Ken Roczen and Broc Tickle continued the RCH Suzuki Factory Racing assault on the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship with first and third places respectively in Saturdays RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan.
Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy Johns/ Suzuki Factory Racing RM-Z450 rider Roczen posted another flawless 1-1 finish during the series annual Independence Day weekend to earn his sixth overall victory in as many races, while Tickle logged a 4-3 finish to come home third overall for the second week in a row.
Roczens fourth straight 1-1 finish and fifth in six races allowed the 22-year-old German rider to extend his championship lead to 53 points over Eli Tomac. The 2014 Pro Motocross champion is off to the best start of his career and the best for any rider since James Stewarts undefeated outdoor campaign in 2008.
Said Roczen: I think the second moto might have been the best Ive ridden all year. Im having a blast riding my bike and the team is having a lot of fun, too. Were just having a good time and doing our thing. I felt really good today. I felt like I was riding really good so I just kept it consistent the whole time.
I changed a couple of little things in practice and I wasnt happy at all in the first moto. Obviously, I had a good lead and I won but I told my mechanic I wasnt happy with the bike. In my eyes it went from the worst bike Ive ridden all year to literally in the second moto, the best bike. We just made a tiny little change and it was crazy. I guess Im just really sensitive to it and it just made that big of a difference. We actually had to do a quick little motor swap in between (motos). My gut told me we should put a new motor in and the guys did a motor swap and everything worked out good.
Meanwhile, Tickle picked-up two more spots in the title chase where he now sits fifth in points. The veteran rider is off to his best start since 2012 when he was also fifth in points following Round 6.
Its awesome to get another podium, said Tickle. Last weekend really hit-it-off for me. I had a good week. The goal was another podium, no matter what happened. In the first moto, I wanted to get third but I knew I could do it in the second moto. I got a decent start in the second moto; fifth and moved into third and pretty-much just charged on. Justin Barcia was coming there for a little bit. I saw him coming, I responded and thats pretty much how it ended. Im just stoked. I cant thank the Soaring Eagle/ Jimmy Johns/ Suzuki Factory Racing team enough. Everyone has been working hard. Im stoked with where Im at. Its a good atmosphere and I feel really good right now.
The Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship returns to Southwick this weekend following a two-year absence and officially kicks-off the second half of the American 2016 AMA Motocross season.