Although expectations were higher for Team Honda HRC at the Daytona Supercross by Honda, the squad was pleased with the fact that three factory CRF450R race machines finished in the top six. While GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac scored a solid runner-up result, premier-class rookie Cole Seely raced to a notable fourth-place finish, and Trey Canard rebounded from a first-turn crash to complete the race in sixth place.
Seely put himself in a good position at the start of the race, moving into third on lap two, but he made contact with another rider while trying to take second and went down. The Californian slipped to seventh and spent the remainder of the race clawing his way back toward the front before finishing fourth. It was a tough night for Canard, who tangled with another rider in the first turn and rejoined the race in second-to-last place. An impressive come-from-behind performance carried him to sixth by the checkered flag.
• Following last week’s race in Atlanta, the Team Honda HRC crew headed straight to Florida to do some pre-Daytona testing near Tampa Bay on a private track that replicated features often seen at the Daytona Supercross by Honda. “This race is so unique and different from any other race that we see throughout the Supercross season that it requires us to change our settings for the conditions,” said mechanic Brent Presnell. “You need to find a balance in setup that will still allow you to hit the steep and technical jumps, but also be able to handle rough and rutted straightaways and corners.”
• On Friday, Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda riders participated in the pre-event press day and were given the opportunity to try out a section of the track before Saturday’s race. “It’s always a plus to get time on the track before a race, but it’s especially nice at Daytona,” Cole Seely said. “We made some bike changes this week, so it was a good way to test them out again and make sure things were working good before the race.”
• Daytona is often regarded as the toughest and most physically demanding course on the Supercross circuit, with the longest lap times of any race and a hybrid style design that is a cross between Supercross and motocross. “Knowing the long list of great riders who have won this event makes it really special,” Trey Canard said. “Every rider wants to win Daytona and add their name to the history book. This is just a really tough race. The track is hard, the laps are long, the race is long and really only the fittest survive.”
• For the third time this season, Canard topped the charts in qualifying by turning the quickest laps in both timed practices. It was his performance in the second session that locked him into the top spot with a time of 1:04.036. Meanwhile, GEICO Honda’s Eli Tomac secured the third-quickest time at 1:05.458, with Seely sixth at 1:05.766
• Team Honda HRC provided special access to two groups of fans at Daytona, organizing rig tours and opportunities to meet the riders. The first group comprised promotional winners for Daytona International Speedway, while the second consisted of winners of Road 2 Recovery’s fan-experience eBay auction.
• Team Honda HRC riders posted the fastest lap times in the two heat races, with Seely turning a 1:05.798 in heat one and Canard notching a 1:04.436 in heat two. In the main event, Seely’s best lap of 1:06.506 was the second-quickest of the race.
• Next up for Team Honda is round 11 of the AMA Supercross series, which takes place March 14 in Indianapolis. On Friday, the riders will take part in the Westfield Powersports Supercross Party, which this year will take place at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.