Round 8 of the AMA Supercross series marked the first of two back-to-back stops at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, and for Team Honda HRC it also marked the point at which Trey Canard advanced to second place in the points standings, thanks to yet another podium finish. In addition, Cole Seely rebounded after a tough race at the previous round to finish a solid fourth.
Canard turned in another strong ride aboard his factory Honda CRF450R, earning a heat-race win before bringing home a third-place finish in the final. Although a poor start left Canard unable to fight for the win, he rode an impressive race, advancing from outside the top 10 to third by the time he reached the checkered flag. Seely qualified through his semi race and sat fifth after the first of 20 laps in the main, then eventually worked his way into fourth behind his teammate.
- The evening before the race, Team Honda HRC riders Trey Canard and Cole Seely, along with GEICO Honda riders Eli Tomac, Justin Bogle, RJ Hampshire, Jordan Smith and Malcolm Stewart, visited Douglasville, Georgia’s Freewheeling Honda for an autograph signing.
- Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Keisuke Inomoto, Representative Director for HRC Motocross, at the first Atlanta Supercross. Following several post-race meetings on Monday at American Honda’s Torrance, California, headquarters, Inomoto will return to Japan and then head to Losail, Qatar, to be with Team HRC on February 27 for the opening round of the MXGP series.
- For the second time this season, Canard qualified on pole during timed practice, this time by logging a 48.380-second lap. Tomac secured second with 48.628, while Seely was seventh at 49.383. Canard was also the fastest man in the main event, laying down a blistering time of 48.811. Atlanta 1 was the track with the lowest times so far this season.
- If asked to describe the Atlanta Supercross, most riders and mechanics would mention the unique, red dirt that is used to construct the track. “Atlanta is weird because you never know what kind of Georgia clay you’re going to get,” explained Brent Presnell, Canard’s mechanic. “Tonight it was really hard and slippery, but there was still some moisture. It’s definitely not the famous old-school Georgia clay we used to see, whether that’s due to how it’s stored or the weather, but it was really dry and hard-packed out there tonight.”
- Seely and Canard were two of only four riders to do an incredible “quad” jump after a section of whoops, launching the last four rollers all the way into the following corner. “I didn’t do the quad in the main event,” Seely said. “The line never seemed to form during the night, so it was pretty tricky. During practice though, both Trey and I did it, but we didn’t know the others had done it. I was kind of stoked to have a secret line heading into the night—but it wasn’t [laughs]! I just came around that thing and had a ton of speed out of the whoops, pulled up and made it. I made it two or three times after that too.”
- Consistency has paid off for Canard, and in Atlanta he used another podium finish, along with a bad night by Ken Roczen, to take over second in the championship hunt, 25 points behind points-leader Ryan Dungey. Tomac and Seely remain in fourth and sixth, with 115 and 111 points, respectively. Only five points separate fourth through seventh in the standings
- The Honda Red Riders will return to the Georgia Dome next weekend for the second and final stop in Atlanta.
THE FOCUS: Noren Prepares for Motocross
For Fredrik Noren, often referred to as “Fast Freddy,” the past eight months have been a whirlwind. After a successful stint as a substitute rider with the factory Honda team during the latter part of the 2014 AMA Motocross season, the Swede was chosen to be the squad’s official test and fill-in rider for 2015. Noren campaigned the first six AMA Supercross rounds in the 450SX class, for MotoSport.com/Crossland Honda, but now duty calls for outdoor testing to begin.
“Freddy wanted to ride some Supercross, and we wanted him to get his feet wet,” said Team Honda HRC manager Dan Betley. “He has never really ridden much Supercross, so I think for all of us it was more of a learning experience to see how he would do on a 450. The most important thing was we didn’t want to see him get hurt, because the plan for him moving forward is to do some testing for us in preparation for outdoors. Right now, his bike has been turned into a test bike, and he’s going to be doing some endurance testing on engine parts for us. Then when he’s up to speed and more acclimated to motocross, he’ll move into some chassis testing.”
Betley also noted that fans can expect to see Noren back in action this year, as the plan is for him to return to racing at the Hangtown AMA Motocross opener. “Freddy will still be racing under the MotoSport.com/Crossland Honda umbrella, but he’s on standby for the factory team in case any of our riders get hurt. He’ll be our guy to come over and fill in.”
Mandie Fonteyn // Dispatch Communications // firstname.lastname@example.org // +1 (951) 537-0454
450 Supercross Results
|1||Reed Chad||22||AUS||25||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|2||Dungey Ryan||5||USA||22||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|3||Canard Trey||41||USA||20||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|4||Seely Cole||14||USA||18||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|5||Peick Weston||23||USA||16||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|6||Tickle Broc||20||USA||15||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|7||Anderson Jason||21||USA||14||Rockstar Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|8||Baggett Blake||4||USA||13||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|9||Short Andrew||29||USA||12||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|10||Grant Joshua||33||USA||11||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|11||Nicoletti Phillip||46||USA||10||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Yamaha|
|12||Millsaps David||18||USA||9||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|13||Alessi Mike||800||USA||8||Smartop MotoConcepts Racing||Honda|
|14||Hill Joshua||75||USA||7||Valley Motorsports||Yamaha|
|15||Weimer Jacob||12||USA||6||RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|
|16||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||5||Chisholm Racing||KTM|
|17||Wey Nicholas||27||USA||4||Team Tedder||Kawasaki|
|18||Roczen Ken||94||GER||3||Team Honda HRC||Honda|
|19||Freeberg Zachary||USA||2||Strikt Yamaha/ Hollywood Racing||Yamaha|
|20||Tomac Eli||3||USA||1||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|