Seely Scores Podium Finish at AMA Supercross Opener

Seely Scores Podium Finish at AMA Supercross Opener

on Monday, 11 January 2016 14:22

The Anaheim 1 AMA Supercross round was a positive start to the season for Team Honda HRC, with Cole Seely finishing the main event in third place. Following a main-event restart, Seely led the first 13 of 20 laps and looked as if he might score a dramatic home victory, but mistakes caused him to fall off the pace and ultimately relinquish two positions by the checkered flag. Beginning his sophomore year in the 450SX class, the Californian is confident in his ability to win races and is pleased to start with a solid podium finish. Teammate Trey Canard had an exceptional day leading up to the final, but a mishap while running third at the halfway point caused him to lose a few positions. Canard ultimately finished seventh.

NOTES

The pre-event Supercross Pit Party is always a huge attraction for Anaheim 1, drawing thousands of spectators to the paddock for autographs, freebies and an overall fun experience. American Honda welcomed fans with a huge setup that included a learn-to-ride center, an exhibit of bikes from the 2016 CRF family, and a display of vintage race machines once piloted by factory Honda racers.

Honda’s racing family was out in full force, with Ten Kate Honda World Superbike teammates Nicky Hayden and Michael Van Der Mark spending some time under the Team Honda HRC tent to catch up with Trey Canard and Cole Seely. Also in attendance was Honda HRC racer Gautier Paulin, who has been doing winter training in the States before he heads back to Europe for the MXGP series.

Team Honda HRC helped support the Road 2 Recovery Foundation, a non-profit organization founded to provide financial assistance to AMA Supercross riders who sustain career-ending injuries. Seely provided the foundation with a Troy Lee Designs jersey, and the squad gave auction winner David Farley and his family an inside look at the team’s tech and hospitality trucks.

During the daytime qualifying sessions, Canard notched the quickest lap time at 1:00.999, making him the only rider to drop below the 1:01 mark. Seely was 13th with a 1:02.331 lap, while GEICO Honda’s Justin Bogle was 19th with 1:03.715.

Slotted into the second heat race, both Canard and Seely launched their CRF450R race machines off the line to good starts. Seely took the early lead, but it was short-lived as his teammate made the pass on lap two, laying down the fastest lap time of 1:01.183 while riding to the win ahead of Seely. Bogle was in the same race, sitting third behind his fellow Red Riders on the first lap, but a mistake caused him to lose multiple positions. He later transferred through the second semi.

This weekend, the Honda Red Riders head to downtown San Diego for the first of two rounds at Petco Park. On Friday, the riders will take part in a dealer appearance at Motoworld of El Cajon from 6-7:30 p.m.

THE FOCUS

The 2016 season is the second with American Honda’s supercross effort once again receiving full assistance from Honda Racing Corporation (HRC), and the support from Honda’s world headquarters was tangible at the opener. HRC Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto made the trip, as did a number of Honda Motor Company executives, including Masahiro Yoshida (Managing Officer and Director, Chief Operating Officer for Business Support Operation), Shinji Aoyama (Operating Officer and Director, Chief Operating Officer for Motorcycle Operation) and Susumu Mitsuishi (General Manager of Motorcycle Operations, Motorcycle Sales Division).

“It meant a lot to Team Honda HRC to have so many important guests at Anaheim 1,” said Sam Mishima, Motorcycle Sports Manager. “The support this team receives from Japan is invaluable to our race effort, and it was a pleasure for us to have them here to see the sport and this project firsthand.”

Cole Seely 14

“I’m stoked to start the season this way. It obviously would’ve been better if I could’ve brought home the win but I’m happy with a podium finish. I was really nervous coming into this race, not only because it’s the first round of the season but also it’s my first race back since my shoulder injury. I got off the line good after the restart and got the holeshot, and just went from there. I was running good lap times for over half the race, and from the corner of my eye, I saw Jason [Anderson] coming. It started to feel like a West Coast 250 round, with us going at it for the lead, but I just couldn’t hold him off. He rode a better race than I did, but again I’m happy with a podium finish. Last year I got 14th here and finished the series in third, so I think we’re off to a much better start.”

