For Team Honda, the second of three 2015 stops at Angel Stadium of Anaheim was a rollercoaster of a night that saw both Trey Canard and Cole Seely involved in multiple encounters with other riders. Despite all the ups and downs, the team celebrated Seely’s best finish of the year so far.
During the season’s opening races, Seely had struggled to find his footing in the premier division but this weekend showed the Californian’s potential. Undeterred by a run-in with another rider mid-race, Seely kept his composure and was able to fight his way back through the field, crossing the finish line in sixth. Canard experienced his own challenges throughout the night, salvaging an 11th-place finish after he had clashes with Chad Reed during the main event. Meanwhile, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac backed up last week’s win with a third-place finish at Anaheim 2.
- The evening before Trey Canard and Cole Seely lined up on the starting gate at Angel Stadium, they attended an autograph signing at local Powerhouse Dealer Huntington Beach Honda. “This is our ninth year hosting Team Honda for an autograph session,” said Marc Samulewicz, the dealership’s general manager. “Our first event was in 2006 with factory racers Jeremy McGrath, Ernesto Fonseca, Andrew Short, Travis Preston and Davi Millsaps. It’s been a great road since then and we really appreciate the support from Honda and its riders each year.”
- With a relatively long, technical track at Anaheim 2, lap times were a bit higher than at the first two rounds. Canard’s 1:02.580 time was good for third-best during daytime qualifying, just a couple of tenths off the top mark, while Seely was 11th at 1:03.790.
- Both Team Honda riders were slotted in the second heat race, and while neither had a great start, Seely was able to work forward to a runner-up finish. Canard was taken out by another rider and finished ninth, which meant he had to advance through the second semi race, in which he led every lap.
- Canard’s lap times in the main event showed that he was faster than indicated by his result. His best lap of 1:02.656 was fourth-quickest of all the riders, less than .7 seconds behind the 1:01.987 of GEICO Honda’s Tomac (the only rider in the main to dip below 1:02).
- Honda racers Canard and Tomac were two of just a few riders to turn a section of jumps on the technical track into a single, challenging “quad.”
- The progress by Canard in the early going was impressive. After completing lap one in 13th position, the Oklahoman advanced to eighth at the end of lap two and was up to fourth by lap six. His dual clashes with Chad Reed on lap eight dropped him to 15th place, and although the pack was spread out by that point, he was able to climb to 11th before the checkered flag flew.
- Canard’s misfortune in the main event caused him to slip from fourth in the points standings to a tie for fifth, his 43-point total being three behind Tomac and 29 behind the leading Ken Roczen. Seely is now in 11th with 29.
- Team Honda has a short week before heading to Oakland’s O.co Coliseum, where Canard and Seely will return to action at round four on Saturday, January 24. Prior to that, they’ll participate in Thursday’s press day, during which they’ll give pre-race interviews with the Bay Area media.
THE FOCUS: Moto Meets MotoGP
For the second time this year, 2006 MotoGP world champion Nicky Hayden paid a visit to Team Honda in the Anaheim pits. The Drive M7 Aspar rider lives in Kentucky but has a house near Angel Stadium where he stays while training during the winter, and he was attending the race with brother Roger and cousin Jake Lewis (both of whom are road racers in the new MotoAmerica series). “I always love to go and see one or two rounds when I can,” Hayden said. “Like any kind of motorcycle racing, Supercross is one of those sports that you really have to see live to get the full effect.”
Team Honda riders Trey Canard and Cole Seely had time for a quick chat with Hayden before the night program started, as did GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac. “I try and watch any type of racing when I’m home and have time to sit on the couch,” Seely said afterward. “It’s cool to see guys like Nicky here. I’ve never actually been to a MotoGP race but I’d like to, because when I watch guys like him ride, I have a huge respect for everything they do and all the work that I’m sure goes into it. I imagine he feels the same way about our sport, so it’s cool to see him having our back when he’s in town.”
Having worked with Honda and HRC for the better part of his professional career, Hayden knows many of the team’s technicians and was curious to check out the race bikes. “I’m a fan of the sport but also the equipment, so it’s nice to go in the pits and get a little tour to see what’s new and geek out a bit on their technology,” he said. “Motorcycle racers speak a similar language, even though I’m on the asphalt and they’re on dirt.”
As a part of his training, Hayden has been riding dirt track in Southern California aboard a 2015 CRF450R, but with the MotoGP test season approaching, Anaheim 2 was the last supercross round he’ll be able to attend this year. Still, he says he’ll be pulling for Team Honda. “Honda had some success at the first couple of races, and it’s good to see the atmosphere in the truck. Hopefully they can keep it going.”
Mandie Fonteyn // Dispatch Communications // firstname.lastname@example.org // +1 (951) 537-0454
450SX Main Event
|1||Roczen Ken||94||GER||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|2||Dungey Ryan||5||USA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|3||Tomac Eli||3||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|4||Barcia Justin||51||USA||TLD/Red Bull GasGas||GasGas|
|5||Tickle Broc||20||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|7||Anderson Jason||21||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|8||Wilson Dean||15||GBR||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|9||Millsaps David||18||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|10||Baggett Blake||4||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|11||Canard Trey||41||USA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|13||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||Chisholm Racing||Kawasaki|
|14||Wey Nicholas||27||USA||Team Tedder||Kawasaki|
|15||Lamay Ben||71||USA||TPJ/Fly Racing||Honda|
|16||Albertson Jimmy||77||USA||Jimmy Albertson Racing||KTM|
|17||Weimer Jacob||12||USA||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|18||Clason Cade||78||USA||PR-MX Pelletier Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|19||Alessi Mike||800||USA||Smartop Bullfrog Spas MotoConcepts Honda||Honda|
|20||Grant Joshua||33||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|21||Short Andrew||29||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|22||Reed Chad||22||AUS||Mountain Motorsports/CBDmd/CR22 Racing||KTM||Black Flagged|