Honda: Strong Showings for Canard, Seely at Hangtown Opener
Starting side-by-side in moto two, Canard and Seely got off to less-than-desirable starts, sitting outside the top 15. Canard put his head down and quickly went to work picking off the competition, moving into 12th by the completion of lap one. He continued to advance throughout the race, ultimately finishing fifth. Seely had a more difficult time navigating through the pack early in the race but found his stride toward the halfway point and worked his way into 10th by the finish
- It was a busy week for the Honda HRC crew, as they arrived in the Sacramento area on Thursday for PR duties. After a press conference and interviews with members of the local media, riders took part in a pair of 20-minute practice sessions. "It's always a benefit to get time on the track prior to the race, especially during the motocross season," Cole Seely said. "During supercross we only get to ride a portion of the track for a short period of time, but in motocross we get to ride the whole track for two long sessions, which allows us to test out certain settings and make changes prior to the race if needed."
- One the eve of the race, Seely and Honda HRC teammate Trey Canard were joined by GEICO Honda's Justin Bogle, Christian Craig, RJ Hampshire, Jordan Smith and rookie Tristan Charboneau for an autograph signing at the local powerhouse dealer, Roseville Honda. Fans lined up to meet their favorite riders and for a chance to win a Honda Grom. At the conclusion of the event, Seely drew the winning ticket, with the Grom going to Jared Beard.
- Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Honda Racing Corporation's Representative Director Keisuke Inomoto and 11-time All Japanese National Champion Akira Narita for the opening round of the AMA Pro Motocross series.
- Canard led the charge for Team Honda HRC during Saturday morning qualifying, setting the day's second-best time of 1:55.239 in the first practice session. Seely landed sixth with a 1:57.105, while Bogle was 11th at 1:58.057. As the day progressed and the 1.2-mile track become rougher, times rose above the two-minute mark.
- The Hangtown track showcases a 150-foot step-up jump that is the longest jump on the calendar. "I think that's probably my favorite part of the track," Canard said. "It's actually pretty easy to get over—you just need to make sure you hit it wide-open. It's a pretty wide jump too, so depending on the situation, if someone in front of you doesn't do it you can still make it, but it's definitely faster to do it than not."
- The Honda Red Riders will be at Southern California's Glen Helen Raceway this Saturday, May 28, for round 2 of the AMA Pro Motocross series. On Friday evening, riders will head to Malcolm Smith Motorsports in Riverside, California, for an autograph session.
THE FOCUS: Honda Partners With California State Parks
On Friday at the Hangtown Motocross Classic, American Honda Motor, Co., Inc. donated a number of off-highway vehicles, ranging from youth motorcycles and ATVs to side-by-sides, to the California State Parks. On hand were Parks officials including Director Lisa Mangat, as well as representatives from American Honda. Honda provides the vehicles for the Off-Highway Police Activities League (OHPAL) program. OHPAL is a recreation and mentoring program that uses the attraction of off-highway vehicles along with a comprehensive curriculum to develop positive relationships between peace officers and youth while fostering safe and responsible OHV riding behavior.
I feel good, and I think there were a lot of positives to take away from today. We still have some work to do, but overall I'm happy and think the team did a great job. Despite some mistakes here and there, I felt like I was riding really well. I got a good start in the first moto, which is a big confidence builder for me since I've been struggling there. I just need to keep working on that, continue dialing in the bike and try not to get frustrated with the small things. I'm looking forward to getting back out there next weekend.
I'm both happy and sad with how the day went. There were some good and bad aspects but I think it was a pretty good start to the season—definitely something I can build on as the series continues. The first moto was really good; I was happy with the way I rode, but I still need a little more at the end. I put a lot into that race and didn't really recover enough to go into the second moto with the same heat and aggression. I'm still building and trying to become a better outdoor rider. It's a whole learning process, and I want to try to just step it up in general. It was good to see where we are and know what we need to work on for next weekend.
Keisuke Inomoto: Representative Director – Team Honda HRC Motocross
It was a good start in the first moto, with Honda guys sitting 1-2-3! Canard and Seely rode well but had a few small mistakes and missed the podium. I think our riders and the bikes are capable of winning, so we'll work on some details for the next race.
Dan Betley: Team Manager
We definitely showed speed today. Our starts in the first moto were awesome, and our qualifying was good, but we need to work on our consistency. I think Cole is starting to find out what he needs to do to run with the guys up front. He needs to work on his program a bit and I think he's realized he needs to be working a little harder. To me that's a positive because you can't improve unless you know where you're weak. Trey definitely showed the speed to run up front and be on the podium, but he went down a couple times during the day so we need to work on our consistency. We know some areas we need to improve with the bike, so we'll work on that stuff during the week and come back swinging at Glen Helen.
Brent Presnell: Mechanic (Trey Canard)
I'm pretty happy with how today went. It was a solid day with 7-5 finishes for fifth overall, which isn't bad. Trey had some mistakes that kept him off the podium but he definitely had the speed. He almost got the holeshot in the first moto, so I'm hoping his starts will be good during outdoors. In the first moto, he went down once and stalled it once, which really killed his chances because realistically he probably should've been fourth. Then in the second moto he went down again, but overall he was riding really well. He went from 15th to fifth and was never complacent with his line choices. He was moving around, searching the track and trying different lines, which really paid off for him. I honestly think it was the best I've ever seen him ride at Hangtown. Our bike setup looked really nice today too, so we're not too far off and are excited to get going with the season.
Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Cole Seely)
I think we saw some good and bad today. We know Cole has the speed, but it's up to about the 20-minute mark, so we need to build past that point and work on his fitness for the second motos. He needs to continue to build his strength from here on out. He was really happy with the bike coming into today, but we did make a small adjustment to the shock before the second practice that worked out a lot better. We didn't make any adjustments during the motos, which is where I think we learned something. We should probably make an adjustment going into that second race based off how the track is developing and how he's feeling. It was learning for everyone, so we just need to go into next weekend and apply those things we've learned.
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1) Ken Roczen (1-1)
2) Ryan Dungey (2-2)
3) Eli Tomac (4-4)
4) Jason Anderson (6-3)
5) Trey Canard (7-5)
6) Cole Seely (5-10)
7) Justin Barcia (10-6)
8) Marvin Musquin (9-7)
9) Joshua Grant (8-8)
10) Phillip Nicoletti (11-9)
450MX Championship Points (after 1 of 12 rounds)
1) Ken Roczen 50
2) Ryan Dungey 44
3) Eli Tomac 36
4) Jason Anderson 35
5) Trey Canard 30
6) Cole Seely 27
7) Justin Barcia 26
8) Marvin Musquin 26
9) Joshua Grant 26
10) Phillip Nicoletti 22