The Indianapolis Supercross saw Team Honda HRC cohorts Cole Seely and Trey Canard collect a pair of podium results aboard their factory CRF450R race machines, with Seely taking second and Canard finishing third. Seely continues to showcase himself as not only the top rookie in the 450SX class, but also a solid candidate to earn a race win by season’s end. After posting the fourth-quickest qualifying time in daytime practice, the Californian finished second in his heat race, advancing directly to the main event. Seely took advantage of a good gate pick, launching off the line to a third-place start and quickly making the pass into second. Learning from his mistake in Daytona the previous week, Seely remained patient, following the leader for much of the race. His runner-up finish vaulted him from seventh in the championship standings to fourth.
Canard secured the final podium position, but not without difficulty. Once again, the Oklahoma native was hindered by a lackluster start that left him 11th after the completion of the opening lap. Canard immediately set about making up ground, and by the midway point he sat third, which is where he finished. It was his seventh podium appearance of the year.
- Team Honda HRC was working without its team manager in Indianapolis, as sickness kept Dan Betley at home. Taking his place for the weekend was crew chief and longtime Honda HRC team member Jason Haines.
- During the day’s timed qualifying sessions, a mere .447 seconds separated the top six riders. Trey Canard secured the second-quickest time at 51.391 seconds, just .019 seconds off the pace of GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, who notched the quickest time at 51.372. Cole Seely was fourth with 51.489.
- The Indianapolis round has been kind to Seely, who last year earned his first premier-class podium, while taking time out of his 250SX West campaign to serve as a substitute rider on Honda’s factory team. His runner-up finish this time around equaled his best 450SX result, as he also finished second at Anaheim 3.
- The factory Honda CRF450R currently holds three of the top four positions in the series points standings. Canard and Tomac remain in second and third with 204 and 169 points, respectively, while Seely has used strong results at the last couple of races to advance to fourth place, nine behind Tomac.
- The Honda CRF250R also had a solid night at Indianapolis, occupying an incredible nine of the top 10 positions in the 250SX main event. Best of the Red Riders were GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle and RJ Hampshire, who finished second and third, respectively.
- The day after the Indianapolis Supercross, Fox Sports 1 aired the fifth episode of Behind the Dream, and Team Honda HRC was featured heavily. The episode touched on Canard’s faith and recovery from setbacks, and cameras showed him testing and racing. Also included was footage of Canard and Seely on a mountain bike outing in California, plus interviews with the two riders and their mechanics.
- Next weekend, the Honda Red Riders head to Detroit for round 12 of the AMA Supercross Series. Prior to the race, the riders will take part in a dealer appearance at Grace Motorsports in Kimball, Michigan, on Friday, March 20, 6-7:30 p.m.
THE FOCUS: Honda and “The Brickyard”
The night before the gate dropped at Lucas Oil Stadium, Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard and Cole Seely, along with GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, Justin Bogle, RJ Hampshire and Jordan Smith, participated in the Westfield Powersports Supercross Party, which this year took place at legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway, six miles from Lucas Oil Stadium. Prior to the festivities getting underway, Canard, Seely and Tomac had a special opportunity to venture onto the track to kiss the fabled Yard of Bricks, a tradition that began in 1996 to pay tribute to the venue’s long history. Despite the rain, riders also got to sit in an official IMS pace car for a couple laps around the famous circuit.
“Getting to come to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was an awesome experience,” Canard said. “I know you’re only supposed to kiss the bricks if you win, but you can’t pass up such a unique opportunity. I was also hoping it may bring a little good luck, since so many great racers have done the same thing. It was really special to ride in a pace car and check out the track from that perspective—talk about cool!”
Red Riders have a proud history at the Brickyard, as members of the Repsol Honda team (one of the five squads supported by HRC) have earned victories at the circuit’s annual MotoGP event for the last five years. Dani Pedrosa won in 2010 and ’12, Casey Stoner topped the 2011 event, and current reigning MotoGP champion Marc Marquez was the winner in ’13 and ’14. This year’s Indianapolis MotoGP round will be held August 7-9.
Honda is also one of two manufacturers supplying engines that are used in the prestigious Indianapolis 500. This year’s race takes place in May, when Ryan Hunter-Reay, of the Honda-powered Andretti Autosport team, will defend his title.
