Round three of the AMA Pro Motocross championship saw Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely record his best finish of the AMA Pro Motocross season so far. As was the case in AMA Supercross, the 450 class rookie had gotten off to a rocky start, but he has continued to make progress each weekend and was able to notch a top-five finish in Colorado. In the first moto, Seely rode to a respectable eighth place after a mediocre start left him mid-pack on the first lap. The Californian found his pace during the day’s final race, taking the holeshot aboard his Honda CRF450R and riding to a solid fourth-place result. Fredrik Noren made his 2015 debut with Team Honda HRC and, in spite of some challenges, was able to secure 14th overall with 14-13 moto scores.
After GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac dominated the first moto and extended his perfect win streak to five-straight, it looked as if he would continue his winning ways during the final moto at his home track. Unfortunately, while leading the field by nearly 10 seconds, Tomac crashed on a downhill, suffering a dislocated shoulder. Although he was unable to finish the moto and collected no points, Tomac still sits second in the championship standings.
• One the eve of the race, Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard and Fredrik Noren, along with GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, Matt Bisceglia, RJ Hampshire and Jordan Smith, attended Sun Enterprise’s annual fan fest, which is one of the largest autograph signings of the year. Hundreds of racing enthusiasts were on hand to meet their favorite riders and take part in the festival-style event.
• Canard—who attended the race to support his team for the second consecutive week—has a special history at Thunder Valley Raceway, having participated in the 2008 and 2009 nighttime nationals, as well as helping lead Team USA to victory at the 2010 Motocross of Nations. “There have been a few really cool races for me here in Colorado,” he said. “Obviously, the Motocross of Nations tops that list, but the night racing was also awesome since it was a first for motocross. I also had a great race here in 2010, which really turned my season around and put me in contention for the 250 championship.”
• The Thunder Valley track features a steep uphill start, which makes it unique from any other track on the circuit. This forces riders to adjust their starting technique, as Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely explained: “We go with a first-gear start here, which is different than any other track we race on. At such a high elevation and with such a steep start straight, it makes it hard to get a good jump out of the gate. It’s a bit tricky though because you have to shift through neutral and make sure your timing is right. I upped my rpm in the second moto, got my shift really good going up the hill and was able to edge the rest of the guys out for the holeshot.”
• As he had done at the first two races, Tomac topped the charts in qualifying by turning a 2:06.165 lap. Meanwhile, Seely secured the sixth-quickest time at 2:09.867, while Noren was 17th at 2:12.278.
• Despite a disappointing end to the day, Tomac proved he was the fastest man on the track by laying down unmatchable lap times in both motos. He recorded a 2:10.281 in the day’s first race, and before crashing in the final moto, he notched a 2:13.391. In both cases, the times were over 1.2 seconds faster than the next-best rider.
• Team Honda HRC has a short week before heading to Muddy Creek Raceway in Blountville, Tennessee, where Seely and Noren will return to action at round four on Saturday, June 6. Prior to that, they’ll participate in Thursday’s press day, during which they’ll give pre-race interviews with the local media.