Al Lamb's Dallas Honda
Indianapolis Round 11 Supercross 2015
Mar 16, 2015
Al Lamb's Dallas Honda --- Daytona was all about testing rider physical power. The AMA Supercross Monster Energy rally moved onto its 11th phase at Indianapolis for a clash against technical control. The Lucas Oil Stadium in Indy is well known for its highly technological aspects. Rookie rider Team Honda, Cole Seely triumphed over challenges at Saturday main event accomplishing a fantastic season best podium finish and a career best. The supercharged rider ended at second place with teammate Trey Canard also joining him for a top rated podium finish on their CRF450R factory bikes. Canard too enjoyed escalated status for the series consolidating his position at third place and a seventh podium appearance for this season. Both riders are increasingly displaying victory signals particularly with Seely being the number one rookie rider in 450SX class, a serious contender to walk away with the championship at season’s end. The Californian born and bred rider executed first few corners of the main event at third place edging his monster machine towards second place by race end. Trey Canard had a harder battle making his way at 11th place during first corner but shooting through the laps to pass the flag at third place, a position he maintained for most of the race unhindered. Lady luck loved Seely through the night giving him a good gate pick and a third place start helping him to seamlessly move into second. He also practiced better tolerance compared to Daytona and seemed contented following the leader for most of the race. Fortitude on his part was rewarded in a move to fourth from seventh in overall championship standings.
Team Honda HRC notched up finer points in the series but was deprived of the veteran input of their team manager. Dan Betley was confined at home due to a sickness and was a marked absentee at the Indianapolis main event. Meanwhile Jason Haines a longtime team member/crew chief of Honda HRC fitted into Betley’s role for the weekend.
Only nano seconds of .447 demarked the top six riders during timed qualifying sessions with Canard recording second quickest time at 51.391 seconds and 0.19 seconds after GEICO Honda star rider Eli Tomac who finished at 51.372 recording the fastest timings. Fourth place at 51.489 seconds went off to Cole Seely.
Indianapolis was a great confidence booster for Seely. The rookie earned his very first premier class podium finish only last year when he was substituting for a Honda Factory team rider. Apart from an esteemed runner up finish he also captured his best results in 450SX category following his first second place win at Anaheim 3.
With this latest results Factory Honda CRF450R riders hold three out of the top four places in overall series standings. Canard is in second place with 204, Tomac in third at 169 points and Seely at fourth place with 160 points.
Honda CRF250R category riders too had a blessed race night at Indy accomplishing nine out of the top ten positions in main event. Top performing Red Riders of the night were Justin Bogle and R J Hampshire finishing at second and third places for GEICO Honda.
Day after main event, Team Honda riders were heavily featured in the latest ‘Behind the Dream’ episode aired by Fox Sports. Clips included Canard’s road to success as he navigated many setbacks on the way. Footage also included shots of Canard testing, racing and enjoying a mountain bike trek in California with his riding partner Seely. The episode also contained interviews with both riders and their respective mechanics.
The team moves into Detroit next week as anticipation boils up for 12th round of series. All riders are expected to appear at a dealer conference before the race at Grace Motorsports, Kimball Michigan.
Honda convergence at the ‘Brickyard’
The night before race was dedicated to the popular and much awaited racing get-together at Legendary Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Westfield Powersports Supercross party saw star riders of Team Honda HRC, Cole Seely, Trey Canard as well as Eli Tomac, R J Hampshire, Jordan Smith and Justin Bogle making up GEICO Honda front rendezvousing in high spirits. Just before festivities began the top contenders, Tomac, Canard and Seely were invited to venture onto racing track to pay homage to the fabled Yard of Bricks. This is a tradition that is diligently practiced since 1996 as riders pay tribute to the venue’s steep history. The three riders cruised along the circuit in an official IMS pace car for couple laps despite a showery rain.
Canard enthused that it was an awesome experience to be at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. ‘I know that usually you are only supposed to kiss the fabled bricks if you get to win. But how can one pass up such a unique opportunity? I also hoped that it may bring us good luck as so many other great racers have also done the same thing. And it was really nice to ride in the pace car checking out track from such perspective. And talk about cool” was his excited remark.
The Red Riders too have a famed history at Motor Speedway as Repsol Honda Team supported by HRC has accomplished several victories at the annual MotoGP racing event for last five years. In 2010 it was Dani Pedrosa’s chance to bask in glory while 2012 saw Casey Stoner topping his own winning from 2011. Marc Marquen, reigning champion grabbed victories in both 2013 and 14. The 2015 Indianapolis MotoGP will kick off during August this year.
Honda is one of the two manufacturers to supply engines for the touted Indianapolis 500 which is scheduled to take place during May this year. Rider Ryan Hunter will defend his reigning champion title representing the Honda backed Andretti Autosport Team.
"It’s my rookie season and I can’t complain about a podium. It’s been a great year of learning and gaining experience among some of the greatest riders. When I was behind [Ryan] Dungey, I tried to be patient and wait for a mistake, but that’s a bit rare with him. I knew if I stayed close, I could learn a lot and I’m happy overall with how I rode. The last couple weekends, I’ve felt really spunky and have a lot of energy on the bike, which I think is showing in my riding. I’ve been trying not to overdo my training during the week so that I can come into the weekend fresh and excited to ride. Everyone has been really great supporting me this season, and I’m thankful for the group I have in my corner."
"The night could’ve gone better but it also could’ve gone worse, so overall I’m grateful to be walking away healthy. I had a scary crash in practice, then went down in the first turn of my heat race and had to transfer through the semi. That gave me a bad gate pick for the main and I had to line up pretty far to the outside. Again, I didn’t get a great start, so I just tried to make passes as early as possible and work my way through the pack. I made my way into third, but by that time the front guys were pretty far apart. I’m happy with a podium, but it’s a bummer that I let Dungey get away with more valuable points. I’m even happier for my teammate Cole; he rode awesome tonight and really deserves to be up here."
Jason Haines: Crew Chief
"Qualifying went great. We almost had all of our guys in the top three, but Dungey snuck in there and was able to keep that from happening. Cole rode well all night, transferring into the main from his heat race, which has been tough for him. In the main, he got off to a good start and moved into second a couple of laps in. I thought he was going to be able to fight for the lead, but he fell off the pace a little. Trey struggled with starts again, but he rode awesome and came through with a podium at the end of the night. Now we have Honda riders 2-3-4 in the championship standings."
Sam Mishima: Motorcycle Sports Manager
"It was a good night for Team Honda HRC, with two riders on the podium. Obviously we wanted to be on the center of the podium and get a win, but I can’t complain too much with a second and third. Cole rode really well; he’s showing more aggression in the races, which is good. If he keeps riding the way he has been, he could be on the top step of the podium pretty soon. Trey needed a better start again, but he rode well to compensate for the bad start and was able to come from behind to get on the podium."
Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Cole Seely)
"All in all in was a good night. I think the rutty and more technical conditions really play into Cole’s favor because you have to be consistent and creative with your lines—not just go as fast as you can. He’s really good on that style of track. He rode really well and I was happy to see him showing more aggression and making passes early to get by Andrew [Short]. The highlight of my night was actually finally getting into the main through the heat race. It’s not easy to ride those extra laps in the semi because going into the main, you’re not as fresh as the guy next to you."
Brent Presnell: Mechanic (Trey Canard)
"It was a decent night. It was kind of rough having to go through the heat race and semi to get into the main event, but Trey did what he had to do to make it happen. He didn’t get a good start again but rode hard and was able to salvage a lot of positions and get on the podium. We still want more and to be back in that top spot, but a podium is always good."