Team Honda HRC had a night of highs and lows at the Detroit Supercross. Cole Seely turned in another solid performance, scoring his third heat-race win of the season before riding to an impressive third-place finish in the main, while GEICO Honda rider Eli Tomac took the win. Meanwhile, Seely’s teammate Trey Canard was involved in an incident with another rider in his semi-race, leaving him with a fractured arm and ending his participation in the 2015 AMA Supercross series.
- On the eve of the race, the Honda Red Riders ventured to Kimball, Missouri, about an hour north of Detroit, to sign autographs and hang out with fans at Grace Performance. Team Honda HRC riders Trey Canard and Cole Seely joined GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, RJ Hampshire and Jordan Smith. The lineup of popular riders drew a large number of fans, making for a packed house.
- For round 12, Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Honda Racing Corporation Vice President Shuhei Nakamoto and Representative Director Keisuke Inomoto. It was Mr. Nakamoto’s second time attending a Supercross race, the first having been the San Diego round earlier this year. It’s a busy period for HRC, with Repsol Honda set to begin its MotoGP title defense next week in Qatar.
- For the second consecutive week, Tomac led the way during daytime qualifying practice, topping the charts with an impressive time of 52.552 seconds. Canard landed in fourth with 52.793, while Seely was sixth at 53.183.
- The Detroit track showcased a one-off element that allowed riders a unique opportunity to race up into the stands, paying homage to the trademark of many races held at the now-unused Pontiac Silverdome, which hosted the series from 1976 to 2005. “I never raced at the Silverdome, so the only other time I’ve seen or raced on a track that goes into the stands is the Monster Energy Cup,” Seely said. “I think it was pretty cool. It just added an extra element to the race.”
- Honda has a successful history in the Motor City market. Marty Smith topped the first premier-class race held in Pontiac (a half-hour north of Detroit), and since then, Honda has collected 19 additional premier-class wins in Michigan, the most of any manufacturer. Prior to Tomac’s Saturday victory, the last Honda to top the podium was Davi Millsaps, in 2008.
- Tomac and Seely kept the Red Riders’ long podium streak going. In the 12 main events run so far this year, the factory CRF450R has collected 16 rostrum finishes (including at least one at every round), and a total of four victories.
- GEICO Honda enjoyed a particularly successful event in Detroit. Not only did Tomac top the 450SX main, teammate and defending 250SX East Champion Justin Bogle was also victorious in his final. Tomac’s lead over second place was 11.89 seconds at the finish, the largest winning margin of the season so far.
- Canard’s injury was incurred in a crash in the first semi. Jake Weimer came up short in a rhythm section, and Canard landed on top of him, falling and fracturing his left arm. Following the diagnosis, the Oklahoman’s plan was to follow up with his personal physician early in the week, at which point a treatment plan will be determined and an expected recovery time set. Additional details will be released when they become available. Prior to the Detroit Supercross, Canard had carded two victories and five additional podium appearances. He is still second in the points standings, though that will of course change.
- On March 28, Team Honda HRC will campaign round 13 of the AMA Supercross series, in St. Louis, Missouri. The evening before the race, riders will make an appearance at Big St. Charles Motorsports.
THE FOCUS: The Return of JMB
In addition to hosting HRC’s Mr. Nakamoto and Mr. Inomoto in Detroit, Team Honda HRC was also joined by Jean-Michel Bayle, Sporting Manager for Team HRC in the MXGP series. Bayle has a long and successful racing history, having worked with Honda for his entire professional MX career. After winning the 1988 125 and ’89 250 World Championships, the Frenchman came to race in the U.S, where he had an amazing 1991 season, collecting the AMA Supercross crown, as well as the 250 and 500 Motocross titles. Bayle went on to campaign the road race Grand Prix series before retiring at the end of 2002.
“It’s a great memory and relationship because all my championships that I won throughout my career were on a Honda,” Bayle said. “It’s close to my heart, and it’s also quite funny now because many of the people that I work with now at HRC and Honda are the same people I worked with when I was racing. It’s great to be back.”
Throughout the day, Bayle assisted the team and gave his guidance to Canard and Seely following each practice. “I follow Supercross and motocross regularly to see how Honda is doing, but it’s nice to come occasionally and actually see one,” he said. “It’s a special feeling to come back to a race because I know the feeling of being down on the line; I appreciate it a lot. It’s also nice to be able to give back to young riders and share my knowledge. I feel very good about it.”
Bayle even had the chance to see his old teammate, Jeff Stanton, for whom Detroit is a home race.
Mandie Fonteyn // Dispatch Communications // email@example.com // +1 (951) 537-0454
450 Supercross Results
|1||Tomac Eli||3||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|2||Dungey Ryan||5||USA||Red Bull KTM||KTM|
|4||Reed Chad||22||AUS||Mountain Motorsports/CBDmd/CR22 Racing||KTM|
|5||Millsaps David||18||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|6||Grant Joshua||33||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|7||Tickle Broc||20||USA||Monster Energy Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|8||Baggett Blake||4||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|9||Short Andrew||29||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS||KTM|
|10||Brayton Justin||10||USA||Muc-Off Honda||Honda|
|11||Chisholm Kyle||11||USA||Chisholm Racing||Kawasaki|
|12||Wey Nicholas||27||USA||Team Tedder||Kawasaki|
|13||Partridge Kyle||199||USA||Rocky Mountain ATV||Honda|
|14||Lamay Ben||71||USA||TPJ/Fly Racing||Honda|
|15||Nicoletti Phillip||46||USA||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Yamaha|
|16||Rusk Killian||58||USA||Slater Skin/Blue Buffalo||Yamaha|
|17||Stewart Ronnie||69||USA||DirtCandy Graphics||Suzuki|
|18||Schmidt Nicholas||USA||TPJ/Fly Racing||Suzuki|
|19||Ray Alex||87||USA||SGB Racing/Maxxis/Babbitt's Kawasaki||Kawasaki|
|20||Harrison Heath||USA||Got Gear Motorsports||Kawasaki|
|21||Anderson Jason||21||USA||Rockstar Energy Husqvarna||Husqvarna|
|22||Peick Weston||23||USA||Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing||Suzuki|