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.
• 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.”