Ken Roczen Out Until Houston

Photo by Ryne Swanberg

TICKLE TO CARRY TORCH FOR RCH SOARING EAGLE/JIMMY JOHNS/SUZUKI FACTORY RACING AT LUCAS OIL STADIUM

Roczen Out Until Houston

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (March 11, 2015) – Broc Tickle will carry the torch for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing this weekend when Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Tickle's RCH teammate Ken Roczen will take the next three races off to recover from an ankle injury.

Last weekend, Roczen re-aggravated the injury to his left ankle originally sustained three races ago in Atlanta and was ultimately forced to sit out the Daytona Supercross. After meeting with doctors earlier this week and consulting with RCH team owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael, Roczen chose to heed the group's collective recommendation and take some time off to allow his injuries to heal completely. The 20-year-old German rider was diagnosed with a partial ligament tear, a high ankle sprain and a deep bone bruise.

After winning the 2014 outdoor title and starting off the season with two wins in the first three races, Roczen was a heavy favorite to compete for the 2015 450SX title. He came into Daytona third in the 450SX championship point standings but fell to fourth after not being able to compete.

"It's a tough decision but we can't afford not to take this seriously," explained Roczen. "I had it looked at again this week and we all decided that the only way my ankle is going to heal properly is if I take some time off. There's a weekend off in between St. Louis and Houston so this will actually give me a month to recover. I'm really bummed because Daytona was the first race I missed in a long time. It'll be tough to be on the sidelines but, if I continue to ride and keep aggravating my ankle, it's not going to get any better. Unfortunately, it is what it is. For the next three races, I'll be resting and cheering for Broc."

Even though the RCH contingent will be one rider short for the next three weeks, the team knows it can count on Tickle to keep the wheels turning. After missing Round 5 in Anaheim following an injury at the Oakland Supercross, the Holly, Mich., rider has been the model of consistency.

Despite getting together with Trey Canard in the first corner and essentially starting dead last in last weekend's main event, the 2011 Supercross West Coast Lites Champion posted the fastest lap of the night and rallied for an admirable 10th-place finish at Daytona International Speedway. The top-10 effort allowed Tickle to close the points deficit between him and ninth-place Andrew Short to just two points.

"I'm pretty pumped with how everything is going," said Tickle. "The last few races have been really good for us. I know the results don't show it but I was really happy with Daytona. I had the fastest lap of the race and it's been awhile since I could say that so it's a great thing to build off of. On top of that, I felt like my fitness level was really good so that's another positive.

"I'm looking forward to this week and getting back in the groove of racing indoors. I want a podium. I know I've been saying it but now I feel like everything is in place. I just need to put the puzzle together and prove to myself that I can do it. I'm going to keep working on the little things that make a big difference. Starts are key and working on that is going to help me the most. Obviously, we're all bummed for Ken. He's a huge part of what makes this team so successful. I know how it feels to have to sit out and not race. Believe me, it's no fun. We'll stay after it while he gets better and hopefully put a few podiums together."

Tickle and Roczen aren't the only ones in the RCH camp who know how it feels to be sidelined while the series moves on. Carmichael faced a similar choice to Roczen's when he chose to sit out the 2004 Supercross season to have surgery on his knee.

"It's a tough situation for Ken but we're all behind him 100 percent and know that he's making the right decision," said Carmichael. "It's really been a snowball-type of effect since he fell the first time at Atlanta. Ever since then, he's aggravated it a little bit more every week and that's how we ended up where we are today. When you're an athlete and a true competitor, it's really hard to shut it down in the middle of a season to take the time your body needs to heal. That's not how an athlete is programmed. In 2004 I had to sit out the entire Supercross season to fix my knee and let it heal. It's a hard choice. We're all in his corner.

"I'm really excited to see what Broc does this weekend. He's been getting better every week. I know the results sheet says he finished 10th last week, but he was last after he and (Trey) Canard got together and still raced his was all the way up to 10th. He was the fastest guy on the track. I think a podium is right around the corner and it wouldn't surprise me makes it happen in Indy."

Before the pits open and the gate drops at the track, Tickle will meet fans and sign autographs on Friday, March 13 from 6 – 7 p.m. at Westfield Powersports Supercross Party at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The party is from 4 – 8 p.m. and will take place behind the Pagoda. Just minutes from Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis Motor Speedway is located at 4790 W. 16th Street.

Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, returns to Indianapolis this weekend when the series pays its seventh visit to Lucas Oil Stadium for Round 11 of the 2015 Supercross Championship. Prior to 2009, Supercross raced at the RCA Dome 17 times making the Circle City a traditional and favorite stop for riders, teams and fans alike. The race will be televised live on Fox Sports 2 Saturday, March 14 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 4 p.m. Pacific.

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About RCH Racing …
RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing is a professional Supercross and Motocross team co-owned by 15-time AMA Champion Ricky Carmichael and Freestyle Motocross visionary and entrepreneur Carey Hart. RCH enjoys factory support from Suzuki as well as marketing partnerships with Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Jimmy Johns, Dodge and Bel-Ray. Stay up to date on all the latest RCH Racing news on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RCHRacing.

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