Broc Tickle scored a season-best finish of eighth at the weekend's Oakland SX - round 4 of the 2012 AMA/ FIM World Supercross Championship. Here, the 23-year-old Dodge/ Sycuan Casino/ RCH Racing/ Bel-Ray/ Suzuki rider reflects on the race and A3 tonight.
A Top-10 finish at Oakland. Do you feel that you are starting to settle in now?
"Definitely. I've felt that we're making progress every week that we go to the track with our Dodge/ Sycuan Casino/ RCH Racing/ Bel-Ray/ Suzuki Z450. I feel like we've been making big strides during the week in practice, understanding what I like with the Suzuki and making gains on setups. I'm really just focusing on staying comfortable on the bike, having fun and ride. We'll work on a few things this week in practice, but our focus is the weekend. We have a lot of racing to do and you don't want to burn yourself out early in the season. We're making a lot of progress. I'm going to work hard this week in practice and try to knock-out another top-10 finish."
You made some set-up changes to the bike at Oakland. What did you work on?
"We actually changed some stuff after the first eight-minute practice. I felt that my Suzuki was too high so we actually pushed the forks up and it made the bike worse. We went back to our original set-up and made some smaller changes that really helped in the heat race. We made a good choice in our change to the bike and we're actually going to try some more stuff today in practice. We're gaining on it."
Has there been a specific area of focus that you and Tony Berluti are working on during race-day?
"Not really. Tony goes off what I'm feeling and we've been able to make some great changes to the bike. Our communication is great. If I think that we need to go a certain direction, he's all for it. Working with him has been easy and we really are starting to understand what I like on the bike. I'll give Tony my input, he'll give me his; and we'll make the best decision we can."
Your fastest lap time of 57.255 seconds was a top-six and only a 10th slower than third quickest?
"That's cool. I know that we've had speed in the Suzuki all year. Our bikes are fast. We've made changes that have helped and I feel like I've been able to get into a good rhythm during the race. Our results are starting to show on race day. I just want to stay loose on the weekend, have fun and ride like I know I can. Results will come. I feel like I'm starting to get into a really good rhythm and we'll just keep working on our race starts, breaking from the gate clean and keeping the bike off the ground early in the race."
You are back at Anaheim this weekend for the third time in five races. Does that bring any specific challenges to a rider?
"Not really. The dirt is probably going to be hard. The dirt was good for A1 and then they had a Monster Truck event at Angel Stadium. When we came back for A2, the dirt was really different. This weekend, I think that the dirt will be even harder than it was for the first two races in Anaheim. We have a tyre set-up ready to go, anticipating how the conditions will be on Saturday. We're ready to go. I was nervous to try some tyres early in the season because I hadn't really run them before. We've been testing and right after A2 we had a Dunlop day at the track and found a set-up that I like when the track is hard and slippery."