Interview with the Newest Red Bull KTM Team Rider

Broc Tickle is ready for 2018

Broc Tickle
Broc Tickle is ready for 2018 on his new team and new bike.Pete Peterson

Broc Tickle’s 2017 Supercross season was cut short by a wrist fracture before the second-to-last round. Before that, he’d gotten himself a podium finish in Toronto. Outdoors in 2017 he got a podium at High Point, but that season was also cut short from an injury, this time to his shoulder. While healing his shoulder he signed with the Red Bull KTM team just as the previous team he was riding for, RCH Suzuki, was closing shop. In the supercross preseason, on the new bike, Tickle earned fourth overall at the Monster Energy Cup (he tied in points with third place) and finished third at the Red Bull Straight Rhythm.

You left the outdoor series with a shoulder injury. Can you tell us how your shoulder’s doing now?

My shoulder’s going good… I had two tears on my labrum but it was in a good spot. [This summer] I had Dr. Kramer down in Newport Beach look at it… He said I’m stable but I do have two tears, so just rehab it, do the things you need to do, rest… So that’s what I did, and basically as soon as I got injured I signed my deal with these guys [Red Bull KTM] and then RCH announced their folding. The first time back riding was on a KTM.

Broc Tickle
Tickle earned fourth overall at Monster Energy Cup. He was tied in points for third but the moto format scoring put him to fourth.Pete Peterson

Did you know RCH was going to be closing its doors when you signed with KTM?

There was definitely some unsureness whether or not they were going to go racing or not. I felt like I had good enough results for them to want to be getting me signed up or to do something, but I wasn’t getting anything. So I figured something was going on. They told me as soon as they knew [that the team was shutting down]; it was a couple weeks prior to when they actually announced it, so I think it was good for them to tell everybody on the team and kinda put them in the position so that they had time to go get other jobs, not for just me and Justin but obviously for all the personnel there. I felt like that I needed a change too. I felt like I was doing well, but I needed a change to re-amp myself and get hungry, get more motivated. I felt like I was in a good place and getting good results, but like I needed to do a little bit more.

Broc Tickle
The 2018 supercross series will have three rounds scored like the Monster Energy Cup; a three moto format for overall positions that pay one night’s worth of points.Pete Peterson

You’re joining a new team that’s coming out with a new bike. When did you get back on a bike, and what bike did you get on?

I started on the 2017. I rode outdoors for a couple weeks, then started riding supercross, and then made a change over [to the 2018 racebike]… I tried some stuff and liked it better and then realized that the tank [on the new bike] was a little skinnier, so that was something that I actually liked a lot better on the ’18. The width of the ’17 is a little wider at the tank and at first it took me a while to get used to it coming from a Japanese bike because [the Japanese bike is] a little skinnier up by the radiator shrouds. So the new-style tank/shroud definitely suits me a little more because I sit up on the front of the tank when I come into the corners.

Broc Tickle
Broc got third at Red Bull Straight Rhythm.Pete Peterson

You were going from a bike that’s been developed for a few years to kind of a prototype racebike. Was the ’18 better than the ’17 racebike right away?

It’s hard to say. Obviously for me it’s a big change in general. The characteristics of the ’17 and then the ’18 are similar, so I think it was just some fine-tuning. And I wasn’t in the place 100 percent where I was riding, pushing it, and at a place I could make a true, true judgment. But overall I would say just the characteristic of this bike is really awesome… It’s easier to ride in certain scenarios than any other bike I’ve ever ridden.

Broc Tickle
Tickle earned one podium finish in supercross in 2017, at Toronto.Pete Peterson

What’s it like joining the KTM program? How involved are you in the Aldon Baker program already?

I moved down to Florida just over a month ago. It’s been going good. I’ve made progress each and every week, and I think that’s the main thing. And riding with Marv and Zach right now has elevated me during the week to step up and be riding 100 percent in the week, when in years past I feel like maybe I was riding more at 85 percent. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing by any means, but at this level 85 percent during the week isn’t going to really cut it for the weekends because the class is stacked and everybody’s pushing for more. So for me, I’m going to feed off as much as I can riding with those guys. The atmosphere down there is awesome; it’s positive and it’s a lot of work. And some days are tough but it’s a good atmosphere to do it in and we all get along. Then with the team it’s been really good to work with them and grow as much as we can. Obviously I’ve been down in Florida the last month, so I’ve only worked with them a little bit before Monster Cup and around Straight Rhythm time.

Broc Tickle
Tickle got one overall podium finish in the outdoors, nabbing third at High Point.Pete Peterson

Do you feel like you’ve progressed since Straight Rhythm and Monster Cup?

Oh, yeah, hands down. I definitely feel like I’ve gotten stronger on the bike and off the bike. I’ve had some struggles, but that’s what elevates you. It hasn’t been rainbows and sunshine every single day, but it’s been really good. I’ve made progress the last couple weeks, quite a bit, and I feel like I’m in a good spot to keep doing that and, like I said, being around Marv at this level—I mean his off-season has gone spectacular, and he obviously had a good outdoor season. So I think I’m feeding somewhat off of that and just the team in general. And then on top of that, Aldon being involved it’s just—it’s been fun to go down there and put myself out of my own element because I’ve been here [in California] for the last eight years. And the place down there is unreal. Obviously people have seen it online and in pictures, but those don’t do it justice, that’s for sure. It’s top-notch and you definitely—there’s no slacking down there.

Brock Tickle
Broc’s 2017 season was cut short with a couple injuries but he’s healed and ready now.Pete Peterson

And you moved there permanently?

No I still have my house here so I’ve just got an apartment down there… I’m committed to an apartment for the year and I’m gonna run it that way. It’s set up good. I’m close by to Aldon’s house, so if we need to do something, we can do it and I’m in a good spot. It’s 25 to 30 minutes to the track, [then] head back home, rest, and then do it all over again.

Brock Tickle
Tickle says he’s already seen gains from training with Aldon Baker in Florida.Pete Peterson

You’ve worked with Mitch Payton, Ricky Carmichael, and for as short time now with Roger DeCoster. Can you tell me one thing you’ve gained from each one of those guys?

I think they all have the same characteristic, to be honest. It’s hard to put in words, but it’s just you have confidence in them, being around you, so it’s the same thing that goes in with anything. If you have confidence in the people around you, that are supporting you, and they have confidence in you, it’s just going to be a combination that’s good for both parties. So for me, that’s all I can really say. I obviously don’t really know Roger that well, but I’ve worked with him a little bit here and there. That’s pretty much what I get from all three of those guys.

Brock Tickle
Tickle signed with KTM while out with a shoulder injury suffered this summer.Pete Peterson
Brock Tickle
Tickle says a change to his program has him very ready and motivated for 2018 racing.Pete Peterson