“It’s my rookie season and I can’t complain about a podium. It’s been a great year of learning and gaining experience among some of the greatest riders. When I was behind [Ryan] Dungey, I tried to be patient and wait for a mistake, but that’s a bit rare with him. I knew if I stayed close, I could learn a lot and I’m happy overall with how I rode. The last couple weekends, I’ve felt really spunky and have a lot of energy on the bike, which I think is showing in my riding. I’ve been trying not to overdo my training during the week so that I can come into the weekend fresh and excited to ride. Everyone has been really great supporting me this season, and I’m thankful for the group I have in my corner.”
“The night could’ve gone better but it also could’ve gone worse, so overall I’m grateful to be walking away healthy. I had a scary crash in practice, then went down in the first turn of my heat race and had to transfer through the semi. That gave me a bad gate pick for the main and I had to line up pretty far to the outside. Again, I didn’t get a great start, so I just tried to make passes as early as possible and work my way through the pack. I made my way into third, but by that time the front guys were pretty far apart. I’m happy with a podium, but it’s a bummer that I let Dungey get away with more valuable points. I’m even happier for my teammate Cole; he rode awesome tonight and really deserves to be up here.”
Jason Haines: Crew Chief
“Qualifying went great. We almost had all of our guys in the top three, but Dungey snuck in there and was able to keep that from happening. Cole rode well all night, transferring into the main from his heat race, which has been tough for him. In the main, he got off to a good start and moved into second a couple of laps in. I thought he was going to be able to fight for the lead, but he fell off the pace a little. Trey struggled with starts again, but he rode awesome and came through with a podium at the end of the night. Now we have Honda riders 2-3-4 in the championship standings.”
Sam Mishima: Motorcycle Sports Manager
“It was a good night for Team Honda HRC, with two riders on the podium. Obviously we wanted to be on the center of the podium and get a win, but I can’t complain too much with a second and third. Cole rode really well; he’s showing more aggression in the races, which is good. If he keeps riding the way he has been, he could be on the top step of the podium pretty soon. Trey needed a better start again, but he rode well to compensate for the bad start and was able to come from behind to get on the podium.”
Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Cole Seely)
“All in all in was a good night. I think the rutty and more technical conditions really play into Cole’s favor because you have to be consistent and creative with your lines—not just go as fast as you can. He’s really good on that style of track. He rode really well and I was happy to see him showing more aggression and making passes early to get by Andrew [Short]. The highlight of my night was actually finally getting into the main through the heat race. It’s not easy to ride those extra laps in the semi because going into the main, you’re not as fresh as the guy next to you.”
Brent Presnell: Mechanic (Trey Canard)
“It was a decent night. It was kind of rough having to go through the heat race and semi to get into the main event, but Trey did what he had to do to make it happen. He didn’t get a good start again but rode hard and was able to salvage a lot of positions and get on the podium. We still want more and to be back in that top spot, but a podium is always good.”
Mandie Fonteyn // Dispatch Communications // email@example.com // +1 (951) 537-0454
|1. Ryan Dungey|
|2. Cole Seely||Team Honda HRC|
|3. Trey Canard||Team Honda HRC|
|4. Weston Peick|
|5. David Millsaps|
|6. Andrew Short|
|7. Joshua Grant|
|8. Broc Tickle|
|9. Chad Reed|
|10. Jacob Weimer|
|11. Eli Tomac||GEICO Honda|
|12. Kyle Chisholm|
|13. Phillip Nicoletti|
|14. Nicholas Wey|
|15. Blake Baggett|
|16. Kyle Partridge|
|17. Jason Anderson|
|18. Tony Archer|
|19. Ben Lamay|
|20. Killian Rusk|
|21. Adam Enticknap|
|22. Dustin Pipes|
|450SX Championship Points (after 11 of 17 rounds)|
|1. Ryan Dungey||249|
|2. Trey Canard||204|
|3. Eli Tomac||169|
|4. Cole Seely||160|
|5. Ken Roczen||156|
|6. Chad Reed||152|
|7. Jason Anderson||144|
|8. Blake Baggett||141|
|9. Andrew Short||124|
|10. Broc Tickle||120|
|11. David Millsaps||103|
|12. Weston Peick||91|
|13. Joshua Grant||80|
|14. Jacob Weimer||74|
|15. Justin Barcia||71|
|16. Kyle Chisholm||53|
|17. Phil Nicoletti||52|
|18. Mike Alessi||48|
|19. Josh Hill||40|
|20. Brett Metcalfe||40|