Here’s a team-released interview with Broc Tickle and Josh Hill…
TALK ABOUT THE ANNOUNCEMENT MADE EARLIER THIS YEAR THAT YOU WOULD BE JOINING RCH RACING?
BT: “What a great opportunity. I’m really excited. I’m really impressed with how everything worked out. It couldn’t have worked out better. To have Suzuki, Yoshimura, Dodge, Sycuan and Bel-Ray, all the mechanics, we’re in really good shape. I’ve been really impressed with everything. With Ricky (Carmichael) there and knowing the Suzuki like he does, his knowledge of the bike is amazing. Ricky being there for our test days and helping us out with our rides is awesome. I’m more prepared heading into a Supercross season then I’ve ever been. I’m looking forward to the season and really excited about the whole new team. It’s a fresh start. I’ve been putting in the work and have a solid program behind me.”
WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO HAVE FACTORY-BACKED SUPPORT FROM SUZUKI AND A TECHNICAL PARTNERSHIP WITH YOSHIMURA?
BT: “It’s awesome. I’ve been lucky to ride fast bikes in the past. We have Ricky (Carmichael) and Carey (Hart); the whole package just fits perfect. Obviously, the Yoshimura package is incredible. I really enjoy the approach of Ricky and Carey. I feel like there’s no pressure on me; I put enough pressure on myself to do what I need to and get the goals the team wants and what I want.”
HOW HAS PRE-SEASON TESTING GONE SO FAR?
BT: “Testing has been awesome. The first couple of days that I was on the bike we did big jumps. That’s a big thing because we have an awesome Suzuki and it’s only going to get better. The factory support is incredible. We’re only going to get faster.”
HOW DO YOU ANTICIPATE TEAM CO-OWNER RICKY CARMICHAEL’S RIDER DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM TO AFFECT YOUR SX PROGRESSION?
BT: “I think the knowledge that Ricky brings immediate confidence to Josh (Hill) and me. That’s what it’s all about. 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.”
DOES THE RIDER DEVELOPMENT GO BEYOND JUST RIDING? WORKOUT? NUTRITION? ETC.?
BT: “I’ve always worked hard. The program that Ricky has us on isn’t harder work; it’s smarter work, more quality. I think that’s really important. I’ve always wanted more and more and Ricky is pushing us. I’m really, really pumped about everything. Everything has come together so smoothly that it’s unbelievable.”
WHAT ARE YOUR EXPECTIATIONS FOR THE 2013 SEASON?
BT: “My goal for now is to focus on Anaheim and get through it with a clean run. I really, really want to finish top-five. I think that would be something that the team would be pumped about. There will be more than a handful of riders in the field that have won Supercross races; to get myself inside the top-five would be a good day. We’ll continue to work on the bike setup, maybe my riding style, and my starts. We want to work on things each week to get better for every weekend. It’s a long series and my goal is to stay fit and healthy. With that, you have the chance to ride hard, earn podiums and win races.”
THE SX FIELD IS ULTRA-COMPETITIVE, MAYBE THE BEST FIELD EVER. TALK ABOUT HOW FIERCE THE RACING WILL BE?
BT: “It’s crazy. I’ve won a Supercross Lites Championship and there are a bunch of guys that have done that in the 450 Class. On top of that, there are nine or 10 guys who have won multiple times in Supercross. For me, I’m looking forward to getting out there and accomplishing some goals for the team and myself. There’s nothing better than getting results for your team, for guys that work hard that don’t get credit for everything that they do behind the scenes. I feel like the team’s goal is the same as mine. We’re working really hard. I’m getting great support. There’s a lot going on behind the scenes that people don’t see that makes it rewarding when you accomplish goals. That really keeps you motivated during the season.”
TALK ABOUT ANAHEIM-1 AND THE START OF THE 2013 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES SEASON?
BT: “I’m really looking forward to it. We’ve put in a lot of work. When the weeks are tough on you, you want to feel the accomplishment once you get to the race. I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself for the first race. I want to get through it and finish top-five. If I can start off good, I can build off Anaheim and continue to get better throughout the season. Some guys get so excited for Anaheim-1 that they either do really good or leave there with a terrible result. I’m going to let things come to me. I’ve worked hard to get to this point in the pre-season; I should be where I want to be for the season opener.”
