For Team Honda, Saturday night at O.Co Coliseum in Oakland, California, was filled with excitement and celebration as Trey Canard raced to his first 450SX victory in nearly four years. The Oklahoma native was unstoppable all day, topping timed qualifying practice and pulling away in the 450SX main event for an inspirational win.
Teammate Cole Seely also had a positive night, improving on last week’s sixth-place finish to score a season-best fifth. Finishing just in front of Seely in fourth was GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, who fought his way through the field after a tough start. All three factory CRF450R racers landed in the top five, while GEICO Honda’s Malcolm Stewart topped the 250SX class.
- Thursday evening, Trey Canard had the opportunity to appear in-studio on Yahoo! Sports Talk Live in Comcast SportsNet’s San Francisco studio. The four-minute feature aired live and showcased Canard’s factory Honda CRF450R. “Go Honda Racing, go Trey Canard and go 41,” said reporter Jim Kozimor as he closed out the interview.
- During the day’s qualifying practice, four riders clicked off laps in the 51-second range, but Canard bested everyone with a 51.358. GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac was fourth with a 51.944 and Seely eighth with 52.650
- In heat one, Seely got off the line to a so-so start and was gaining ground on the rider in front of him when he ran out of time, finishing fifth. He was forced to advance through the second semi race, in which he led nearly every lap and scored the win.
- Canard was able to capitalize on erstwhile points leader Ken Roczen’s misfortune during the main event, moving from fifth in the standings to third after his victory. His 68-point total has him 10 behind Roczen, who now sits in second, and 14 behind the new leader Ryan Dungey. Seely jumped from 11th to seventh in the championship points chase with 45.
- During the main, Seely put himself in a good position early, moving from fifth to second by lap five. His spot behind the leader was short-lived, as Canard was on a mission of his own, moving past his teammate just one lap later. A mistake caused Seely to fall back a few more places, but he recovered, passing the checkered flag in fifth. Canard moved past leader Chad Reed on lap seven and led the remainder of the 20-lap race.
- Canard was the fastest man on the track during the main event, laying down an impressive time of 52.106 seconds. Seely was also one of only five riders to drop into the 52-second range, with a 52.742.
- The last time Canard landed his CRF450R on top of the podium was in Arlington, Texas, on April 2, 2011. Since then he has endured numerous injuries, hindering his ability to contend for a championship, due to partial season participation. “After everything that’s happened over the years, I’m just so blessed and grateful to be back on top of the podium,” he said. “I honestly feel like I was put on this earth to ride a dirt bike, and I’m going to give 100% effort to try and achieve my goals.”
- Oakland was also a good race for Fredrik Noren of the Honda-supported Crossland/Motorsport.com team, as the Swede finished 17th in his first 450SX main event of the season. Noren’s teammate Tommy Hahn finished 16th in the 250SX class.
- Team Honda headed back to Southern California after the event and will race again on Saturday, January 31, during the season’s third and final stop at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, where Canard and Seely will continue to try and move closer to the 450SX points lead. One day prior, the Red Riders will head to Malcolm Smith Motorsports for an autograph signing from 6-7:30.
THE FOCUS: Team Honda Explores the Bay Area
Following a successful pre-race press day on Thursday, along with additional interviews Friday morning, Team Honda riders and staff were able to enjoy some rare recreational time in the Bay Area. Cole Seely joined trainer and professional mountain bike racer Brian Lopes, along with crewmember Jason Haines, on a mountain bike ride in Santa Cruz with other riders and journalists. “Having to come up early for press makes keeping to your training schedule difficult, so getting time and an opportunity to go ride and have some fun was really cool,” Seely said.
Team manager Dan Betley also had an opportunity to jump on a mountain bike for a ride with the GEICO Honda mechanics at the Mt. Diablo trail just outside of Walnut Creek. “I had an awesome time on Friday,” Betley said. “It was really nice to get away. We’re all so focused on the task at hand, so it was good for everyone to have the chance to relax a little before Saturday.”
Trey Canard and a few other members of Team Honda went into the city to explore the famous Pier 39 and Fisherman’s Wharf before taking a boat tour of the bay. The tour went around Alcatraz Island and under the Golden Gate Bridge, while a guide explained the city’s rich history.
450SX Main Event
|1||Canard Trey||41||USA||25||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|2||Dungey Ryan||5||USA||22||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|3||Reed Chad||22||AUS||20||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|4||Tomac Eli||3||USA||18||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|5||Seely Cole||14||USA||16||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|6||Barcia Justin||51||USA||15||Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team||Yamaha|
|7||Millsaps David||18||USA||14||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|8||Short Andrew||29||USA||13||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|9||Baggett Blake||4||USA||12||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|10||Anderson Jason||21||USA||11||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|11||Weimer Jacob||12||USA||10||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|13||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||8||Chisholm Racing||KTM|
|14||Nicoletti Phillip||46||USA||7||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Yamaha|
|15||Roczen Ken||94||GER||6||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|16||Friese Vince||45||USA||5||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|17||Noren Fredrik||40||SWE||4||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|18||Partridge Kyle||199||USA||3||Rocky Mountain ATV||Honda|
|19||Rusk Killian||58||USA||2||Slater Skin/Blue Buffalo||Yamaha|
|20||Davalos Martin||47||ECU||1||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|21||Grant Joshua||33||USA||1||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|22||Tickle Broc||20||USA||1||Red Bull KTM||KTM|