Canard Continues Podium Streak at Atlanta 2
It was another solid night for Team Honda HRC at the AMA Supercross series’ second and final stop in Atlanta, with Trey Canard scoring his fourth consecutive podium finish—a hard-fought third. The Oklahoman got off the line to a decent start and advanced to second by lap seven. It looked as if Canard might be able to contest for the win, but mistakes caused him to fall off the leaders’ pace and ultimately relinquish one position by the checkered flag. Joining Canard on the podium was GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, who rebounded after a disappointing race last weekend to finish second.
Meanwhile, Cole Seely’s night didn’t go as planned, as a bad start and a mishap halfway through the 20-lap race combined to leave him in 12th place at night’s end. The premier-class rookie has had an up-and-down first half of the season and looks forward to improving his consistency during the second half.
• The same weekend that Team Honda HRC cleared the midway point in the AMA Supercross season, their MXGP counterparts kicked off their season halfway around the world, in Qatar. Just hours after Trey Canard finished third in the Georgia Dome, Team HRC’s Gautier Paulin did likewise at the Losail Circuit.
• Prior to Saturday’s track walk, Seely interviewed with Fox Sports 1 for a feature called “Legendary Influence” that will air during the broadcast for the Daytona Supercross by Honda this coming weekend. The piece will showcase the relationship between Cole and his riding coach, five-time AMA Motocross champion and two-time AMA Supercross champion Jeff Ward. “Jeff and I met almost 12 years ago and have worked together in some capacity ever since,” Seely said. “I couldn’t always afford to pay him, so he would help me here and there when he could, but once I could hire him fulltime, I jumped right on it. His knowledge and experience in racing are extremely helpful. He’s been where I am and knows what I’m going through firsthand. It’s comforting having him by my side.”
• During the daytime program at Atlanta, Canard secured the third-quickest qualifying time at 53.695, just .188 seconds off the pace of GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac, who landed second at 53.507. Seely was seventh-fastest with 54.779. For the second consecutive weekend, Canard was the fastest rider on the track during the main event, laying down an impressive 54.505-second lap.
• With the 56th annual Folds of Honor QuikTrip 500 NASCAR race running just down the road at Atlanta Motor Speedway, many of that sport’s top drivers were roaming the Supercross pits on Saturday. Drivers Casey Mears and Carl Edwards were two to stop by the Team Honda HRC truck to meet Canard and Seely.
• On race day, Seely’s mechanic Rich Simmons joined Brian Kranz, mechanic for Tomac, to meet with a large group of students for the local Motorcycle Mechanics Institute campus. Both technicians are graduates of the program and were happy to give the pupils a glimpse of life as a factory mechanic.
• Atlanta 2 served to spread out the title chase somewhat. Canard gained seven points on third-place Ken Roczen, but he also lost ground to the leading Dungey, whose advantage is now 30. Meanwhile, Seely slipped one spot to seventh, four behind Chad Reed. Tomac remains in fourth.
• With the series having cleared its halfway point, at least one Honda CRF450R has finished on every podium of 2015. Canard has six rostrum finishes in nine races, while Tomac has four and Seely one. Honda and KTM are tied for the lead in the manufacturers’ points standings, at 199.