Broc Tickle hasn’t been retired, he has been busy as Kawasaki’s official test rider, but with Adam Cianciarulo now retired, he decided to come back to racing, It was a good decision.


When Glen Helen announced that it’s “Stopwatch National:” event on Thursday would be open to all AMA Pros, with a $10,000 purse, no entry fee, Pro-only practices before and after the Stopwatch National’s Pro motos and that everyone, from National privateers to factory riders, would have an opportunity to spin a lot of laps on a former AMA National track before the opening AMA National Motocross Championship is held at Pala Raceway on May 25.

As the over 40 riders blasted into the expansive and steep Talladega first turn, the crowd was stunned that two GasGas MC250 riders, Ryder DiFrancesca and Pierce Brown, were battling for the holeshot against all the 450 riders.

Derek Drake took the lead away from the 250 guys going into the first big uphill and led for more than half the first moto. Then, Pierce Brown, Ryder DiFrancesco, BrocTickle and off-road racer Dante Oliveira all went by in succession. Drake would later pull off the track with some kind of problem.

It seemed to many of the fans and current Pro riders to be a very unusual idea. Glen Helen knew that most of the factory teams, who test in Florida, would not enter their riders, but Glen Helen wasn’t really doing it for Sexton, Lawrence, Anderson, Barcia, Cooper, Stewart, Hampshire, Kitchen, Deegan, Vialle or McAddo—it was designed to give riders who don’t have their own test tracks an opportunity to test both their bikes and bodies in two 30-minute motos on a perfectly prepped track.

This is the top one-third of the massive climb to the top of Mt. Saint Helen. Derek Drake (52) leads with  Pierce Brown (39) second, Ryder DiFrancesco (34) third,  Broc Tickle (20) fourth, Dante Oliveira (1) fifth, Marshal Weltin (75) sixth, Romain Pape (68) seventh,  Trevor Stewart (75) eighth, Julian Beaumer (929) ninth and Josh Varize (78) tenth.

And, from a historical perspective, it wasn’t a new idea. It wasn’t even a first-ever idea. In fact, Glen Helen had hosted the exact same warm-up-race set-up in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008. Back then it was called the “Prequel” and had major sponsorship from the Primm Collection, Yamaha and Parts Unlimited. Plus, it paid a $20,000 purse split between separate 250 and 450 classes. The big players in the “Prequel” races were Brett Metcalfe, Trey Canard, Josh Grant, Grant Langston and Mike Alessi . Adding more interest was that since the 2024 Stopwatch National was going to be held on Thursday, the local amateur racers would be able to test themselves on the same track as the Pros—with the safety factor that the Pros would not be on the track with them and they wouldn’t be on the track when the Pros were out there.

Ryder DiFrancesco (34) ended the day in second overall thanks to good starts. It should be noted that the factory sponsored riders brought their wire grids to start on, while most of the field didn’t have grids.

Julien Beaumer put his KTM 250SXF into third overall with some hard riding for a 5-2.day.

In truth the “2024 Stopwatch National” just picked up 16 years after the last “Prequel” which was also held one week before the National season started—although back then, the first National was often also at Glen Helen.

Marshal Weltin (75) used some of his Michigan know-how to power through Glen Helen’s heavy dirt to go 6-5 for fifth overall. Here, Marshal  is chasing Julien Beaumer (929).

AEO’s Derek Kelley (53) made it into the top six overall after an 14th in the first moto, by racing to a phenomenal 4th in the second moto.

On a normal Thursday at Glen Helen spectators are allowed in for free—only riders who come to practice have to pay, but for the “Stopwatch National” spectators could get in for $10 by signing up online. Spectators who didn’t take advantage of the online offer had to pay $20 at the front gate.

There were factory riders who came just for the Pro-Only practice sessions, while bowing out of the two-moto race format—these included Jo Shimoda, Jason Anderson, Seth Hammaker, Cameron McAdoo and even Marvin Musquin  was there..

Not every rider wanted to race, but they didn’t want to give up the opportunity to ride at Glen Helen on a perfectly prepped track with no Vets or Amateurs in the way. Jason Anderson (21) rode the Pro-only practice sessions.

Jason Anderson was joined in the practice-only mode by Cameron McAdoo (63).

Jo Shimoda (30) tests at Glen Helen with all the local regulars more than any other factory. rider, but he chose not to race the “Stop Watch National,” but to still ride practice.

Seth Hammaker (43) joined Anderson, McAdoo and Shimoda in just working out the kinks in the Pro-only practice.

Those that are cynical and might think that Glen Helen was trying to make money off of the “Stopwatch National”—nothing could be further from the truth. Glen Helen put up the $10,000 purse, let all the Pro riders in for free and waived their entry fee for the three practice sessions and two motos. And, then donated all of the gate fee money to charity. They planned to give the money to the Alpinestars medical crew, but would like to do something for Glen Helen regular and 6D Helmet’s chief engineer Robert Reisinger’s family – Robert passed away on Friday.

