At the Monster Energy Cup last Saturday night, the partnership between Carey Hart and Ricky Carmichael—and the changing of the Hart and Huntington team name to RCH—was announced during a press conference in the pits. It was also officially announced that they would be doing both SX and MX with Broc Tickle as their #1 guy. Kenny Watson, RCH Team Manager, said on the PulpMX Show Monday night that they would be hiring a #2, but because Suzuki only committed to one factory machine for SX and MX, the second rider would have an SX-only deal. As far as who that second rider would be, Kenny said that it was coming down to either Kyle Chisholm or Josh Hill. He also told us that Josh wanted the job so much that he went out on his own and bought a 2013 RMZ450 to try and get acclimated to the yellow bike. Late this week, RCH is likely to announce who they will be choosing.
We also learned from Kenny on Monday's show that his job position as team manager would not be changing any time soon and that Ricky's day-to-day job would be more about the team’s relationship with the Yoshimura Suzuki guys. Ricky will be there as a liaison between the RCH team and Factory Suzuki, and one of his main priorities is still development of Suzuki's factory 450. It sounds like Ricky's relationship with Suzuki is the main reason the deal happened. H&H has desperately wanted to get a hold of factory equipment so that they could hire the top talent, and Ricky brought them that factory equipment. Obviously, Ricky also brings the winningest resume in the sport’s history and, I'm sure, a fat check, but most importantly it was the factory bikes that Hart wanted.
Some people have expressed some surprise as to why RC would join forces with the tattoo-laden party squad, but those people obviously don't understand business. Hart & Huntington is probably the most successful satellite team the sport has seen to date. With sponsors from outside of the sport, like Dodge and Sycuan Casino, and their outside of the box thinking with their pit promotions have set a new standard in how a team is run in SX. Personally, I'm not surprised RC chose H&H, but I am surprised that they changed their name. Hart and Huntington is a world-famous brand inside and outside the sport of SX and MX, and I wonder if the change to RCH will affect them at all. Other than that, I think it all makes perfect sense and will be a very successful partnership.
Over at Racer X Online today, they posted an interview that Jason Weigandt did with Carey Hart. The two talk about the new partnership and what led up to it becoming RCH. Check out what Carey had to say over at Racer X Online in "Between the motos: Carey Hart".