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Roczen to Remain Sidelined, Tickle Looking to Build on Consistency in Houston

CHINO HILLS, Calif. (April 9, 2015) – Ken Roczen, rider of the No. 94 Suzuki RM-Z450 for RCH Soaring Eagle/Jimmy Johns/Suzuki Factory Racing, will miss this weekend’s Monster Energy Supercross event at NRG Stadium in Houston. Roczen’s status for the remaining races on the 2015 schedule will be determined on a week-to-week basis.

Roczen sustained a left-ankle injury February 21 at the Georgia Dome and has been hampered by the situation ever since. The German rider competed with the injury at both rounds in Atlanta before re-aggravating his ankle at Daytona where he was ultimately sidelined. He was scheduled to return to competition this weekend in Houston.

Roczen, his physicians and management team, along with RCH co-owners Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael, made the collective decision for the 20-year-old to sit out this weekend while continuing to evaluate his recovery one race at a time.

“I’m back on the bike and doing a ton of cross training but it’s a tough decision and I’m super-bummed that I won’t be racing in Houston this weekend,” explained Roczen. “I can’t wait to be back at the track but the team and I just want to make sure I am 100 percent. I can’t thank Carey and Ricky enough for all of their support. If anyone understands this business and how injuries can go, it’s those two. All the fans and our sponsors have been awesome so I’m really thankful for all their support, too.”

Meanwhile, Roczen’s RCH teammate Broc Tickle will be aboard his No. 20 Suzuki RM-Z450 this weekend and on the gate at NRG Stadium. Tickle has been the model of consistency over the last eight races. The 2011 Supercross West Coast Lites Champion rode to a ninth-place finish two weekends ago in St. Louis, notching his eighth straight and 35th career 450SX Class top-10 finish.

“I’m really looking forward to this weekend,” said Tickle. “It’s been a little bit of a grind over the last six or seven races so it was good to have a break in the schedule to recharge and get ready for the final four-race push. Houston has been a pretty good track for me so hopefully we can turn that into some success this weekend. I want to finish the season strong and my goal is to get on the podium before it’s over. It would be nice to check that off the list this weekend.”

The annual Houston Supercross is a favorite for Carmichael and sparks fond memories of his days in the professional ranks. The 15-time AMA National Champion scored back-to-back premier class wins at the Astrodome (’01-’02) and clinched the 2005 Supercross title at NRG Stadium.

“Houston is a great race and the dirt is always really good. That’s what makes it fun for the riders and ultimately translates into a great show for the fans,” offered Carmichael. “I had some great races in Houston and a couple wins when we raced at the Astrodome. I clinched the Supercross Championship in Houston in 2005 so, for me, it’s always a bonus going back there. I know Broc is excited to get back after it after a much-needed weekend off. I think he’ll have a good night.

“Ken is making progress but not coming along quite as quickly as we had originally hoped. We all thought he could be ready to compete this weekend but he’s just not 100 percent yet and that’s where we need him to be. Once he’s completely healthy, we can move forward to actual racing. Everybody at Soaring Eagle, Jimmy Johns, Suzuki and all the rest of our sponsors have been very gracious throughout this process so we’re fortunate to have companies who support RCH through these types of challenges.”

Before the pits open and the gate drops at the track, Tickle will meet fans and sign autographs at K’s Motorsports, Friday, April 10, from 6 – 7 p.m. Located just 35 minutes north of NRG Stadium in Humble, K’s Motorsports is a leading Suzuki dealer in the Houston area and has been family-owned and –operated for over 30 years.

Live television coverage of Monster Energy Supercross, an FIM World Championship, from NRG Stadium will take the green flag Saturday, April 11 at 8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time, 5 p.m. Pacific. The race will be televised live on FOX Sports 2.