Seely Fourth At Daytona Supercross By Honda

2015 Honda Racing - Daytona

Although expectations were higher for Team Honda HRC at the Daytona Supercross by Honda, the squad was pleased with the fact that three factory CRF450R race machines finished in the top six. While GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac scored a solid runner-up result, premier-class rookie Cole Seely raced to a notable fourth-place finish, and Trey Canard rebounded from a first-turn crash to complete the race in sixth place.

2014 Honda Racing - Daytona

Seely put himself in a good position at the start of the race, moving into third on lap two, but he made contact with another rider while trying to take second and went down. The Californian slipped to seventh and spent the remainder of the race clawing his way back toward the front before finishing fourth. It was a tough night for Canard, who tangled with another rider in the first turn and rejoined the race in second-to-last place. An impressive come-from-behind performance carried him to sixth by the checkered flag.

NOTES

  • Following last week’s race in Atlanta, the Team Honda HRC crew headed straight to Florida to do some pre-Daytona testing near Tampa Bay on a private track that replicated features often seen at the Daytona Supercross by Honda. “This race is so unique and different from any other race that we see throughout the Supercross season that it requires us to change our settings for the conditions,” said mechanic Brent Presnell. “You need to find a balance in setup that will still allow you to hit the steep and technical jumps, but also be able to handle rough and rutted straightaways and corners.”
  • On Friday, Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda riders participated in the pre-event press day and were given the opportunity to try out a section of the track before Saturday’s race. “It’s always a plus to get time on the track before a race, but it’s especially nice at Daytona,” Cole Seely said. “We made some bike changes this week, so it was a good way to test them out again and make sure things were working good before the race.”
  • Daytona is often regarded as the toughest and most physically demanding course on the Supercross circuit, with the longest lap times of any race and a hybrid style design that is a cross between Supercross and motocross. “Knowing the long list of great riders who have won this event makes it really special,” Trey Canard said. “Every rider wants to win Daytona and add their name to the history book. This is just a really tough race. The track is hard, the laps are long, the race is long and really only the fittest survive.”
  • For the third time this season, Canard topped the charts in qualifying by turning the quickest laps in both timed practices. It was his performance in the second session that locked him into the top spot with a time of 1:04.036. Meanwhile, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac secured the third-quickest time at 1:05.458, with Seely sixth at 1:05.766
  • Team Honda HRC provided special access to two groups of fans at Daytona, organizing rig tours and opportunities to meet the riders. The first group comprised promotional winners for Daytona International Speedway, while the second consisted of winners of Road 2 Recovery’s fan-experience eBay auction.
  • Team Honda HRC riders posted the fastest lap times in the two heat races, with Seely turning a 1:05.798 in heat one and Canard notching a 1:04.436 in heat two. In the main event, Seely’s best lap of 1:06.506 was the second-quickest of the race.
  • Next up for Team Honda is round 11 of the AMA Supercross series, which takes place March 14 in Indianapolis. On Friday, the riders will take part in the Westfield Powersports Supercross Party, which this year will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

THE FOCUS: Daytona and Honda
Daytona International Speedway has hosted a Supercross race since 1971, and this marks the 24th year that Honda has sponsored the event. Many of the sport’s greats have captured wins at this unique event, including a number of Honda riders. The brand went undefeated in the premier class during the 11-year run from 1982 to ’92, and Honda is the only manufacturer to have swept the Daytona podium an amazing four times.

2015 Honda Racing - Daytona

Honda Premier-Class Daytona Winners
* 1978: Marty Tripes (Marty Smith 2nd, Jimmy Ellis 3rd)
1982: Darrell Shultz
* 1983: Bob Hannah (Johnny O’Mara 2nd, David Bailey 3rd)
1984: David Bailey
1985: Bob Hannah
1986: Rick Johnson
1987: Rick Ryan
1988: Rick Johnson
1989: Jeff Stanton
* 1990: Jeff Stanton (Jean-Michel Bayle 2nd, Mike Kiedrowski 3rd)
1991: Jeff Stanton
1992: Jeff Stanton
1996: Jeremy McGrath
2002: Ricky Carmichael
2003: Ricky Carmichael
* 2008: Kevin Windham (Davi Millsaps 2nd, Jacob Marsack 3rd)

* Honda sweep

QUOTES

Cole Seely
“I got off to a great start in the main from the second spot to the outside. The good starts seemed to be coming from wide, so I knew I had a fighting chance from way out there. I made my way into third and was battling with [Ryan] Dungey for second. We were bumping a little bit; I came to the inside and bumped him back but it ended up putting me on the ground. I got up, fought hard and made it back to fourth. It’s always hard when you have to pick your bike up in the middle of a race and get going again, as it takes a lot out of you, especially in Daytona. This is definitely one of the more tiring 20 laps I’ve ever done, so I’m happy with fourth for sure. It was good for me to get up there and battle with those guys for the lead—a good race, overall.”

