Last week, the announcement from RCH/Yoshimura/Suzuki Factory Racing was finally dropped, naming Broc Tickle and Justin Bogle as it’s team riders for 2017. For Bogle, his opportunity on the RM-Z450 is a new one, as he has spent his entire professional career on the GEICO Honda team. We caught up with Bogle at Lake Elsinore MX Park last week on a particularly windy day, to see how he’s feeling about next season.
First of all, how do you ride in such a windy conditions like this?
It really isn’t any fun riding in the wind like this, but it’s all good because it’s just another day at the office, and sometimes the office is a little dirtier than normal. With the wind this bad, if you’re not turning into it over every jump, you’re going to fly off the track. The track conditions deteriorate a lot faster, as well. It’s pretty shitty when it gets this windy, but we are out here putting in the time regardless of the conditions.
The news regarding yourself and RCH Suzuki officially broke a few days ago. Are you happy to have everything dialed in for 2017?
Yeah, I am a happy boy! Everything is officially done and I’m very relieved. It’s nice to have the announcement out there finally, and everything is looking good for next year. I’m feeling comfortable and my confidence is finally coming back. I’m feeling good about a lot of things this year and I think that I’m on the cusp of obtaining those goals that I’ve been working for. It feels good to have that confidence on my side, and it was gained by working in less-than-ideal conditions like this. Putting in that hard work makes it all worth it in the end; especially when you get home to play some 2K on XBOX One. If you think you’ve got it, hit me up on there. You know where to find me; Captain891.
You’re on a new bike; how are you and the Suzuki getting along?
Awesome! The bike is really good and it’s obviously been proven to win thanks to Ken Roczen. The bike hasn’t really changed for 2017, which is the perfect scenario for me. We have great base settings to go off of when we’re dialing it in for myself. I got comfortable on the bike almost immediately, but it did take a little bit of time to get entirely acquainted with the bike. Usually, it takes a while to get everything perfect, but again it’s all worth it. We’ve just been grinding it out, putting in these laps. Everything is finally coming around and there’s light at the end of the tunnel. I’m feeling good, health-wise, and I’m in a good place mentally.
Your first days aboard the yellow bikes were on bone-stock machines. essentially, you started out on the same bike that the consumer can buy, but now you’re on a full-fledged factory bike. What was your impression of the bike in stock form?
Right out of the box, Suzukis are incredible bikes. I rode a stock Suzuki for a number of weeks with stock suspension and I had no problems. Obviously, you have to fine-tune the bike to your liking, but it really is a solid machine in stock form. I think the biggest thing for me are the overall ergonomics of the bike. I’m not bullshitting anyone; these bikes are great. My agent even said to me, “You don’t have to lie to me. How is the bike? Really?” I think Suzukis are by far the best handling bikes out there and they corner like a dream, too.
You’re back out here at your home in Southern California for testing. Are you missing Oklahoma yet?
Yeah, I’m not really a huge fan of California. Most people from California don’t even seem to be huge fans of it. Nobody likes sitting in traffic and dealing with everything else the California has to offer. I prefer to spend my time at Reynard Raceway back home in OK. However, California does have its benefits because right outside my backyard are a whole bunch of gnarly MTB trails. The good people at Specialized and Shimano always have me dialed in, so I’m constantly hitting the trails. Everything is right at my fingertips here in California and it makes things a lot easier. Living in California is a small downside to what we do for a living, plus my trainer and the team are located here, so it’s a no-brainer. It’s a necessary thing you have to do regardless if you like it, so you might as well enjoy it.
We heard your trainer Ryan Fedorow wants Shimano to take off that two ring setup on your bike…
RFed is being a hater because this one time I was struggling on a ride. He was pissed because I was in the small ring a lot that day and he said he was going to remove it. It’s not an everyday thing, but sometimes I need the help (laughs).
With Ricky Carmichael being the team owner, you can’t really complain about the bike or anything because he could say, “Watch and learn!”
Yeah, I’ve actually dealt with that on a different level with my riding coach Robby Reynard. There have been times where he’ll instruct me to do something, and I just don’t see it being possible. Leave it to him to prove me wrong. He would actually show me firsthand how to do it, which was extremely helpful. At the end of the day, there shouldn’t be any excuses for what you’re doing. It does make it a little more difficult to make excuses, though, when you’re around people like that.
When can we expect new music?
We’ve been working! That’s all I’m going to say for now, but Frace was just out here. He was out here for a couple of weeks, so you can expect something very soon. There probably won’t be any lead up to the drop, but keep an eye out.
We’re about a month out from Anaheim One. But, if the gate were set to drop tomorrow would you be comfortable with that or would you prefer to have a little more time?
There are still a few things I want to work on, but the last few weeks have been great, as we got a lot of work done. I’m finally at a point where I can be comfortable out there doing the things that I’ve always done, whereas in the past, I had those injuries that forced me to come into the season totally unprepared. It never works out how you want, but everything is going good and I’m more prepared than ever coming into the season. I can still be better, though.
Where did the nickname Captain come from?
Some friends and I were making up some MySpace names back in the day. We all came up with different names and mine ended up being Captain. I really don’t know how it came about (laughs). Sometimes those brainstorm sessions are really good because that’s when you come up with cool stuff. Some of my friends kept saying it, so I ran with it.
Yeah, then you went all corporate last year and got rid of the “Captain” on your social media…
No, if you follow me then you know that is not true. (Laughs)
What is your profile picture, right now?
That’s Jeff Gordon from like ’96. I’m a huge Gordan fan. I have a few vintage t-shirts with him on them, but Wil Hahn actually got me a Jeff Gordon jacket that’s become one of my favorites.