Seely talks about Phoenix
Round 5 of the AMA Supercross series in Glendale, Arizona, proved difficult for Team Honda HRC, as Cole Seely finished the night in eighth position. Following a top-five start in the main event, the Californian made quick work of the riders in front of him, moving into third by lap three. It looked as though he was setting himself up for solid podium finish until a mishap on the next lap caused him to fall to ninth. Seely fought to move back toward the front, but eighth was the best he could manage.
For the second weekend in a row, Trey Canard did not take part in the event as he continues to nurse an injured right hand. After he attempted to ride during Thursday’s press day, it was determined that he still did not have 100% strength to compete.
•It was a short week for Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely and Trey Canard, as they traveled to the University of Phoenix stadium early for press day. On Thursday, Seely interviewed with NBC’s Channel 11 News and on Friday Canard spent time with FOX Channel 10.
•The Glendale track showcased the longest lap times so far this season, with all riders over the 1-minute mark. The competition was fierce, with the top riders battling hard for the best mark during the qualifying sessions. At the end of the daytime program, Seely landed sixth at 1:02.522.
•Seely had his work cut out for him in 450SX heat 1 after a bad start left him eighth on the opening lap. He put together an impressive charge through the pack, finishing fourth and transferring directly into the main event.
•The large stadium floor allowed for a unique track layout that included an extended run to the first turn. “This is definitely one of the longest starts I’ve ever seen, and I’ve been in the industry a long time,” said team manager Dan Betley. “Despite that though, nothing was done differently than a normal start except Cole shifted into fourth, which is very unusual for a supercross race. Like normal, he started in second, shifted to third, but with the length of the start he actually got into fourth, which happens very rarely, if ever.”
•On race day, Team Honda HRC hosted a special family whose son Austin is a brain-tumor survivor and has participated in Ride for Kids events in the Phoenix area. The family received tickets and a rig tour and got to meet Canard and Seely before joining the team for dinner.
•It was a spectacular night for GEICO Honda’s Christian Craig, who captured his first-ever 250SX main-event win after leading the entire 15-lap race. Craig took the checkered flag with an advantage of nearly three seconds over the next rider, an impressive feat for someone who hasn’t competed full-time since 2013.
•On Saturday, February 13, Team Honda HRC will return to San Diego for the season’s second and final stop at downtown’s Petco Park, for the annual Military Appreciation race.
THE FOCUS: Phoenix Children’s Hospital
With help from the Pediatric Brain Tumor Foundation and Ride for Kids, for which Honda is the presenting sponsor, Team Honda HRC was given a special opportunity to visit the Phoenix Children’s Hospital on Friday before the race. During the visit, Trey Canard, Cole Seely and team manager Dan Betley spent time in the oncology playroom, hanging out with a group of young patients. The riders autographed posters for each of the children and handed out Honda gift bags, each of which included a T-shirt, beanie and stickers.
“Going to the Children’s hospital was awesome,” Canard said. “Just seeing kids who don’t know anything about racing, but they’re excited to see you and have visitors. It’s just a really neat thing to see those families and kids light up.”
“It was an awesome experience getting to go to the hospital and visit the kids,” echoed Betley, who had made it a point to join the riders for the visit. “It was great for everybody, but speaking for myself, I think I got more out of it than the kids did. It just tears your heart apart seeing children fighting a terrible disease like that, but if Trey and Cole can make a small part of their day more enjoyable, then it’s worth it.”
Cole Seely 14
“I’m not happy with how tonight went at all. I felt like I was riding well all day, and I was running third in the main event when something happened and the bike stalled. By the time I got going again I was about ninth or tenth and was only able to make up a few spots before the end of the race. Definitely not what I wanted but we’ll work on things this week, figure out what happened and try to improve next weekend.”
“You know, I’m disappointed with how we finished the night, but all in all I think we had a good week leading up to this race and I’m still confident in the improvements we made. This race was unusual in that that the dirt is really hard and slippery and I don’t think it’s your typical supercross race. Cole was riding well all day, but while running fourth in the main, the bike stalled in a corner and he lost a lot of time. I think it was hard for him to recover from that once he got the bike re-fired. He couldn’t get back into a rhythm and was stuck back with that group. It was a difficult night but there’s always another race.”
Mechanic (Cole Seely)
“Tonight was pretty up-and-down. Cole wasn’t really ready for the gate-drop in his heat race so he got a bad start. I think it dropped a little sooner than it should have, but that’s no excuse because everyone else was ready. He made it work though and was able to make his way into a transfer spot. He got a good start in the main event and was riding well, which is a positive, but then something happened in a turn and the bike stalled. Once he got going again he just got stuck in the pace with that pack he was with and wasn’t able to make the moves he needed to.”