TALK ABOUT YOUR TEAMMATE JOSH HILL:
BT: “Josh [Hill] is a great teammate. I think he’s ready. He’s been riding awesome. From the first day that he came out and rode, he’s been fast. I’ve raced him since I was a little kid and he’s always beaten me. He always was the guy to beat growing up. It’s hard to see someone so talented struggle because of injuries. He’s fast. I feel like he’s back. He’s pushing me at the track. It’s good that both of us are on the same speed and same program. We’ll certainly be able to push each other.”
A NEW-LOOK RCH TEAM THIS YEAR WITH BROC (TICKLE) AS A TEAMMATE AND CO-OWNER RICKY CARMICHAEL, WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ABOUT THE UPCOMING 2013 MONSTER ENERGY SUPERCROSS SERIES SEASON?
JH: “So far, it’s been an awesome experience. The team has always been really fun to ride for since I’ve been here. Now, with the help from Yoshimura and factory Suzuki, the team is really coming along. We’ve got a lot better equipment which will make us so much more competitive.”
TALK ABOUT THE SWITCH TO SUZUKI WITH FACTORY SUPPORT AND TECHNICAL EXPERTISE FROM YOSHIMURA THIS SEASON.
JH: “The Suzuki bike is a great base to start with. It has a really plush chassis and it turns really well. The Yoshimura factory Suzuki had so much development in it that when I first got on the bike, it was ready to race. Last year, we were on production bikes and it just wasn’t quite the level of equipment that we’re getting this year. Everything is hand-made, hand-built at Suzuki. It’s just a great bike.”
WORD IS THAT YOU’RE REALLY FAST IN PRE-SEASON TESTING. HOW HAS TESTING GONE SO FAR THIS YEAR?
JH: “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 paralyzed 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.”
TALK ABOUT HAVING BROC TICKLE AS A TEAMMATE?
JH: “The team rides together. There have been very few days when Broc and I haven’t been at the track at the same time. The team brings out the box truck, the bikes and they’re always prepped and ready. When we have all the bikes prepped and ready to go, all we have to do is worry about riding. It’s really easy for us to focus on going fast. It gives Broc and me the chance to gauge each other. We’re competitive with how we’re riding and trying to outride each other. At the same time, there’s no hard feeling for pushing each other hard. It’s us against the world. We’re both out here trying to better ourselves. We push each other every day to get better and better.”
HOW MUCH HAVE YOU WORKED WITH RICKY (CARMICHAEL) AND WHAT ARE YOUR INITIAL THOUGHTS ON HIS EXPERTISE?
JH: “Ricky has been great. He’s been out to the track as much as he can. He’s been coming out to the West Coast helping us ride. He still has a lot of skill. He can hop on our bikes and help us in the testing process as well as our riding. Everything he’s doing is putting Broc and me in the right direction. Having Ricky on our side is such a plus. He brings so much knowledge and expertise in what it takes to run at the top. Having him in our camp is huge.”
THOUGHTS ON ANAHEIM AND EXPECTATIONS FOR 2013:
JH: “I really don’t want to say where I’m going to end up results wise. I want to ride up at the front. Our team wants to ride up front. We want to make fast laps, earn podiums and contend for race wins. I want to be chomping at the bit for a podium every week. I haven’t really raced competitively since 2010 with the lead pack. I feel like I’m getting back at that level with our Dodge/Sycuan Casino/RCH Racing/Bel-Ray/Suzuki.”
HOW’S YOUR HEALTH HEADING INTO THE START OF THE SUPERCROSS SEASON?
JH: “We’ve had a lot of ride days. I’ve had a great off-season after a big setback. Every day has been positive. I feel like we’re gaining speed and getting faster every time that we’re on the bike. It’s a long 17-week season. We’re going to try and keep the ball rolling to better ourselves.
CAN YOU TALK ABOUT ANAHEIM 1?
JH: ‘I’m stoked. I’m not going to go out there and think about the end result. I just need to focus on riding as hard as I can for 20 laps. The results will be good if I ride to my capability. We’re excited to get this thing started at Anaheim.”