By Brendan Lutes
Anaheim I is only a few weeks away and riders have been in overdrive testing, riding, and preparing for the opening of the 2013 Monster Energy Supercross season. We recently stopped by the private Suzuki test track while Broc Tickle was taking care of some suspension and chassis testing. For the past few months, Tickle has been getting his new RCH/Dodge/Sycuan/Suzuki RM-Z450 dialed in, and according to him, he couldn't be happier with his progress and preparation.
Last time we spoke, you had just signed with the RCH/Dodge/Sycuan/Suzuki team. How has it been going, though, now that you have been able to put more time on the bike?
It's been great and time has gone by fast, for sure. We've been doing a lot of work, everything is going well, and Ricky [Carmichael] has us on a good riding program. I'm really impressed with the way things have gone. Right now, we're about a month out and I'm really looking forward to the start of the season. I've been doing a lot of laps, getting my training in, and everyone else has been doing their part too. I'm just really happy with the way things are going. Both Josh and I are riding really well right now, and I think A1 should bring some good results. I just want to get through the first race and get better every weekend.
Being that you're on a new bike, were there some things that you had to adapt to, or some aspects of it that took some time to get used to?
Right away I felt comfortable on the bike. I mean the bike I was on last year is actually pretty similar--in stock form--to the Suzuki, so it wasn't too big of a difference to just get on and ride. I rode outdoors on the Suzuki for three days when I first got on it, and I felt good right away. This bike turns really well, and with us testing, the bike has improved even more. We've just been putting the work in. Ricky has been out here most of the time when we've been testing, helping me and Josh. He helped us in the beginning to get a good set up and told us what he thinks will work. So we kind of get feedback from him to help us decide what would be best for us. It's been good having him as a part of the team, and we have a really good riding program. Like I said, Josh and I do motos together. Every day we're out here putting in the work and getting it done.
You've mentioned Ricky a couple times, but can you talk about what his role is with you and Josh?
His part of the team is to basically help us develop the bike to suit us the best it can, and he is also here for the riding aspect of it. He gives his input on everything that he thinks is going to help us, and he has done a really good job at that so far. I'm looking forward to having him out here at the test track with us more often. It was really cool having him out here with us for the first couple test sessions. I think he helped us a lot with the bike, and just the little things that he can tell us that we can't really learn on our own. I think it's good to have him here. I don't really have to say much about him to get you guys to think that it really is a good thing having him as a part of the team. We've had some cool things going on lately too. We went to Vegas for the Suzuki convention, which was cool. And we also had the team intro at the Sycuan Casino, and it was cool to have everyone come together and sign autographs. It was just a really cool atmosphere. I've done things like that before, but it just seemed like there was more of an effort put into it, yet it was still more laid back feeling. I think that's what's good for me. I like the way everything is laid out here. Everyone is here to help and do the best that we can. I think that these guys have been wanting good results. And I think that with Ricky, Factory Suzuki, and Yoshimura on board, it's a good thing, because they all want more, and both Josh and I want more. It's a good thing to have, and all of us have been putting in all our effort to get everything as good as we can to go to Anaheim and be ready to go.
Looking ahead towards Anaheim, what are your expectations?
To be honest, I just want to go there to have fun and do the best that I can. I've done the most--and I don't mean this like I never worked hard--to prepare these past couple months than I ever have. I thought I was going to tire out, and I went through a couple days that were hard, but it's all part of it. Ricky told me to keep at it and by Anaheim I'll be ready. I want to be top-five. Everyone is going to be there and I think that's a realistic goal. If I do that, I'll be really happy. Then I just want to move forward from there and try to find little things during the week to work on whether it be bike-wise, training-wise, start-wise. Whatever I can do to improve upon Anaheim I, I'll do it.