After a short hiatus, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely made a return to action for round 16 of the AMA Supercross series in New Jersey before he was once again sidelined with a painful adductor. In the main event, the Californian got off to a poor start, but by the completion of the first lap he had passed several riders to sit 12th. He continued to mount an impressive charge, moving into sixth on lap 13. Unfortunately, four laps later he cased a rhythm section, ripping his feet off the pegs and aggravating his groin injury. Seely will visit his doctor at home for a prognosis.
For the second time this season, riders and teams were on a daytime schedule due to the New Jersey Supercross airing live on the Fox network. The program started three hours earlier than normal, and the racing was completed by 8 p.m.Team Honda HRC was happy to support Road 2 Recovery by providing an auction winner and his family with a tour of the team’s technical truck, as well as an autographed Cole Seely jersey.During the daytime qualifying sessions, Seely notched the sixth-quickest lap time at 52.313”, while MotoConcepts rider Justin Brayton was 12th with a 53.433” lap.For Seely, it was an afternoon of intense battles. In heat 1, he got off to a fourth-place start but was shuffled around during the first few laps. He fought hard for the final transfer spot but ultimately finished fifth, sending him to the semi. When the gate dropped for semi 1, Seely grabbed the holeshot and early lead. During the closing laps, another hard-fought tussle broke out with Seely swapping for lead multiple times before taking the checkered flag with the win.With the MotoConcepts Honda hauler not making the 2,000 mile trek from Salt Lake City to New Jersey, Justin Brayton and his CRF450R were pitted under the factory tent for the day. Brayton put together a solid performance, matching his season-best finish of sixth in the main event.
May 6 will mark the final round of the AMA Supercross championship, at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas, where Team Honda HRC hopes to finish the season on a positive note.
THE FOCUS: Gate Selection
Most race fans know that one of the most important parts of any race is the start, and that begins with a good gate selection, which is in turn affected by a rider’s result in daytime and evening qualifying. “Any time you’re in the top three or four, it’s a good thing,” Cole Seely explained. “There are so many variables to picking your gate that everything really has to add up. Winning your heat race or getting second is very big because you have more options in the main event, and obviously the further back you go in finishing position, the fewer options you’ll have.”
Seely pointed out that there’s more to a good gate spot than how far inside or outside it’s located. “When you’re looking at a gate, the first thing we look at is the rut in front of it,” he said. “A lot of times, they can get big holes or a sharp curb that could cause your wheel to go airborne or jump around. Then we look at the rut behind the gate. Usually you want the smoothest, straightest one, with the best dirt possible for traction. When mechanics are kicking and stomping the gate, they’re trying to kick in the sides of the rut to get some fresh dirt in there for more traction.”
Cole Seely 14
I’m frustrated with the way I rode tonight even before the injury, and now to be in the same situation is a huge bummer. I got a terrible start and although I didn’t feel like I was riding well, I had worked my way up to sixth. I felt like I needed to find something on the track to go faster so I tried to go three out at the end of a rhythm section and didn’t make it. I cased it, which ripped my feet off the pegs and hurt my leg again so I couldn’t hold onto the bike. That’s basically how I injured it the first time in St. Louis. Luckily, it didn’t pop again because that would mean it tore again so hopefully it’s not that bad.
I’m bummed for Cole. We’re really hoping that his injury didn’t get worse and tear more, which would be a huge bummer. We’ll just have to take it day by day and see how he feels before he gets back on the bike. The track was really tough but I think Cole was riding well considering his bad start.
Mechanic (Cole Seely)
I thought Cole had some good moments tonight. He was a little off in his heat and semi but he battled hard each race. For a bad start, I think he rode pretty well in the main event. When he caught and passed [Justin] Barcia, his lap time dropped back down into the 54-second mark, which was decent. Unfortunately, he didn’t feel that good on the track and he couldn’t see the pit board in the mechanics’ area, so he had no idea that each lap he was doing better. Hopefully he’ll be back for Las Vegas but we also need to start prepping for Hangtown because he hasn’t done much outdoor testing. Luckily Andrew [Short] has been helping us develop the bike.
450SX Main Event Results
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
Ryan 5 USA 25 Red Bull KTM
Marvin 25 FRA 22 Red Bull KTM
Jason 21 USA 20 Rockstar Husqvarna
David 18 USA 18 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
Blake 4 USA 16 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
Justin 10 USA 15 Smartop MotoConcepts Racing
Joshua 33 USA 14 Monster Energy Kawasaki
Eli 3 USA 13 Monster Energy Kawasaki
Justin 51 USA 12 JGR
Dean 15 GBR 11 Rockstar Husqvarna
Jacob 12 USA 10 RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing
Chad 22 AUS 9 Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing
Malcolm USA 8 Ride365.com/Stewart Racing
Cooper 2 USA 7 Monster Energy/360fly/Chaparral/Yamaha Factory Racing
Nicholas USA 6 TPJ.com/Fly Racing
Cade 92 USA 5 K1 Speed/ BWR Engines
AJ 64 USA 4 JMR Racing
Dakota 151 USA 3 Team Tedder
Angelo 941 ITA 2 AL Motorsports
Ronnie 606 USA 1 DirtCandy Graphics
Cole 14 USA 1 Team Honda HRC
Bryce 240 USA 1 Barrettheritageracing.com