Roczen Looks to Stay Sharp at Muddy Creek

Tickle Looks to Build on Consistency

Fresh off a pair of standout performances, RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy John’s/Suzuki Factory Racing riders Ken Roczen and Broc Tickle are carrying a formidable wave of momentum heading into this weekend’s Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Red Bull Tennessee National at Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tenn.

Both Roczen and Tickle turned in impressive showings in the outdoor series’ most recent stop in Mount Morris, Pa., and come into Muddy Creek Raceway brimming with confidence.

Roczen continued his blistering start to the outdoor season, turning in a perfect 1-1 performance in last Saturday’s Red Bull High Point National, collecting his seventh win in eight motos and third overall victory of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship. At the same time, the 22-year-old German rider extended his points lead to 41 over second-place Eli Tomac with one-third of the season already in the books.

Ken Roczen, Muddy Creek, Tennessee Nationals
With his success that he has had thus far, Roczen is looking forward to Muddy Creek and continuing that success.Photo Courtesy of RCH Suzuki Factory Racing

With 193 points through four rounds, Roczen has amassed the best start since the 2013 season when three-time Pro Motocross champion Ryan Villopoto also won seven of eight motos. Villopoto went on to win the title that season and Roczen hopes to keep the momentum rolling to a potential second premiere class outdoor title.

Roczen boasts an impressive resume heading into the northeast Tennessee track, situated just minutes from the legendary Bristol Motor Speedway of NASCAR fame. In three professional Muddy Creek starts, including 250 and 450 competition, the 2014 Pro Motocross Champion has won three of six motos and finished no worse than fourth. Last June, Roczen came up one spot short of the overall win after posting a 3-1 result.

With seven moto wins and three overalls already to his credit in 2016, Roczen comes into Round 5 on top of his game. But despite his recent run of success, and the probable season-ending injury to defending series champion Ryan Dungey, Roczen isn’t resting on his laurels or taking anything for granted.

“It’s never easy and I think the worst possible thing you can do is think it’s going to be easy,” explained Roczen who will be the only previous Muddy Creek winner on the starting gate Saturday afternoon. “That’s why I needed another 1-1 (at High Point) because I don’t ever want to let loose. I think that’s the worst thing you can do and it’ll bite you. There’s no mindset change. We’re in a great position but a lot of things can happen. I’m just going to keep riding like I am right now. We’re going after moto wins and overalls especially, and the big picture – the championship. I know a lot of people are saying it’s a done deal and I hate hearing that stuff. I’m going to go out and put in all the effort I have.”

Tickle finished ninth overall last weekend and looks to build on his 8-10 High Point finish. The Holly, Mich., rider rode to a pair of seventh-place moto finishes last year to finish seventh overall at Muddy Creek, one of the schedule’s newest venues.

Broc Tickle, Tennessee Nationals, Muddy Creek, RCH Suzuki Factory Racing
Broc Tickle has also had some notable consistency in his racing and also hopes to continue that momentum into this weekend's Tennessee National.Photo Courtesy of RCH Suzuki Factory Racing

“I’m looking forward to Muddy Creek,” explained Tickle, who sits 12th in points. “I spent a lot of time racing there when I was younger so going back is always kind of cool for me. The track is a little different but it suits me because I know what the dirt is like. We had a good race last weekend and it was definitely a step in the right direction. Muddy Creek was good for me last year. I finished with a 7-7 so that was a solid, consistent race for me. I got a good start in the first moto last year and learned some things, so that’s what I worked on this week. Everything felt really good so I just need to bring that intensity first thing Saturday morning so I’m ready to go as soon as we start racing.”

While Muddy Creek has only held three Pro Motocross Championship events, Tickle has plenty of experience at the Tennessee track, having raced there multiple times as an amateur, and knows many of the venue’s nuances.

“Mark Barnett built the track and they have a triple step up they named after him called the Bomber,” added Tickle. “The track is also known for the gate drops because it’s an uphill start into a complete 180 (corner). It’s kind of tricky and obviously can cause a pile up. It’s kind of off camber, uphill and a 180 at the top. I’d say between the triple step up and the starts, that’s what Muddy Creek is known for.”

The first moto from Round 5 of the 2016 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship from the Red Bull Tennessee National will be televised live on MAVTV Sat., June 25 beginning at 1 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 10 a.m. Pacific. Television coverage for the second moto will shift to NBC at 3:30 p.m. EDT, 12:30 p.m. Pacific. All motos can also be streamed live online through 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.