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5/15/2015 - RCH Back to Full Strength for Outdoor Season

 

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (May 14, 2015) – It’s incredible what a difference two weeks can make. Two weeks. That’s the amount of time RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing had to regroup in between the 17-race Monster Energy Supercross season and the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
 
Two weeks ago, RCH was a rider down and Broc Tickle was carrying the flag alone, trying to close out a vexing indoor season. Teammate Ken Roczen was still hampered by an ankle injury that kept him sidelined for almost half the Supercross campaign. While the indoor season had its share of successes, including a pair of wins for Roczen before he was injured, it also fell far short of the championship expectations the Suzuki Factory team set for itself.
 
But just two weeks later, a new outdoor season offers a renewed sense of enthusiasm as Roczen returns to the RCH lineup aboard the No. 1 RM-Z450 to defend his 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship.
 
Last season, the 21-year-old German collected the outdoor title in his rookie season, winning seven motos, four overalls and missing the podium just twice. With the Supercross season in his rear view, Roczen comes into the outdoor season knowing that a repeat is anything but a given.
 
“It feels awesome,” explained the 2011 MX2 World Champion. “I’m going to be riding with the No. 1 plate on my bike so I’ll have a big target on my back. I want to defend the title really bad. Being able to defend is usually the hard part. You can win a championship but defending it is the hard part. I’m going to put in every effort to be able to defend the championship and hopefully that will be another dream come true.”
 
After securing the overall win at Hangtown last year, Roczen knows the Sacramento, Calif., track sets up as a great venue to kick-start his sophomore campaign aboard a 450. At the same time, with more than two months separating Hangtown from his last Supercross race, he’s understandably ready to knock the dust off and get back to business.
 
“I’m looking forward to the outdoor season a lot,” he added. “Supercross is a long season. I started training for Supercross back in October and I didn’t even race the last few races. I’m definitely ready for some outdoor action right now. Over the years, I’ve always had good results at Hangtown, so I’m excited about it. I love racing at Hangtown. The track is awesome and it’s somewhat of a hometown race because it’s in California. I love the dirt there. It usually gets pretty rough. I like it a lot.”
 
Tickle closed out his 2015 Supercross campaign with a 10th-place finish two weekends ago in Las Vegas. The top-10 effort was Tickle’s 13th in 16 races and when the dust settled, the Holly, Mich., rider underscored a season full of top 10s by finishing eighth in points.
 
The 25-year-old rider of RCH’s No. 20 machine missed the entire 2014 outdoor season while he recovered from the catastrophic back injury he sustained last March at the Toronto Supercross.
 
“I’m looking forward to outdoors,” said Tickle. “I feel really good on the bike. The team worked hard and Ivan (Tedesco) did a great job getting the bike set up. I think I’m going to come out for the outdoor season and surprise some people. I’ve had a lot of good days at the track since we started working on our outdoor program. It’s been fun.”
 
With a new season at hand, the RCH livery will transition its traditional Supercross partnership with Dodge to showcasing the Ram Trucks branding across the team’s sponsorship platforms for the outdoor schedule.  
 
“We’ve been able to leverage a sponsorship model that allows RCH to shift from our partnership with Dodge during the Supercross season to Ram Trucks for outdoors,” explained RCH co-owner Carey Hart. “We’ve discovered that while both Supercross and Motocross enthusiasts are avid fans, their consumer habits don’t necessarily line up. The outdoor fan typically drives a truck and identifies more closely with outdoor sports and recreational activities. That’s why the Ram Truck sponsorship is such a great fit for our outdoor program.”  
 
As a former MX2 World Champion and three-time MX2 Class Champion, Roczen brings much success from his days competing full time in Europe. With experience that only comes from winning championships, the defending Pro Motocross champ has an intuitive perspective on winning titles that only rarefied air can provide.
 
“On the podium is always great but we’re going to have to ride for race wins, too,” Roczen offered. “Just being consistent and in the top five isn’t going to be enough. You’re going to have to take every single podium you can get, but still ride smart. You can’t try too hard and crash. You have to be super-consistent, but it’s definitely going to come down to who has the most wins. That’s the mix you need. You have to be consistent but you have to go for wins, too. The level of competition is just so high right now and that makes it super hard to win.”
 
The first moto from Round 1 of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross campaign will be televised live on MAVTV Sat., May 16 at 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 2 p.m. Pacific. Television coverage for the second moto will shift to NBCSN at 7 p.m. EDT. All motos can also be streamed live online through ProMotocross.com or the NBC Sports Live Extra app. NBC, NBCSN and MAVTV will combine to televise over 60 hours of racing over the course of the 12-round season.

 

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