By: Casey Davis @air_d617
It’s been a wild ride thus far in the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship with inconsistent results from the top riders, as well as the emerging of several first-time moto and overall winners, but the majority of the excitement actually seems to be coming from the 450 class. One rider that’s capitalizing on those inconsistencies is RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki’s Broc Tickle, who’s been enjoying strong starts and finishes throughout the first four rounds in the series, and he’s even fresh off a podium finish last weekend at High Point. Tickle is no stranger to podium finishes, either, as he finished on the podium on two consecutive weekends last year in Tennessee and at Redbud. The #20 seems to have the ball rolling now, so let’s see what happens this weekend.
Broc you had a pretty good day of racing at High Point, as you finished on the podium, so talk about the weekend…
Yeah, I started off the season much better than I have in the past with a fifth overall at Hangtown and a fourth in moto two for seventh overall at Glen Helen. Colorado was okay for me, but the highlight for me was my starts, as they have been getting much better as of late. This weekend at High Point, I was feeling just as comfortable, and I got some more good starts. I actually had a lot of fun this weekend battling with those guys up front for a little bit. Jason Anderson and I even had a fun little battle. The track was extremely rough and it was really hot outside, so with that said I’m very happy about my weekend. I want to keep nailing starts like that so that I can put myself in a position to ride exactly like I know how to.
It seems that when the series heads east to the warmer weather and the rougher tracks that’s when you shine. Would you agree?
Yeah, absolutely. When there are more variables out there I feel like I do a lot better because I can stay consistent. To be honest, when the track is nice and smooth I’m never really that pumped because everyone can go fast on a smooth track. I think I handle the heat and humidity the same way, as well. If it’s 75° outside then everyone’s going to be able to last those two 30 minutes +2 lap motos. Getting these starts and maintaining that consistency is what’s going to get me to the front for the rest of the summer. I just need to stay focused on that because everything else will fall into place. Starting up front like that is nice, too because you don’t get as dirty and you don’t have to fight through the pack. Typically when I get a bad start, I’m forced to pass my way into position by the end of the race, so it’s a lot less stressful when you get a good start. When you start in the back of the pack you’re essentially racing the entire field, but if you start up front you’re only competitors are the few guys that are around you. There have been times where I’ve passed five or six guys during the second half of the moto, and that’s something that I shouldn’t be having to do. It’s nice to showcase my fitness in that sense, but that’s not what’s going to win races.
We can always count on you for strong finishes towards the end of the series, but since you got that podium last weekend do you think that will get the ball rolling for you sooner?
Yeah, I think so! Like you said, I normally don’t start seeing podium finishes till the latter half of the series, but I finally feel that I’m in the right position. Now that I’ve gotten that podium under my belt I think it’ll be easier to maintain that consistency, and to make the necessary steps towards progress. I think it’s extremely good for myself mentally that I got that podium finish this early, and the goal now is to focus on the next three rounds before the next break in the schedule. Hopefully I can keep those good starts rolling because that’s the key, and the same goes for consistency throughout both motos because we’ve seen a lot of fluctuation in the results. I feel extremely comfortable with the bike and the setup that we have going right now, and I feel that everything is coming easier to me now than it has in the past. I really enjoy the next three races and we all know that the heat and humidity is going to play a role at each round, so it should be a good couple of weeks.
So you prefer the East Coast rounds over the West Coast rounds then?
Yeah, absolutely. I have always started the season off a little week on the West Coast, as I tend to struggle on that kind of dirt. This weekend’s race in Tennessee should be cool because I grew up racing there. After that is Redbud, which is somewhat of a hometown race for me and then finally Southwick. like I said, I feel good on the bike and everything is going really well right now.