Broc Tickle | Ready To Rumble
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For RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's/Factory Suzuki's Broc Tickle, 2014 didn't go as planned. After consistently running up front in the highly competitive 450 class, Tickle crashed hard, breaking his back and forcing him to sit out the remainder of the season. After getting the okay to exercise, he immediately got back on a bicycle and began training for 2015, and as soon as he got the clearance to ride motocross, he did.
After a few months of uncertainty, Tickle has recently re-signed with the team to pit alongside Ken Roczen for the 2015 season. With a completely new look, and a re-invigorated outlook on racing, the former 250 West Coast Supercross Champion says he is ready for the gate to drop next weekend in Anaheim.
You're now back with the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's/Factory Suzuki team for 2015, but was it something that has been in the works for a while now?
Yeah, since about mid-September when I started riding again. I've felt like I was going to be back here again, and that's the feeling that I got from the team. I didn't stress about it and trusted in their word and we finally got things wrapped up a couple of weeks ago. I'm looking forward to this year, and I'm comfortable on the bike. I've been on the team for two years now and they keep getting better and better, adding new employees that help the program, and hiring Kenny [Roczen] will help to motivate me to be better each week and each time I ride. I'm pumped right now, having fun, I have some new sponsors, and I'm pretty excited about all of that.
People probably thought that since the team is so closely associated with Fox that you'd be wearing Fox again, but you have a completely new look.
I got to do my own stuff, so I was pretty stoked about that. It was kind of last-minute, and I can't thank everyone enough that came through. It actually worked out. I thought it was going to be too late to get anything done, but everyone pulled through for me. I'm really pumped with everything.
What did you do to pass the time when you were hurt?
For the first month and a half after I got hurt, I pretty much sat on the couch and didn't do anything at all. That's pretty much what I did, but then once I could get up, I was just going random places to get out of the house. Around the three-month mark, I started going on walks, and then at the four-month mark, I got into cycling. I lost a lot, because I didn't do anything for three months. It was cool to get to focus on cycling, though, because when we're riding motocross so much, and then cycle to cross train, it isn't our main priority. It was really cool to get to cycle for a few months, and it kept me motivated. At the five-month mark, I got the hardware out of my back, and had a month of downtime before I could start riding motocross. I started riding Supercross on November 10th, and it's been good. I'm stoked with everything that Ivan [Tedesco] and the team did to get the bike even better. I'm really pumped with how hard the team worked to get everything even better than it was last year. Obviously, it wasn't a good thing for me to get hurt, but I'm pretty pumped with how it all worked out for me.
The bike is even better, but how are you feeling now that you're fully back into the swing of things?
I'm looking forward to racing. I've had some good days over the last couple of weeks. I know that with all the rain that we've had in SoCal, it's been tough to get a lot of Supercross in, but we've been doing our best. I built a good base up while I was off the bike, so I have good conditioning, but I think I just need to keep riding and put as much time in before Anaheim.
With the rain flooding the Supercross tracks over the past few weeks, have you been going riding in the hills?
Yeah, I've been out to Beaumont three times, and then I went with Twitch and those guys to a secret spot. It was awesome. Twitch and that whole crew put in a lot of work. It looks like someone built it with a Bobcat, but it's all done with shovels. The rule out there is, "No dig, no ride, bro." We had fun. It was Kenny's first day out in the hills, so I introduced him to that. We got there at 9:00 and didn't get home until 6:30, so we had a long day.
Are you going to be racing yourself back into shape or back up to speed?
I wouldn't say so. Honestly, my speed is better than what it was last year, and I'm really stoked with that. The 450 Class is going to have a good field of guys and I'm looking forward to it. I feel like I have something to prove, so that is always in the back of my head. There's 10-12 of us that are pretty close in speed, and I think it's going to come down to whoever wants it more. With me being off the bike for so long, it's kind of built me up to where I want it even more now. But like I said, I'm pumped to be back on the RCH/Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John's/Suzuki team for this year. I'm looking forward to a good year. I want to start off where I left off and see where it takes me.