Roczen Gets a Pair of Twos at Southwick

Tickle Rallies for Top 10

Ken Roczen, rider of the RCH Racing’s No. 94 Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450, posted a pair of top twos and was credited with a second-place overall finish in Saturday’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Red Bull Southwick National.

Roczen waged a spirited battle with eventual race winner Eli Tomac for much of both 450 Class motos Saturday afternoon but would ultimately yield the top spot to Tomac and go on to notch runner-up showings in Round 7. Despite coming up just short on his sixth overall victory in seven races this season, Roczen still paces the points race where he holds down a commanding 47-point lead with five events remaining on the 2016 calendar.

Ken Roczen, Southwick, RCH Racing, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Ken Roczen landed a second-place overall finish at Southwick.Photo Courtesy of RCH Racing

“I felt like I struggled, pretty bad,” explained Roczen. “No excuses. I struggled in the first moto so we went back and made some changes and it was better for the second one. It wasn’t ideal. I kind of felt uncomfortable out there all day. Just tried to minimize the mistakes and do the best I can even though it wasn’t ideal. In the second moto we had a good battle going on. We were kind of yo-yoing there for a while. He (Tomac) had certain spots where he was faster and I was closing in other spots. We weren’t ever really close enough where I could have maybe gone up the inside and made a pass. It was a tough one out there.”

Roczen’s RCH stablemate Broc Tickle struggled with his starts in both premiere class events but rallied to come from deep in the field to finish 10th in the first moto and eighth in the second, to be credited with an eighth-place overall finish. The solid recovery allowed the rider of the No. 20 RM-Z450 to maintain the fifth spot in the championship where he’s just 10 points behind fourth and 29 outside the top three.

Broc Tickle, RCH Racing, Southwick, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championships
Broc Tickle did not have great starts in the motos but still managed to stay in the top 10.Photo Courtesy of RCH Racing

“Overall, I feel like it was a decent day,” said Tickle. “Obviously, not as good as the last two weekends. My starts were terrible and unfortunately, that set the tone for the motos. I felt really awesome in the second moto once I got a flow going. It was kind of hard to pass out there. It felt like the track funneled into one berm. There were some positives, for sure, so I’m not bummed by the weekend. It was still solid with a 10-8 and eighth overall. We’re heading to Millville and that’s one of my favorite tracks so I’m really looking forward to that.”

After such an incredible run of wins and podiums over the opening half of the season, it was hard for either rider to not be disappointed following Round 7. As a seasoned veteran of the sport, RCH team manager Kyle Bentley understands the ebbs and flow of the business and kept things in perspective at day’s end.

Ken Roczen, Eli Tomac, Southwick, RCH Racing, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship
Ken Roczen finished just behind Eli Tomac after yo-yoing for first.Photo Courtesy of RCH Racing

“Anytime we can get out of Southwick with a solid points finish is a good day,” offered Bentley. “I’ve lost championships at Southwick before with some DNFs so, overall, we’re happy. No big surprise that Tomac was fast. We knew he would be. He was fast at Daytona and he was fast at Southwick. He’ll be fast next week at Millville, too. We just need to keep getting good starts and scoring solid points. (Broc) Tickle had two terrible starts and came from the back in both motos. He still got two top 10s so that’s a productive points day for him. The most important thing is that we have two healthy riders so we can move on to the next race.”

The first moto from the La Crescent Wine and Spirit Spring Creek National will be televised live on MAVTV Sat., July 16 beginning at 2 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 11 a.m. Pacific. Coverage for the second moto will be televised on NBCSN at 7 p.m. EDT, 4 p.m. Pacific. All motos can also be streamed live online through ProMotocross.com or the NBC Sports Live Extra app. More than 60 hours of coverage will be featured on NBC, NBCSN, and MAVTV throughout the 12-round championship, highlighted by nearly 40 hours of LIVE coverage and three hour-long showcases on network television via NBC.