St. Louis, MO (March 30, 2014) – After a tough weekend in Toronto that saw team leader Broc Tickle suffer a season-ending injury, the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle team headed to the "Show Me" state of Missouri determined to show the world what they are made of. Lone eagle Josh Hill was ready to fly the team colors in St. Louis at round 13 of the Monster Energy Supercross series. Mission accomplished as Hill had his best finish of the SX season!
Little known fact, the Edward Jones Dome in St. Louis was the site of RCH Racing Soaring Eagle team principal Ricky Carmichael's last Supercross victory back in 2007. "It is a very technical track and there will be some great racing in St. Louis tonight," predicted the Greatest Of All Time after qualifying. "First through 10th were separated by just over half a second!" With four wins, Carmichael is also the all-time winner in the Edward Jones Dome, so he knows a thing or two about this event. He was able to transfer some of his insight to the team's rider Josh Hill.
A week of practicing starts and yet another solid top 10 qualifying session had Hill positioned where he wanted to be in Heat race #1, lined up next to second fastest qualifier of the afternoon, Ryan Dungey. As expected Dungey took the holeshot and Hill was fifth off the start (top four transfer straight to the Main from the 6-lap Heat races, the rest have to ride the Semis). By the halfway point, Hill had moved up into 4th for a qualifying position when an unfortunate crash caused the race to be red-flagged and re-started. On the restart, and slower riders conspired to have Hill back in 11th. Despite a valiant charge that had Hill all the way up to 7th on the last lap, he was still three positions out of a direct transfer to the Main.
Another tough start for Hill in Semi #2 allowed him to demonstrate just how fast he is. Suzuki-mounted holeshot artist Mike Alessi snagged the lead on the start and never looked back, while Josh made the Main the hard way. In the short 5-lap semi, he charged from 7th up to 2nd . Shades of last week as Alessi and Hill outpaced the field and easily made the Main event. "I have the speed to run with the leaders and proved it again in the Semi, but like we said last week, gotta get a start!"
Teammate Tickle Tweeted from home where he is recovering from his crash in Canada: "Good luck today @soaringeagleresort @Rchracing and @joshill75 you got this! Keep that momentum up!" Broc was referencing the fact that Hill earned back-to-back top-10 finishes for the first time since last year. Proving that he might be down, but definitely not out, Broc was just released from the hospital yesterday. "Everything is getting better day-by-day and I really appreciate all the support and fans that I have behind me."
Tickle added, "I still have a lot ahead of me to get healed up. I'm blessed and really can't thank everyone who is behind me enough. I will make a 100% recovery and be back when the time is right. I'm motivated to get through this and get back where I left off. I was building great momentum and getting more confidence each weekend this Supercross season." First things first, though."First off I want to thank my wife Jessica for taking care of everything," says Broc. "I also want to thank my family for the awesome love and support, everyone at RCH Racing and all my sponsors — you guys are awesome and I consider you my family, too.
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The 450 Main saw RCH Soaring Eagle ready to fly… until he had his wings clipped at the start. Josh was back in 14th place and having to fight traffic for the first three laps of the 20-lap main event. Then he began another of his patented charges through the pack. He was up to 11th by lap 5, and into the top 10 by lap 8. Despite a collision with privateer Weston Peick, he continued to charge all the way to the end. Hill was 9th with 6 laps to go and then on the last lap picked up two more positions!
"I'm not that happy with 7th," said Hill. "Coming from the back of the pack is getting really old. If I get my starts where they need to be, I really feel like I can be a contender." However the team is happy with the progress Hill has made and three consecutive Top 10 finishes in a row.
"Good ride for Josh tonight," said team principal Carey Hart who was on hand with his wife singer Pink to support Hill. "He made big gains throughout the day and rode to a solid 7th place finish.
By virtue of his 7th place finish at the Edward Jones Dome, Josh Hill jumps up into 11th overall in the points standings with four races left in the season. Injuries suffered earlier in the season have had Hill trying to play catch-up all season long. Despite not being able to race, Broc Tickle still holds onto 8th place in the standings.
Between having Pink and the Suzuki Holeshot experience going on, the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Team pits were rocking. Fans were drinking in the energy of a real rock star in addition to having a chance to win an all-expenses-paid four-day/three-night get away to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort. The party in the pits at any Monster Energy Supercross makes the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle.
With St. Louis in the rearview mirror, it is time for the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle team to head to Houston. Everything is bigger in Texas, including the expectations for the RCH Racing Soaring Eagle Team on April 5th at Reliant Stadium.