May 2, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – It was a solid night for Team Honda HRC at the penultimate round of the AMA Supercross series, as Cole Seely turned in a strong performance aboard his CRF450R, scoring his fourth podium result of the season. After the gate dropped, Seely quickly settled into second position, where he rode unchallenged through the early portion of the 20-lap race. At the halfway point, Seely was forced to fend off multiple attacks, and although he relinquished one position with four laps remaining, he was able to maintain the final podium spot to the finish.
Teammate Trey Canard got off the line to a seventh-place start but was shuffled back several positions on the opening lap. He moved forward a few spots before being overtaken by two more riders, and he ultimately finished eighth.
- Team Honda HRC riders Trey Canard and Cole Seely, along with GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle, Malcolm Stewart and RJ Hampshire, attended a pre-race Supercross party at Belleville, New Jersey’s Motorcycle Mall on Friday. Fans had the opportunity to get photos and autographs from their favorite riders before all the action kicked off on Saturday.
- For the New Jersey round, the Team Honda HRC CRF450Rs wore a Japanese flag on their front fenders, with the phrase “Stay Strong Kumamoto,” to pay respect to the residents and associates impacted by the earthquakes that struck in mid-April. The symbol can also be seen on the bikes of HRC’s MXGP and MotoGP teams.
- Despite suffering a nasty crash in the first practice session, Canard was able to rebound and lead the charge for Team Honda HRC in qualifying by logging a 46.086, the third-fastest time. Bogle landed in 10th with 47.057, while Seely was 14th at 47.416.
- Following Canard’s crash, his mechanic Brent Presnell had his work cut out to get the number 41 machine ready for the next practice session. Later in the evening, Presnell was recognized for his swift work by being presented with the MMI Top Tech Award of $1000. “While Trey was flying through the air, his bike had gone off the side of the track onto the concrete and into a wall, so when I got it back it was pretty bent up,” Presnell said. “I had to replace the handlebar, clutch cable, both levers, front number plate and fender, triple clamps, fork, rear subframe, exhaust, airbox and rear fender. It was basically a full rebuild, front and rear.”
- The evening started out on a positive note, with all three Honda riders transferring directly to the main event through their heat races. In heat 1, Bogle and Seely took advantage of decent starts and other riders’ mistakes to cross the finish line in second and fourth, respectively. Canard was slotted in heat 2, and after getting off the line to a top-five start, he was able to make his way into second by the checkered flag.
- For the third time this season, staff from the Colton, California, Honda Rider Education Center operated a learn-to-ride program through which kids age 6-12 had the opportunity to try out a CRF50F or CRF110F on a small dirt track set up in the parking lot.
- On race day, Seely’s mechanic Rich Simmons and Bogle’s mechanic Grant Hutchinson, who are both graduates of Motorcycle Mechanics Institute, met with a group of students to provide a glimpse into the life of a factory technician.
- On May 7, Team Honda HRC will campaign the final round of the AMA Supercross championship, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, where they hope to finish the season on a positive note.
THE FOCUS: Honda and the New York Media
With the race being held just across the Hudson River from New York City—arguably the media capital of the world—there was more mainstream coverage of the event than is typical of most rounds. Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely and Trey Canard arrived in the New York metropolitan area early in order to participate in Thursday’s pre-race press day, which took place at MetLife Stadium. After speaking with the attending local media, the racers were given the chance to ride a portion of the track. On Friday, the Honda Red Riders were busy in Manhattan, participating in interviews with Gear Patrol and Scout.com regarding training and what it takes to be a professional supercross racer.
On race day, American Honda hosted journalists on a morning road ride, giving them an opportunity to try select models from the 2016 lineup. At the stadium, a group including journalists from Selectism, Men’s Health, Bloomberg and Popular Mechanics took a tour of the Team Honda HRC technical truck before interviewing mechanics and staff. Prior to the opening ceremonies, the journalists headed to the Honda suite to take in the racing.
That was really tough but I’m happy with a third tonight. It was a good 20 laps. To be laid up on the couch with a broken vertebra in so much pain and then be able to jump right back into it, I guess I had a better base then I thought. Once I got into second off the line, I was just trying to focus on [Ken] Roczen and match his lines and pace but he was going so fast. I think he had the track pretty dialed and has a lot of confidence coming off of last weekend’s win, so he basically checked out. I was giving it everything I had and really had to put a lot of heart into those last few laps to hold off [Ryan] Dungey for third. It’s great to be back on the podium, which is where I feel I should have been all season. Hopefully I can take this to Vegas and end the supercross season back up here.
Crashing this morning was not a great way to start the day off, but it made me really grateful. I’ve had smaller crashes and not been able to walk away from them, so to have something that bad and basically come away unscathed is very lucky. I had good qualifying after that and was happy with the bike and my riding. I still don’t have the results that I want in the main, but I got a much better start and then just got shuffled back on the first lap. I wasn’t able to make passes quick enough and then lost some positions at the end to [Jason] Anderson and [Marvin] Musquin. All in all though, I’m looking at the positive and am thankful I’m healthy.
Dan Betley: Team Manager
I’m really pleased with how tonight went. We’ve been fighting for a podium finish, so it’s great to finally get back up there. Both guys showed a lot of heart all day today. Cole rode extremely well. Being able to hold off Ryan [Dungey] throughout most of the second half of the race, and especially those last few laps, was impressive. Nobody can deny that he fought hard for that podium. Trey’s result wasn’t what we were hoping for, but to even be lined up after his practice crash is a positive.
Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Cole Seely)
I’m proud of Cole tonight. My goal was for him to get one more podium by the end of the season, so to come back after his injury and then a tough race last weekend and ride the way he did under pressure nearly the whole second half was really great. He had three weeks off, really not doing anything, so I think to do what he’s done tonight says a lot about his determination. I think he showed himself that he has a lot more than he thought. This confidence will be good for him going into the finals next weekend and even heading to the outdoors.
Brent Presnell: Mechanic (Trey Canard)
Trey’s crash was one of those spectacular crashes; now that he’s okay it’s fine to talk about, but it was scary and didn’t look like something he was going to walk away from. He hit a soft spot with his rear tire on the face of the triple and just lost it and ended up flying through the air without his bike. Then he went out and laid down the third-fastest time in qualifying. His starts were better all day, but I don’t think he’s used to being in that position so he’s trying to figure out how to fight for those positions toward the front. He just wasn’t able to make the passes he needed to quick enough and got caught by a couple guys.
1) Ken Roczen
2) Eli Tomac
3) Cole Seely
4) Ryan Dungey
5) Justin Brayton
6) Jason Anderson
7) Marvin Musquin
8) Trey Canard
9) Chad Reed
10) Justin Bogle
450SX Championship Points (after 16 of 17 rounds)
1) Ryan Dungey 366
2) Ken Roczen 330
3) Jason Anderson 293
4) Eli Tomac 270
5) Chad Reed 232
6) Marvin Musquin 213
7) Cole Seely 207
8) Justin Brayton 186
9) Trey Canard 183
10) Weston Peick 125
14) Justin Bogle 115