualifier and a great heat. The racing was awesome and the track felt great. Unfortunately, I crashed on the start in the ‘Main’ and was at the back of the pack. I got back going but I came up-short on that triple and jammed my back. I was hoping to tough-it-out and salvage as many points as I could, but my body was telling me something different. We’ll regroup this week so I can be at Anaheim next weekend ready to rock.”
As a precautionary measure, Tickle made a voluntary trip to nearby ‘Sutter Eden Medical Center’ following the incident where he was examined, released and cleared to travel home with the team.
For his part, Roczen got a great jump out of the gate in the Main Event and was solidly inside the top-three for the opening circuits. But after setting-up and making the pass for second on two-time 450SX champion Chad Reed, the 20-year-old German rider misjudged the same triple as Tickle, landing on the face of the jump and taking himself out of any chance for the win. Shaken but not broken, Roczen picked-up his Suzuki, finished the race and earned a respectable 16th-place finish.
Roczen said: “My heat race was really good. I got off to a great start in the Main Event, battled with (Chad) Reed and Shorty (Andrew Short, made the pass on Reed and then I just totally brain-farted.! I’m so mad at myself. I tried to triple and came-up short. I hit my face and my goggles on my handlebars so I had to stop and just check myself for a minute. Luckily, I got back up and kept going. Those are important points.”
Team Manager Kyle Bentley said: “We had a rough night. Things aren’t always going to be perfect. Broc came up-short on the same triple Kenny did. That’s racing. We’re just glad they’re both healthy. We’ll move on and regroup and be ready for Anaheim next weekend.”
Monster Energy Supercross returns to Anaheim next weekend for the series’ third and final visit of the year to Angel Stadium of Anaheim for round 5 of the 17-race Supercross schedule.
Anaheim II 450 Supercross Results: 1. Trey Canard (Honda), 2. Ryan Dungey (KTM), 3. Chad Reed (Kawasaki), 4. Eli Tomac (Honda), 5. Cole Seely (Honda), 6. Justin Barcia (Yamaha), 7. Davi Millsaps (Kawasaki), 8. Andrew Short (KTM), 9. Blake Baggett (Yoshimura Suzuki), 10. Jason Anderson (Husqvarna). 15 Ken Roczen (RCH Suzuki). DNF: Broc Tickle (RCH Suzuki).