Roczen suffered a left-ankle injury February 21 at the Georgia Dome. The German rider raced with the injury at both rounds in Atlanta before re-aggravating his ankle at Daytona in March where he was ultimately sidelined. He was originally scheduled to return to competition last weekend in Houston.
Despite being unable to compete in the remaining three rounds, Roczen will be on hand this weekend when the series rides into Levi’s Stadium – home of the San Francisco 49ers – as well as the final two events, to support his RCH teammates, meet fans, participate in FOX Sports’ television coverage and fulfill sponsor commitments.
“I’m super-bummed to sit out the rest of the Supercross season but everyone agrees that we’re doing the right thing,” explained Roczen who won two of the year’s first three races. “We started out the year really strong and that’s a big reason why missing all these races has been so tough. But, at this point, we have to move on. I need to make sure that I’m ready when the outdoor season starts next month. I’ve gotten a ton of support from Ricky and Carey, the fans and all of our sponsors. I owe it to myself, the team, all of my fans and our sponsors to make sure there are no question marks when the Pro Motocross Championship starts next month. I’ll be 100 percent.”
While he’ll be absent from the starting gate for the rest of the indoor season, Roczen’s RCH teammate Broc Tickle comes into Santa Clara as the picture of consistency. Last weekend in Houston, Tickle earned his ninth straight and 11th overall top-10 finish of the season. In 55 career 450SX Class starts, Tickle has 36 top-10 showings. The solid ride powered the Holly, Mich., racer from ninth to eighth in points.
With the season coming to a rapid close, the 25-year-old veteran has a top-six championship finish in his sights. Coming into Saturday night, Tickle is just 11 points behind seventh-place Jason Anderson and 16 back from Blake Baggett in sixth.
“We had a pretty good day in Houston but I wish we had a little better finish to show for it,” said Tickle. “The bike was working really well but I got hung up with (Davi) Millsaps in the main and ended up eighth. The biggest thing I’m working on is trying to be better every week. The bike is fast enough and we make good adjustments throughout the day. I just need to put it all together and start finishing where we all deserve to finish. Everyone is working hard and hopefully we can make it pay off this weekend. It would be nice to string together three good races to close out the year and pick up a spot or two in points.”
As a freestyle motocross founding father and former professional rider, Hart is all too familiar with the harsh realities injuries can exact and knows recuperating can be less than predictable.
“It’s a tough situation for Ken and we’re all bummed his Supercross season had to end this way,” offered Hart. “Everyone knows the risks involved and sometimes injuries are just part of it. Our original plan was to bring him back last weekend in Houston but, unfortunately, that timeline proved a little too aggressive which brings us to the decision to keep him out for the last three rounds. All of our sponsors have been awesome throughout this process and I’d like to personally thank Soaring Eagle, Jimmy Johns and Suzuki for their unwavering support. We can’t wait to see Ken back on the track when we go to Hangtown next month.
“I think Broc is in a good place. He’s got plenty of speed and the bike responds well when those guys are making changes. We’re all expecting to see him on the podium before the end of the season.”
Before the pits open and the gate drops at the track, Tickle will meet fans and sign autographs at Fremont Suzuki, Fri., April 17, from 6 – 7 p.m. Located just 16 minutes north of Levi’s Stadium, Fremont Suzuki has over 75 combined years of motorcycle industry experience within its staff and offers a professional service department with factory-trained technicians as well as a knowledgeable parts department and sales staff.
Round 15 of Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, will be televised live on Fox Sports 1 Sat., April 18 beginning at 10 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 7 p.m. Pacific.
About RCH Racing
RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing is a professional Supercross and Motocross team co-owned by 15-time AMA Champion Ricky Carmichael and Freestyle Motocross visionary and entrepreneur Carey Hart. RCH enjoys factory support from Suzuki as well as marketing partnerships with Soaring Eagle Casino and Resort, Jimmy Johns, Dodge and Bel-Ray. Stay up to date on all the latest RCH Racing news on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @RCHRacing.