AMERICA. While it may not have been the final result the team was looking for, there were plenty of bright spots for RCH/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing in Saturday night’s Monster Energy AMA/ FIM World Supercross season opener at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California.
Although not showing as well as they both hoped on the final scorecard, Justin Bogle and Broc Tickle came away from Round 1 with plenty of positives with 12th and 16th-placed finishes.
Both riders had to race their way into the 450SX Main Event via their respective semi-finals, where Tickle led every lap and took victory in his; and Bogle raced at the front of his and scored a runner-up finish.
When the starting gate dropped for the first of 17 events on the 2017 schedule, neither rider was able to put together the start they were hoping for and had to work hard for every position. Over the course of the 20-minute-plus-one-lap race, Bogle, the newest addition to the RCH stable, steadily made his way forward and clawed his way to 12th; a solid showing in his first race for the team owned by Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael.
“It wasn’t the result we were looking for but our Suzuki RM-Z450 was fast and I’m happy the first race with my new team is in the books,” commented Bogle following the race. “I didn’t get the best start in my heat or the Main but I’ll get that cleaned-up and be better as the season goes on. I was hoping to be better than 12th but you have to start somewhere. We’ll work hard this week so we can put together a better effort next weekend. On to San Diego.”
Tickle was in position to notch his first top-10 of the season until late-race misfortune found the 27-year-old rider on the ground, leaving him 16th in the final rundown at the end of the night.
“I’m pretty happy with the way the season started out Saturday night,” explained Tickle. “I put in a lot of work over the off-season and we worked on the bike a lot. I put in a ton of work training and I felt like I was well prepared coming into the race. I was confident and in a good place. Overall, it was a good weekend. We won our semi and I felt really good heading into the Main. I was having a pretty-consistent night and was able to move up and make some passes. Unfortunately, I fell late in the race but my speed was better than it has been so I’m in a good place to improve.
“My goal for the year is to finish top-five in points and I think that’s realistic. I’m looking for some podiums and top-fives. I know the class is stacked and there are a lot of good guys on the track but I don’t feel like those goals are out of reach. I’m feeling really good on the bike and we’ve done a lot of work. The team and I have grown together and I’m in a good place to take advantage of that.”
Monster Energy AMA Supercross rolls on next weekend when Tickle, Bogle and the rest of the RCH contingent visit PETCO Park in San Diego, California.
Anaheim Results: CLICK HERE
Championship Points: CLICK HERE