For Team Honda HRC, the 2015 Supercross season came to an exciting close at Las Vegas’ Sam Boyd Stadium, as Cole Seely rode to a strong fourth-place finish on the same night that he was named 450SX Rookie of the Year. Over the course of his first full series in the premier division, Seely earned no fewer than ten top-five finishes, including five podiums and his first 450 victory, putting him third in the final points standings.

In the final main event of the year, Seely got a poor start but began methodically moving his way though the pack. By the completion of the 20-lap race, he had advanced to fourth.

GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac also finished the season off on a strong note, securing the runner-up position in the race and the championship standings. It looked as if the Coloradoan would be able to contest for the win, but a mistake a few laps in caused him to fall off the pace of eventual winner Ryan Dungey. Over the course of the 17-race series, Tomac won three main events and finished on the podium on eight additional occasions.

 

NOTES

  • On Friday, Cole Seely and Eli Tomac participated in the pre-race press conference, which showcased the top three 450SX racers in the points chase. Following interviews, the riders were allowed 15 minutes to preview the track. Later that evening, the two were joined by Tomac’s GEICO Honda teammates, Matt Bisceglia, RJ Hampshire and Jordan Smith, for an autograph session at RideNow Powersports.
  • With lap times over one minute, the Las Vegas track was one of the longest of the season. During the daytime program, Seely logged the sixth-quickest qualifying time at 1:08.585, while Tomac was second quickest at 1:07.184.
  • During the downtime between the day and evening programs, Seely had an opportunity for a meet-and-greet with a special fan who had won a contest by his goggle sponsor, Spy. Brittany Correia had raced motocross and dreamed of turning pro until a car accident left her paralyzed. Seely is one of her favorite riders, and the two enjoyed the opportunity to meet and hang out.
  • Slotted in the second heat race for the night program, Tomac launched his Dunlop-equipped Honda CRF450R off the line, nabbing the holeshot and early lead in the six-lap race. The GEICO Honda rider went on to win by nearly 11 seconds, setting the fastest lap of the night in the process. Seely got off to a less-than-desirable start in the second heat but was able to make several early passes, moving into second on lap two. That’s where he remained, transferring directly into the main even.
  • The Rookie of the Year award goes to the eligible rider who has accumulated the most points throughout the season, and Seely was proud to have earned the honor. “The last six years have been a steady climb, so it’s nice to know that I’m still climbing,” Seely said. “I want to take what I’ve learned this rookie year and apply it next year, when I’ll have a better understanding of how the season works and what to expect.”
  • Asked to identify the biggest adaptation he had to make during his rookie 450 Supercross season, Seely said it was pacing himself through the longer 17-round schedule (the 250 class is divided into regions, so riders only participate in half as many races). “I had to learn to save myself for Saturday, by not exerting myself too much between Monday and Thursday,” Seely explained. “The race weekends fly by so fast, and then you’re right back to your routine. You have to make your program work and have everyone coordinating with each other to have the same goals in mind throughout the whole week.”
  • With the AMA Supercross season behind it, Team Honda HRC will enjoy a much-needed weekend off before kicking off the AMA Pro Motocross championship on Saturday, May 16, in Sacramento.
  • Seely said he is excited to start the outdoor championship. “I’ve never raced a 450 outdoors, so it’s really going to be a learning process,” he said. “This summer, I expect to learn the most I ever have in my entire career. I feel like I suited the 450 a lot better than the 250 for Supercross, and I think that’s even more true for outdoors.” 

THE FOCUS: Series in Review

As the traditional AMA Supercross series finale, the Las Vegas round is always a good opportunity to assess a team’s performance, and for Honda and HRC, the 2015 season was a positive one. As is always the case, the hope had been to earn the championship, and while that wasn’t ultimately possible, CRF450R riders Eli Tomac and Cole Seely did take the second and third positions, respectively in the final standings. In addition, Trey Canard was in title contention for much of the series before breaking his arm in Detroit, and despite missing the last six races, he ended the series sixth in points. For Honda, it was a marked improvement over last year’s performance, which saw factory CRF riders finish fifth, 13th and 18th in the standings (Tomac and Canard missed much of the ’14 series with injuries).