This Pee-Wee rider came up to Julien Beaumer before the trophy presenation and said, “Nice race.” Julien replied, “Thank you, would you like to have my goggles?” It made the kid’s day and he showed anyone who would look Julien’s goggles.

We think that the mechanic in the foreground phoned all the other mechanics in the morning and said, “Hey, let’s all wear black today.”

As for the actual race it was a big success. There were 47 Pro’s signed up, most of them from privateer teams or were pure privateers. The Pros came from Michigan, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Washington, Iowa, Oregon, Minnesoto and, of course, California. In the morning they got a Pro-Only practice session on what turned out to be a 2 minute and 30 second track (when it was smooth), that included all the Glen Helen sights (the Talladega first turn, climb to the top of Mt. Saint Helen, the 22-story downhill, a blast into the canyon section that led back to the hip jump, the triple step up (downsized to a long tabletop for the amateurs) and the steep Velodrome turn.

Mateo Oliveira (831) finished ninth overall with a 10-10 day. His brother Dante was fourth with a 4-6. Other off-road pros were Cole Martinez (8-27) and Trevor Stewart (11-43).

MXA’s Josh Mosiman (171) finished 12th overall and he did that even though he was involved in a first turn crash and got up in last place and raced his way back by 32 riders to get 11th in the second moto.

The fastest lap time in Moto one was set by Suzuki-mounted Derek Drake who recorded a 2:30.180 on lap three (but failed to finish the moto), GasGas factory rider Pierce Brown, who got the first moto holeshot on a GasGas MC250F in the combined 250/450 field, clocked a 2:30.650 ahead of GasGas teammate Ryder DiFrancesco’s 2:30.783.

Josh Varize (48) was fresh off the Supercross circuit and went 15-32 for 21st overall.

In the second Pro moto Broc Tickle holeshot and ran away with the win with a 2:34.576 lap time. Second fastest was Pierce Brown who went 2:34. 837 on the third lap, only to crash out of the race 50 yards later. Ryder DiFrancesco was third fastest (2:35.630), with KTM’s Julian Beaumer fourth at 2:35.730. Only nine of the 34 finishers of the second moto were able to get under two minutes and 40 seconds.

This unidentifIed rider is probably happy that no one can read his front number plate because roost has covered it.. He careened out of a ruts and center-punched this berm.

However, his troubles didn’t end there. He was going fast enough to climb the berm and get jettisoned into the air. Note Jody Weisel’s amazed look in the background.

The old master, Broc Tickle, hasn’t been lying around on a beach since he retired from racing, instead he has become Kawasaki’s full-time test rider. He has been logging laps and it showed. The 35-year-old Broc Tickle took the overall victory and the $4000 first prize with a 3-1 over Ryder DiFrancesco 2-3, Julian Beaumer’s 5-2 and off-road racer Dante Oliveira’s 4-6 . Below you can see the top 30 finishers.

Broc Tickle (center) celebrates his victory by hoisting a very heavy and with a massive gold plated antique clock and a check for $4000. Ryder DiFrancesco (left) was second overall and Julien Beaumer (right) was third.

1. Broc Tickle (Kaw)…3-1
2. Ryder Difrancesco (Gas)…2-3
3. Julien Beaumer (KTM)…5-2
4. Dante Oliveira (KTM)…4-6
5. Marshal Weltin (Yam)…6-5
6. Derek Kelley (KTM)…14-4
7. Parker Ross (Hon)…2-7
8. CJ Benard (KTM)…10-10
9. Mateo Oliveira (KTM)…13-8
10. Romain Pape (Gas)…9-13
11. Robbie Wageman (Yam)…17-9
12. Josh Mosiman (KTM)…16-11
13. Brock Bennett (Kaw)…19-12
14. Revn Gordon (Kaw)…18-14
15. Pierce Brown (Gas)…1-31
16. Cole Martinez (Hon)…8-27
17. Jaxon Pascal (Hon)…10-16
18. Dayton Briggs (Hus)…7-30
19. Cameron Horner (Hon)…21-17
20. Kyle Epperson (Hon)…27-18
21. Josh Varize (KTM)…15-32
22. Max Lewis (KTM)…30-19
23. R.J. Warda (KTM)…28-21
24. Scotty Verheghe (Gas)…36-15
25. Kyle Wise (Kaw)…24-28
26. Dominic Desimone (Hon)…24-28
27. Brauden Lessler (KTM)…32-22
28. Ryder Partridge (Yam)…34=23
29. Jaret Finch (Hus)…29-29
30. Trevor Stewart (Yam)…11-43


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