It was an exciting night for Team Honda HRC as fill-in rider Jeremy Martin put together a stellar performance, leading over half of the main event before taking the checkered in second at the 46th annual Daytona Supercross by Honda. Martin who currently rides full-time for the GEICO Honda squad in the Western Regional 250SX series impressed everyone during his premier-class debut aboard a factory CRF450R. Despite having a poor gate pick, Martin launched off the line from the far outside and didn’t let off the gas until he found himself at the front of the pack. The Minnesota native held off multiple advances from the competition throughout the first 10-laps of the race before relinquishing the lead. He held tough to the finish, taking the checkered nearly 10-seconds ahead of third.
Although he wanted more, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely secured a solid fifth-place finish, moving him up to third in the championship standings. Sitting eighth after the first turn, Seely quickly maneuvered his way into sixth on the opening lap. By lap 11, he had made his way into fourth. Seely came under fire on the last lap but ultimately was unable to hold off the competition, losing one spot to take the checkered in fifth.
- On Friday, Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda riders participated in the pre-event press day, where they spoke with local media and were given the opportunity to try out a section of the track ahead of Saturday’s race. ”Even though they don’t let us ride very long here, it’s still beneficial to be able to preview a part of the track and kind of check out the layout and dirt prior to Saturday. I just wish we could ride a larger section because sometimes I get bored riding the small circle they give us,” Seely laughed.
- Team Honda HRC provided special access to a group of promotional winners for Daytona International Speedway, organizing a rig tour and opportunity to meet Seely and Roczen prior to the race. The riders signed autographs and took photos with the fans.
- On race day, Martin worked with both his current GEICO mechanic Richard Sterling, as well as Team Honda HRC support mechanic Jason Thomas. The two divided up tasks throughout the day with Thomas working on the bike and joining Martin on the starting line, while Sterling was in the mechanics area giving out the pit board messages.
- During the daytime qualifying practice sessions, Martin was also impressive, laying down a 1:11.105 lap in the second session for second fastest, while teammate Seely clocked a 1:11.848 for 8th.
- In 450SX heat 1, both Honda riders got off the line to top 10 starts with Martin fifth and Seely eighth. They swapped multiple positions throughout the six-lap race but were ultimately forced to transfer through the semi. During the semi, Seely took over the early lead and rode to a solid win, while Martin secured a respectable fifth.
- Jeremy Martin’s third-place podium finish marks only the fourth time since 1976 a rider has gotten a podium finish in their first start at Daytona.
- On Sunday following the race, Honda’s racing endeavors continued 55 miles from Daytona Beach in Palatka where JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger competed in the Wild Boar GNCC aboard the all-new CRF450RX.
- On Saturday, March 18, Team Honda HRC will be in Indianapolis for round 11 of the AMA Supercross series. It will be a short week for Seely, as he will head to Indiana early for press activities and an event with team sponsor Honda Performance Development (HPD).
THE FOCUS: Roczen Returns to the Track with Team Honda HRC
Following the Toronto Supercross, Team Honda HRC riders and crew headed directly to Florida to do some pre-Daytona testing near Clermont. While there, the team also got to spend time with Ken Roczen, who many have not seen since his horrific accident at Anaheim 2. On Tuesday, Roczen hosted the team at his house for a catered dinner and a fun evening.
Roczen also joined his crew on race day in Daytona. He sat alongside Seely, Short, and Martin during autograph session and even after the 30-minutes time frame was up, Roczen continued to take photos and sign autographs for his devoted fans who were ecstatic to see him. During the evening program, Roczen gave an interview on the podium before heading up to the Fox Sports broadcast booth to sit down with Ralph Sheheen for a candid interview, where he provided an update on his recovery. (Full Interview Here)
“It was awesome to see Kenny this week,” stated team manager Dan Betley. “I’ve spoken to him many times on the phone but to have him out at the track with us and to see him in such good spirits was really great. He’s gone through a lot but has been raised to be tough and it definitely shows. The team is behind him 100% throughout his journey back to racing.”
450SX Main Event Results
|1||Tomac Eli||3||USA||25||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|2||Martin Jeremy||6||USA||22||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|3||Anderson Jason||21||USA||20||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|4||Dungey Ryan||5||USA||18||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|5||Seely Cole||14||USA||16||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|6||Reed Chad||22||AUS||15||Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing||Kawasaki|
|7||Baggett Blake||4||USA||14||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|8||Grant Joshua||33||USA||13||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|9||Brayton Justin||10||USA||12||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|10||Alessi Mike||800||USA||11||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|12||Millsaps David||18||USA||9||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|13||Wilson Dean||15||GBR||8||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|14||Tickle Broc||20||USA||7||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|15||Musquin Marvin||25||FRA||6||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|16||Stewart Malcolm||USA||5||Ride365.com/Stewart Racing||Suzuki|
|17||Weimer Jacob||12||USA||4||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|18||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||3||Chisholm Racing||Kawasaki|
|19||Friese Vince||45||USA||2||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|20||Schmidt Nicholas||USA||1||TPJ.com/Fly Racing||Suzuki|
|21||Catanzaro AJ||64||USA||1||JMR Racing||Suzuki|
|22||Champion Scott||76||USA||1||Pasha Racing Yamaha||Yamaha|