Trey Canard
“It was a really good day and not such a great night. I felt really comfortable on the bike all day, and it was good to get another pole. I was feeling strong heading into the main event, but I got caught up with Broc [Tickle] right off the start, and my front wheel was stuck on his foot peg in the first turn. I couldn’t get it off, and then I wanted to look at my wheel before I took off to make sure there weren’t any spokes broken. After that, I just tried to ride my race, but it was extremely tough. Everyone was going a different speed, so it was hard to make good passes, but I did the best I could and made it up to sixth. I’m really disappointed, but we’re going to keep working on things and hopefully come into next weekend strong.”

Dan Betley: Team Manager
“The night was very disappointing. Everyone put in a really hard effort this week, testing for this race. I think we made really good improvements to the bikes for these conditions, but we weren’t able to deliver. All three riders were fast all day long, but once again we struggled on starts. Cole [Seely] got a fairly good start in the main, then came together with [Ryan] Dungey and unfortunately went down. All in all, though, the guys put in a great effort, they rode their hearts out and we just came up a little short.”

Jason Haines: Crew Chief
“I think all three riders rode awesome tonight, but we struggled on starts, which hurt us again. We got one rider on the podium and another in the top five, which isn’t bad but for how fast we were going in qualifying, I was hoping for a win. They all showed impressive speed during qualifying practice and throughout the night, but they weren’t able to put together a solid 20 laps to make it happen. I’m really proud of Cole for trying to make the pass on Dungey, and he showed impressive speed and aggression.”

Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Cole Seely)
“Overall, it ended up being a good night, but it started out pretty rough in the heat race. I just want Cole to be more aggressive in the beginning laps of the races, which he was in the main event, so that was a big positive. Him being aggressive and trying to make that pass into second is what I want to see. He actually kind of exceeded my expectations for Daytona; I would’ve been happy with a top seven, so a top five even after going down is great. I’m proud of him.”

Brent Presnell: Mechanic (Trey Canard)
“You always want to be up front, but going from dead last to sixth is pretty impressive. If you can spot the guys 20 seconds, then take off and make your way into the top 10 and finish sixth, you’re riding awesome. Trey didn’t do anything wrong; it was just a racing incident with him and [Broc] Tickle on the start. You just have to take it and move forward, as it can happen to anyone. It’s definitely a bummer though; giving up those points to [Ryan] Dungey makes it really difficult.”

2015 Honda Racing - Daytona

450SX Results

1. Ryan Dungey
2. Eli Tomac GEICO Honda
3. Blake Baggett
4. Cole Seely Team Honda HRC
5. Chad Reed
6. Trey Canard Team Honda HRC
7. Jason Anderson
8. Weston Peick
9. David Millsaps
10. Broc Tickle
11. Joshua Grant
12. Andrew Short
13. Kyle Chisholm
14. Phillip Nicoletti
15. Nicholas Wey
16. Jimmy Albertson
17. Ben Lamay
18. Kyle Partridge
19. Killian Rusk
20. Jacob Weimer
21. Nicholas Schmidt
22. Mike Alessi

450SX Championship Points (after 10 of 17 rounds)

1. Ryan Dungey 224
2. Trey Canard 184
3. Eli Tomac 159
4. Ken Roczen 159
5. Chad Reed 140
6. Jason Anderson 140
7. Cole Seely 138
8. Blake Baggett 135
9. Andrew Short 109
10. Broc Tickle 107
11. David Millsaps 87
12. Weston Peick 73
13. Justin Barcia 71
14. Joshua Grant 66
15. Jacob Weimer 63
16. Mike Alessi 48
17. Phil Nicoletti 44
18. Kyle Chisholm 44
19. Josh Hill 40
20. Brett Metcalfe 40

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