Cole Seely          

Trey Canard 41

“All day was really good. Everyone was happy with the bike, and my riding was on point in qualifying and in the heat race but the main just wasn’t what we wanted. I just didn’t ride well; I was tight, picked poor lines and didn’t fix my mistakes. Then I jumped too long on a section, landed in a hole, missed the brake and went off the track. It was a bummer, but I’m glad I got the points for seventh. That’s better than nothing, and I’m walking away healthy so overall that’s an okay night. It’s a long series, so hopefully we can improve and keep moving forward.”

Shuhei Nakamoto

HRC Executive Vice President

“It was good to see Cole Seely finishing on the podium tonight. We still have some areas to improve but overall it was a good start for the season, as both riders showed speed and stayed healthy. It’s a long season and we will keep improving for the championship!”

Dan Betley

Team Manager

“This wasn’t exactly what we wanted but overall it wasn’t a bad night. If you take away all the positives, we showed a lot of speed and I think we turned some heads. I’m really happy with our bikes and the riders, so we just need to continue fine-tuning things and I think it will be a good year.”

Rich Simmons

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

“I think tonight went really well. My goal was to get out of here with some decent points and be healthy, which we accomplished and then some. The day was pretty rough; Cole struggled in qualifying and just seemed to be trying too hard. The hardest thing for me then was just trying to keep him in the right mindset. He got a good start in the main and led over half the race, so I’m happy and think that’s a great starting point.”

Brent Presnell

Mechanic (Trey Canard)

“Trey’s results don’t show it on paper, but in all honesty he dominated the day. He was the fastest qualifier and set the fastest lap in his heat race and for the day, but that mistake in the main event just shifted the momentum. We made some improvements on the bike and he’s super-happy with it so that’s good. He’s riding really fast, so we just need to get these weird moments out of the way now and move forward.”

450SX Main Event Results

Pos.       Rider     Num      Nation  Points   Team     Time/Gap

1              ANDERSON Jason            21           USA       25           Rockstar Husqvarna
2              DUNGEY Ryan   5              USA       22           Red Bull KTM
3              SEELY Cole           14           USA       20           Team Honda HRC
4              TOMAC Eli           3              USA       18           Monster Energy Kawasaki
5              ROCZEN Ken      94           GER        16           RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing
6              REED Chad          22           AUS       15           Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing
7              CANARD Trey    41           USA       14           Team Honda HRC
8              MILLSAPS David                18           USA       13           BTO Sports
9              WILSON Dean    15           GBR       12           Red Bull KTM
10           BRAYTON Justin                10           USA       11           BTO Sports
11           TICKLE Broc         20           USA       10           RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing
12           WEIMER Jacob  12           USA       9              Team Tedder
13           BOGLE Justin      19           USA       8              GEICO Honda
14           MUSQUIN Marvin           25           FRA        7              Red Bull KTM
15           BARCIA Justin    51           USA       6              JGR
16           ALESSI Mike       800         USA       5              Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
17           HAHN Wil            48           USA       4              Monster Energy Kawasaki
18           POURCEL Christophe      377         FRA        3              Rockstar Husqvarna
19           CHISHOLM Kyle                11           USA       2              Chisholm Racing

Rider Standings

Pos.       Rider     Num      Nation  Points   Team

1              ANDERSON Jason            21           USA       25           Rockstar Husqvarna
2              DUNGEY Ryan   5              USA       22           Red Bull KTM
3              SEELY Cole           14           USA       20           Team Honda HRC
4              TOMAC Eli           3              USA       18           Monster Energy Kawasaki
5              ROCZEN Ken      94           GER        16           RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing
6              REED Chad          22           AUS       15           Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing
7              CANARD Trey    41           USA       14           Team Honda HRC
8              MILLSAPS David                18           USA       13           BTO Sports
9              WILSON Dean    15           GBR       12           Red Bull KTM
10           BRAYTON Justin                10           USA       11           BTO Sports
11           TICKLE Broc         20           USA       10           RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing
12           WEIMER Jacob  12           USA       9              Team Tedder
13           BOGLE Justin      19           USA       8              GEICO Honda
14           MUSQUIN Marvin           25           FRA        7              Red Bull KTM
15           BARCIA Justin    51           USA       6              JGR
16           ALESSI Mike       800         USA       5              Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
17           HAHN Wil            48           USA       4              Monster Energy Kawasaki
18           POURCEL Christophe      377         FRA        3              Rockstar Husqvarna
19           CHISHOLM Kyle                11           USA       2              Chisholm Racing

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Jeff Morgan

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