Round 8 of the AMA Supercross series marked the first of two back-to-back stops at Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, and for Team Honda HRC it also marked the point at which Trey Canard advanced to second place in the points standings, thanks to yet another podium finish. In addition, Cole Seely rebounded after a tough race at the previous round to finish a solid fourth.
Canard turned in another strong ride aboard his factory Honda CRF450R, earning a heat-race win before bringing home a third-place finish in the final. Although a poor start left Canard unable to fight for the win, he rode an impressive race, advancing from outside the top 10 to third by the time he reached the checkered flag. Seely qualified through his semi race and sat fifth after the first of 20 laps in the main, then eventually worked his way into fourth behind his teammate.
• The evening before the race, Team Honda HRC riders Trey Canard and Cole Seely, along with GEICO Honda riders Eli Tomac, Justin Bogle, RJ Hampshire, Jordan Smith and Malcolm Stewart visited Douglasville, Georgia’s Freewheeling Honda for an autograph signing.
• Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Keisuke Inomoto, Representative Director for HRC Motocross, at the first Atlanta Supercross. Following several post-race meetings on Monday at American Honda’s Torrance, California, headquarters, Inomoto will return to Japan and then head to Losail, Qatar, to be with Team HRC on February 27 for the opening round of the MXGP series.
• For the second time this season, Canard qualified on pole during timed practice, this time by logging a 48.380-second lap. Tomac secured second with 48.628, while Seely was seventh at 49.383. Canard was also the fastest man in the main event, laying down a blistering time of 48.811. Atlanta 1 was the track with the lowest times so far this season.
• If asked to describe the Atlanta Supercross, most riders and mechanics would mention the unique, red dirt that is used to construct the track. “Atlanta is weird because you never know what kind of Georgia clay you’re going to get,” explained Brent Presnell, Canard’s mechanic. “Tonight it was really hard and slippery, but there was still some moisture. It’s definitely not the famous old-school Georgia clay we used to see, whether that’s due to how it’s stored or the weather, but it was really dry and hard-packed out there tonight.”
• Seely and Canard were two of only four riders to do an incredible “quad” jump after a section of whoops, launching the last four rollers all the way into the following corner. “I didn’t do the quad in the main event,” Seely said. “The line never seemed to form during the night, so it was pretty tricky. During practice though, both Trey and I did it, but we didn’t know the others had done it. I was kind of stoked to have a secret line heading into the night—but it wasn’t [laughs]! I just came around that thing and had a ton of speed out of the whoops, pulled up and made it. I made it two or three times after that too.”
• Consistency has paid off for Canard, and in Atlanta he used another podium finish, along with a bad night by Ken Roczen, to take over second in the championship hunt, 25 points behind points-leader Ryan Dungey. Tomac and Seely remain in fourth and sixth, with 115 and 111 points, respectively. Only five points separate fourth through seventh in the standings.
• The Honda Red Riders will return to the Georgia Dome next weekend for the second and final stop in Atlanta.