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3/5/2015 - High Expectations for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing in Daytona

 

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (March 5, 2015) – Daytona International Speedway or The World Center of Racing as it’s commonly referred to, is steeped in tradition. Names like Petty, Yarborough, Earnhardt, Allison and Gordon have become synonymous with the speedway’s massive 2.5-mile oval.
 
However, when it comes to the Daytona Supercross by Honda, one name comes to mind. With a record-setting five premier-class wins on the track sculpted on the infield grass of the speedway’s tri-oval, it’s no wonder why, when it comes to two wheels, Ricky Carmichael’s name stands alone.
 
As a Florida native and co-owner of RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing, Carmichael carries the heavy burden of expectation heading into Round 10 of the Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, this weekend in Daytona. So do his riders.      
 
But for RCH riders Ken Roczen and Broc Tickle, the series’ annual pilgrimage comes at a unique point in their respective seasons.
 
Tickle circled Daytona 2015 on his calendar almost a year ago after notching what was then a career-best 450SX finish on the Carmichael-designed Daytona layout. The Holly, Mich., rider matched that finish last weekend with a fourth-place effort in Atlanta. Over the last two races, Tickle has finished sixth and fourth and plans to translate that momentum into another strong run Saturday night.
 
“I’m going to work on the same things I did last week to get ready for Daytona,” explained Tickle. “We’ll work on some speed and keep focusing on cleaning everything up. I went back to California after Atlanta and rode at Pala to change it up. I’m looking forward to Daytona. I got a fourth last year so it’s a race I’ve had circled on my calendar for a long time. We’re going to try and finish the season strong.”
 
On the flip side, Roczen fought his way through an ankle injury last week at the Georgia Dome to notch a respectable eighth-place finish. Still, whether he’s a little banged up or completely healthy, the expectation for Roczen is the same – win.
 
Despite his youth, Roczen shoulders the load almost effortlessly. While the last several weeks have been a bit of a roller coaster, the 2014 outdoor champion comes into Daytona brimming with confidence and with the results to back it up. With more of an outdoor feel and layout to the Carmichael-crafted track, the Daytona Supercross comes at a perfect time. With a runner-up finish last year and the outdoor title to boot, this weekend’s backdrop fits perfectly in Roczen’s wheelhouse.      
 
“The last several weeks have obviously been a bit of a struggle but I think Daytona sets up to be a good race for us,” said Roczen. “I spent this week riding at Ricky’s farm and working on some things that should help us with our race set up. Daytona has always been a good track for me. I finished second last year so that makes it easy to look forward to this one. It’s also a nice change of pace and change of scenery from all the indoor events. Ricky has done a great job with the track. It’s big and challenging and should put on a great show for the fans. My ankle is still a little sore from last week but as long as I don’t aggravate it any further, I should be fine.” 
 
As a team co-owner, track designer and color commentator for the FOX Sports 1 television broadcast, Carmichael will wear multiple hats this weekend. While myriad duties will occupy most of his time, the 15-time AMA Champion is sure to take a moment to appreciate the breadth of all the weekend’s activities.
 
“Daytona is such a special place for racing,” said Carmichael.  “With all of the tradition and history that go hand-in-hand with Daytona, you might want to check your pulse if you’re not excited about it – not only from a rider’s perspective but from a fan’s, too. It's going to be a busy weekend for me, personally, being involved with designing the course, RCH, TV, and the Ricky Carmichael Daytona Amateur Supercross on Sunday and Monday. I’ll have my hands full all weekend but it's a fun kind of busy. 
 
Broc had two great weekends in Atlanta and I know he's looking forward to Daytona. Ken’s ankle is still a little sore so he’s going to have to fight through it. I’m really excited about this weekend and can't wait to get going on Saturday.”
 
Before the gate drops on the main event, Carmichael, Tickle and Roczen will sign autographs and meet fans Saturday from 3 -3:30 p.m. at the Cometic Gasket display, located inside the Sprint Fan Zone. Tickets for autographs will be available on a first-come, first-served basis at the RCH mobile marketing unit, also located in the Fan Zone, beginning at 1 p.m.
 
Monster Energy Supercross visits the World Center of Racing this weekend for the Daytona Supercross by Honda. Round 10 of the 2015 Monster Energy Supercross Championship will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Saturday, March 7 beginning at 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, 7:30 p.m. Eastern.  

 

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