The story was similar in terms of race-by-race results. In 2015, Honda riders earned a total of six wins and an additional 17 podium finishes, compared to zero and six, respectively, in 2014. Also impressive was the balanced performance by the Red Riders, with wins going to all three (three for Tomac, two for Canard and one for Seely). Perhaps even more representative of the Honda riders’ consistency was the fact that at least one of them finished on the podium in every one of the 17 main events, something that no other manufacturer managed. In fact, on six occasions, two of the three podium finishers were Honda-mounted; no other manufacturer achieved that feat even once. The icing on the cake was Seely’s earning Rookie of the Year honors in the premier class.

Cole Seely 14

“I had a pretty good heat race and got second. In the main, I got off to a pretty bad start and had to really work hard to get around some guys. I eventually moved into fourth and had a battle with [Chad] Reed. It was a super hard track tonight—tough to find a rhythm—and I lost some wind. The whoops were like hitting a row of curbs, and it was hard to say on top of them and keep speed up. Getting Rookie of the Year and being handed the third-place medal was a pretty big deal to me. It’s a huge honor because there are some fast guys who came up this year; it was a very talented rookie class.”

Keisuke Inomoto

Representative Director: Team Honda/ HRC Motocross

“This was the last Supercross race for the season and even though we couldn’t win tonight, our riders rode very well this year and we finished second, third and sixth in the championship—a big improvement from last year! The riders and the team worked well together and we were able to finish on the podium in all the races. This showed our potential for the upcoming outdoor series and for next year’s Supercross series!”

Rich Simmons

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

“The track was actually better for traction than in years past, but we still stuck with hard-pack tires. We tried a few other changes but ended up back at our normal settings, as Cole was more comfortable with them. I think the series was a huge success for Cole. His consistency down the stretch was what I was most happy about. If we take the same approach to motocross, I expect to see that same progression throughout that series as well.”

AMA Supercross 2015
Race Round 17   Las Vegas

450 Supercross Results

Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Constructor Time/Gap
1 Dungey Ryan 5 USA 25 Red Bull KTM KTM
2 Tomac Eli 3 USA 22 Monster Energy Kawasaki Kawasaki
3 Peick Weston 23 USA 20 Autotrader/ JGR/ Yoshimura/ Suzuki Factory Racing Suzuki
4 Seely Cole 14 USA 18 Team Honda HRC Honda
5 Grant Joshua 33 USA 16 Monster Energy Kawasaki Kawasaki
6 Baggett Blake 4 USA 15 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS KTM
7 Reed Chad 22 AUS 14 CR22 Husqvarna
8 Barcia Justin 51 USA 13 Monster Energy/ Knick/ Factory Yamaha Team Yamaha
9 Brayton Justin 10 USA 12 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing Honda
10 Tickle Broc 20 USA 11 Red Bull KTM KTM
11 Chisholm Kyle 11 USA 10 Chisholm Racing KTM
12 Wey Nicholas 27 USA 9 Team Tedder Kawasaki
13 Lamay Ben 907 USA 8 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Honda
14 Schmidt Nicholas USA 7 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Suzuki
15 Ramette  Thomas FRA 6 SR75-Molson Racing UK Kawasaki
16 Rusk Killian 58 USA 5 Slater Skin/Blue Buffalo Yamaha
17 Archer Tony 285 USA 4 Traders Racing Kawasaki
18 Partridge Kyle 199 USA 3 Rocky Mountain ATV Honda
19 Akaydin Michael USA 2 Storm Lake Honda/Buddy Brooks Racing Honda
20 Raper  Deven USA 1 RJC Racing Kawasaki
21 Pipes  Dustin USA 1 TPJ.com/Fly Racing Suzuki
22 Bannister  Travis USA 1 Advance Concrete/ Surprise Enterprise Honda
Location Information

Sam Boyd Stadium, East Russell Road, Las Vegas, NV, United States - View in Google Maps