Seely Finishes Seventh Overall at Red Bud National2017-07-03 18:33
In front of a massive Independence Day Weekend crowd at the renowned RedBud National in Buchanan, Michigan, for round six of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely rode to a solid seventh-overall result with 6-9 marks, while teammate Christian Craig returned to action by posting 5-12 finishes for 11th overall.
When the gate dropped on moto 1, Craig launched his CRF450R with the holeshot and early lead. Seely also got off to a good start, sitting fourth after the opening lap. Craig fought hard to maintain the lead position but was unable to hold off the onslaught, falling to fifth on lap five, which is where he finished. While running fourth, Seely made a mistake and went down, losing multiple positions. He quickly remounted in eighth and was able to work his way back up to sixth by the checkered flag. In moto two, both Seely and Craig had their work cut out for them after poor starts left them at the back of the pack. Throughout the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race, the Red Riders worked their way into ninth and 12th, respectively.
For the third time since his injury at the Anaheim 2 Supercross, Team Honda HRC rider Ken Roczen joined his team to sign autographs for the fans and show support for the rest of his squad. “Things are going great with my recovery,” Roczen said. “My doctors have basically said I’m a freak of nature with how well things are healing. I have an appointment coming up to get some scans done to check everything out, but it’s going good. I’m still doing a lot of physical therapy and working on my range of motion in the wrist and elbow. It’s nice to be at the race to see my team and everyone but definitely torture not being out there. I can’t wait to get back on a bike.”
During race day’s timed qualifying practice at RedBud, Seely led the charge for Team Honda HRC by logging a 2’02.983” lap, the sixth-fastest time, while Craig was 12th-quickest at 2’03.670”.
Seely’s seventh-place performance moved him back into 10th in the championship standings with 132 points.
The Wednesday before RedBud, several members of Team Honda HRC took part in “Ride for Nicky,” a memorial bicycle ride for the late Nicky Hayden, winner of the 2006 MotoGP world championship. The 69-mile ride took place in Southern California and raised money for the Nicky Hayden Memorial Fund, which helps children in the Owensboro, Kentucky, community Nicky called home. Donations can be made to the fund here, and special Nicky Hayden cycling kids can be purchased here.
On July 8, Team Honda HRC will campaign the seventh round of the 2017 AMA Pro Motocross championship, which takes place at The Wick 338 in Southwick, Massachusetts. “I actually really like Southwick,” Seely said. “It’s one of my favorite rounds. I’m glad it’s back on the schedule and happy I get to race there because I missed it last year with my injury. I’m pretty excited about it. I heard they added a ton more sand, which is cool because the track I’ve been practicing on in Florida is a sand track. I feel like I’ll be better prepared for it.”
THE FOCUS: Celebrating 25 Years of Graphics
Along vendor row, RedBud race fans had a chance to see history at a display organized by longtime Team Honda sponsor Throttle Jockey, as the brand celebrated their 25th anniversary by displaying three significant Honda race bikes.
“We decided what better way to celebrate than to have a display at RedBud,” said Throttle Jockey co-owner Matt Davis, whose company is based 100 miles south in Kokomo, Indiana. “The first bike was the 1992 Peak Antifreeze Pro Circuit Honda that Jeremy McGrath won his 125cc supercross championship on. That was our first year as a brand and the first major team that we worked with. Then the first year we did graphics for the factory Honda team was 1995, so we had a replica of Jeremy McGrath’s 1-800-COLLECT CR250, which he won the 250cc championship on that year. We also had Ezra Lusk’s 2001 CR250 Jurassic Park 3 movie-promotion bike, which was only raced one day by Lusk, at the 2001 RedBud round. That day at RedBud, the team actually had one of those cardboard movie-theater displays, which they ended up giving to us that day. We’ve kept it all these years and had it with the bike on display today.”
With the race taking place over the Independence Day Weekend, Team Honda HRC ran patriotic red, white, and blue liveries on the factory CRF450R race machines, with stars lining the fork guards and custom seat cover. Replica graphic kids are available through Throttle Jockey’s website.
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Cole Seely 14
The first moto was good. I got a decent start and worked my way up to fourth but tipped over. I got back up in eighth and made my way back up to sixth by the end. We made a few more bike changes before the second moto, which I was pretty happy with. I mistimed the gate and got a terrible start and definitely suffered from that. I felt good riding though and think I’m getting stronger, but it’s frustrating. I’m making some big changes to my program to do better, but there are some things I’m still struggling with. Like I said, I feel like I’m getting stronger, so with a little more time it should come full-circle.
Christian Craig 48
It was a decent day after a couple weeks off with a broken hand, so I’m glad to be back at the races. Qualifying went okay and I tried to go into the motos open-minded. I wanted to come back where I left off at Glen Helen, potentially in a podium position. I got the holeshot, which was awesome; my starts have been on point this whole season. I led some laps but then tightened up and got arm pump around lap five or six. I stayed in fourth most of the race and just focused on clicking off consistent laps but unfortunately, Blake [Baggett] got me toward the end so I finished fifth. I felt good though. In moto two, I flinched at the gate and got a terrible start. I focused on making some quick passes early in the race but once I got into 13th, I was kind of alone most of the time. I made a few more passes toward the end but I just didn’t have a lot left in the tank after the first moto. Overall, I’m happy with the first moto, so we’ll build on that and work on getting stronger in the second moto.
Overall I’m fairly happy with how today went. Christian got another awesome start in the first moto, rode some solid laps up front, and finished strong. Cole also got a top-10 start and was riding well before a tip-over. We need to work on getting stronger in the second moto. Both riders got bad starts but also need to build up their strength. We always want the bike to be better and make the rider more comfortable, which is what we need to work on. Cole is having a hard time finding the balance of the bike, especially from track to track. In the first moto he struggled with the front end, so we made some adjustments for the second race but then he struggled with the rear. We’ll continue to work on dialing in the bikes and both Cole and Christian will get stronger with their Florida program.
Mechanic (Cole Seely)
Before the first practice we made some changes on the bike, which wasn't the right direction so ultimately we went back to our base and made some other changes that worked better in the second session. We’re not in a points position for the championship so we’re not really going to lose anything by making some changes and trying new things. I was happy with how Cole rode in the first moto. He got a good start and was riding well before making a little mistake and going down. After getting back up, he still was putting together good laps all the way to the end and even passed Trey [Canard] toward the end to finish sixth. He rode well in the second moto too but got a terrible start.
Mechanic (Christian Craig)
For his first race back, I think Christian did pretty good today. He rode great in moto one, getting the holeshot, leading laps, and still finishing fifth. His start in moto two was really bad and he had his work cut out for him, starting at the back of the pack. He made it up to 12th before losing steam and settling into a pace. We didn’t make too many changes to his bike today but it’s going to be a work in progress; he’s going to need to be better and the bike needs to be better too. It’s a complete package.
Source: Honda Racing Corporation
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