Held in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the penultimate round of the AMA Supercross series was a positive one for Team Honda HRC, as Cole Seely turned in another solid performance, scoring his fourth heat-race win of the season before riding to a solid third-place finish in the main, while GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac captured the win. It looked as if Seely might be able to score his second victory of the season as he lead 13 of the main event’s 20 laps, but mistakes caused him to fall off the pace and ultimately relinquish two positions by the checkered flag.
Following a fifth-place start, Tomac worked his way into second a few laps into the race and began applying pressure to his fellow Honda rider. A heated battle ensued, but Tomac triumphed, making a pass for the lead on lap 14 and riding to his third win of the season.
• Prior to all the action, Team Honda HRC rider’s Trey Canard and Cole Seely, along with GEICO Honda riders Eli Tomac, Justin Bogle, RJ Hampshire and Jordan Smith attended an autograph signing at Belleville, New Jersey’s Motorcycle Mall on Friday.
• With a new, daytime schedule, prompted by the fact that event was airing live on the Fox network, the New Jersey Supercross was unique compared to the other rounds in the series. The program started three hours earlier than normal, plus there were only two qualifying sessions, and the racing was completed by 6 p.m. “Other than getting up really early and only having two practices, the schedule wasn’t too different,” Seely said. “I actually liked it. The first untimed practice is typically kind of a waste; it only takes us three laps to figure the track out, and the rest of it we’re kind of just riding around. It’s great to see the sport evolving the way it is, being on Fox and getting more exposure, so if we have to do more like this, I’m not complaining.”
• The New Jersey Supercross was the first event attended by Brandon Wilson in his new role as Supervisor of Racing. A Wisconsin native, Wilson is no stranger in the pits or even in the Honda truck. He has been in the motorcycle industry for 19 years, the last seven with Honda, in positions with the road race and motocross teams, and most recently in product planning. He replaces Ray Conway, who retired earlier this season, and his responsibilities include contracts, sponsorship, budget and more.
• Although he’s still out of action while recovering from an injury, Canard also attended the race. He took the opportunity to spend some time with his fans and catch up with Jim Holley and Andy Bowyer on Race Day Live before heading down on the track for an interview. More than anything, Canard enjoyed watching film and helping out his teammate, Seely. “Cole and I have a really great relationship, so if I can help him out in any way, then I will,” Canard said.
• During the timed qualifying sessions, less than a second separated the top three riders. Tomac notched the quickest time at 53.934 seconds, while Seely was third with a 54.740
• With Tomac taking the win and Seely finishing third, this marks not only the CRF450R’s sixth win of the season, but also the sixth time that Honda riders have occupied two podium positions in a 450SX main event, the others having come at Anaheim 3, Atlanta 2, Indianapolis, Detroit and Houston. Thus far this season, Honda is the only manufacturer to have managed a double podium.
• Next weekend, the Honda Red Riders head to Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas for the final round of the AMA Supercross Series. Prior to the race, the riders will take part in a dealer appearance at RideNow Powersports on Friday, May 1, 6-7:30 p.m.