Podium Finish for Seely at Anaheim 2, Roczen Injured
Round three of the AMA Supercross series was bittersweet for Team Honda HRC, as Cole Seely turn in a solid performance to notch his first podium finish of the season, while teammate and erstwhile championship leader Ken Roczen was injured in a hard crash.
Seely launching his CRF450R to a third-place start and then quickly made the pass into second place. He maintained that position until just after the halfway point, when a mistake caused him to stall his bike, resulting in the loss of one spot. Seely ultimately took the checkered flag in third, earning the 10th podium finish of his 450 career.
After a less-than-desirable start in the main event, Roczen had quickly navigated through the pack and was sitting third behind Seely on lap 9, when he lost control through a rhythm section, separated from his bike in the air and went down hard, leaving him with a compound fracture of his left radius and a dislocated elbow and wrist. Roczen was transported to a local hospital for evaluation before flying to Colorado on Sunday morning to have his personal physician perform surgery. Additional information will be released when it becomes available.
- On Thursday, Ken Roczen and Cole Seely spent time at American Honda’s headquarters in Torrance, California, for a full day of activities. In the morning, the two factory riders were in the motorcycle-division’s offices for a Q&A and autograph session with associates. After that, Roczen and Seely headed down to the race shop for a fun video shoot that will be highlighted in Episode 2 of Honda’s REDefined web series, dropping early next month.
- On race day, Team Honda HRC was pleased to host a special guest, Foo Fighters bassist Nate Mendel. Mendel and his friends spent time in the pits with the team, touring the semi, meeting the riders and interviewing with Fox Sports 1 reporter Jenny Taft.
- With inclement weather causing the cancelation of free practice for the third consecutive week, riders were forced to learn the track while trying to lay down fast qualifying times for the evening program. Roczen ultimately qualified fourth-fastest with a 55.846-second time, while Seely was eighth with a time of 56.418.
- At Anaheim 2, Team Honda HRC was pleased to host Mr. Naoki Hattori from the HRC Business Support Division, who was attending on an official trip.
- As has been the case at every round so far this season, both Team Honda HRC riders were seeded in the same heat race. When the gate dropped, Roczen emerged as the early leader and rode unchallenged to his third heat-race win of the season. Seely came off he line in sixth and spent the entire seven-lap race battling for a transfer spot, swapping positions back and forth before finishing fourth and advancing to the main.
- This Saturday, Team Honda HRC will campaign round 4 of the AMA Supercross series, in Glendale, Arizona. The evening before the race, a rider appearance is scheduled at RideNow Powersports in Peoria.
THE FOCUS: Honda’s Above and Beyond Impact Award
At the beginning of the season, American Honda’s Brand Ambassador Andrew Short had the idea to implement a weekly Team Honda HRC award to recognize a team member for putting in a particularly impressive effort. The person who earns the award signs it and keeps it until the next round.
“I believe people underestimate what it takes in terms of passion, love and just pure hours of hard work to go racing at a high level,” Short explained. “At Honda, I feel it’s currently like a big family, and it’s great to recognize someone that does something outstanding that helps elevate those around them to be at their best. There are a lot of people behind the scenes that make race day look good each and every week. Plus it’s fun and something I look forward to, and it helps the camaraderie.”
Short himself was the winner of the award at the opening round, in recognition of his help doing interviews, signing autographs and filming and mentoring the riders. Engine technician Lars Lindsrom got the nod at round two after sacrificing family time to drive to Arizona to help the riders train and to work on their bikes. Support mechanic Jason Thomas won the award this week for his work building and prepping bikes throughout the week, for Short and the REDefined video shoot. The plan is for the riders add their signatures to the award at season’s end and to auction it off, with proceeds going to the Road 2 Recovery Foundation.