Team Honda HRC | 2017 Thunder Valley MX

Race Report from Team Honda HRC

Seely Sixth Overall at Thunder Valley National
At the third round of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Lakewood, Colorado, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely finished sixth overall for the day with 5-10 marks. In the first moto, Seely got a good jump out of the gate but was pinched off and forced to go around a downed rider, shuffling him back to seventh. By the sixth lap, the Californian had worked his way into third, which he maintained for a majority of the 30-minute-plus-two-lap race. During the closing laps, Seely came under pressure, ultimately relinquishing two positions before the checkered flag. In moto two, Seely was slow off the start, rounding the first turn in 10th. He swapped positions multiple times during the race but was unable to advance, finishing in the same position.

NOTES

-On the eve of the race, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely and Andrew Short, along with GEICO Honda’s Jimmy Decotis and Cameron McAdoo, attended Sun Enterprise’s annual fan fest, one of the largest autograph signings of the year. Hundreds of racing enthusiasts were on hand to meet the riders and take part in the festival-style event.
-Following his crash at Glen Helen Raceway, fill-in rider Christian Craig underwent surgery to repair a “boxer break” in his left hand. The goal is for Craig to return to action at the High Point National after 10 full days of off-the-bike rehabilitation.
-During the Saturday morning practice sessions, Seely struggled to gain momentum on the challenging Colorado track, qualifying 10th with a 2:15.631 time.
-It was another impressive day for GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin, who scored his second podium finish of the season with 3-2 results aboard his CRF250R. Martin currently sits third in the championship standings with 101 points.
-Team Honda HRC and the other squads will take a one-week hiatus before returning to action on June 17 for round four at High Point Raceway in Mount Morris, Pennsylvania. Prior to round four, Seely and Craig will partake in press-day activities. “I’ve really been dealing with two injuries at the same time, from supercross and my crash at the first round,” Seely said. “I’ve been sacrificing training during the week so that I feel good on the weekend, so I’m definitely looking forward to the weekend off so I can rest and hopefully heal up more.”

THE FOCUS: Seely Switches Coasts

Directly following the Thunder Valley National, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely made the move from his home in Costa Mesa, California, to Claremont, Florida, for the remainder of the summer. The laid-back California native opted for the change of locales in hopes of taking his training program to the next level. The high temperatures and humidity will be an adjustment for Seely, but his hope is that he’ll benefit in the long run.

“The past couple years have been a struggle for me,” Seely said. “It’s not that I haven’t been trying, but I’ve definitely realized recently that I just need a change. I sat down and talked with my mechanic Rich [Simmons], who’s been a part of my program since 2009, about my situation and discussed how I can elevate my whole program in order to better myself. We both agreed that it was time for a change, and a big change at that—not just switching trainers or riding coaches. I’ve been happy with what I’ve been doing previously in California but this year has definitely opened my eyes to realizing I need more.”

Seely added that the move isn’t financially prohibitive. “I sat down and budgeted out my whole month on what I was spending on training and going to tracks in California and saw that moving to Florida, getting an apartment and a trainer there, still wasn’t breaking the budget of what I was spending at home,” he explained. “It makes a lot of sense to make the change. There were a lot of moving parts in order to get everything figured out, but Rich and the team made it really easy. I know it’s going to be a struggle at first, spending the summer in the heat and humidity, but I think it’s going to benefit me toward the second half of the summer and especially going into next year.”

Cole Seely 14
We made quite a few changes leading into this weekend and then even more after practice, which worked out really well. I was stoked with the calls that the team and I made in terms of bike setup going into today. The first moto was good. I had a really good flow going. I got off to a decent start and pushed my way forward into third. Toward the end, [Blake] Baggett and [Marvin] Musquin had a pretty fast pace going that I couldn’t really hang onto so I came home in fifth, which is a good result. I definitely started to feel it more in the second moto; my hip started to lock up again and I was overcompensating for a lot of things. The track was really brutal, so I just tried to ride within my zone and not take too many unnecessary risks.

Keisuke Inomoto
Representative Director: Team Honda/ HRC Motocross
Seely rode pretty well in the first moto, with a good start. He seemed to have gotten tired towards the end and also in the second moto. He didn’t have enough time to prepare himself for the nationals due to his leg injury from supercross so I’m sure his results will get better as the season progresses.

Dan Betley
Team Manager
I’m disappointed with today’s overall result, although it’s pretty consistent with the first three rounds this season. Cole rode really well in the first moto, falling off the times a little toward the end but overall really solid. He’s having some trouble in his second motos, but he has the speed to be on the podium and his move to Florida should be a big benefit as the season moves east.

Rich Simmons
Mechanic (Cole Seely)
Today was interesting. Cole had a good first moto, and then I have no idea what happened in the second moto. He got a top 10 start in the second race but never got going and I’m not sure why. He’s been struggling in the second motos but normally he’s faster at the start and then falls off the pace toward the end, but today he just couldn’t find the pace throughout the entire race. Overall, the bike was definitely better. We did some testing during the week and made changes to both the fork and shock, which I think helped a lot. He was happy and I think it showed in the first moto. We have a one-weekend break and he’s going to Florida now, so I think he’ll be a little tired when he first gets back but overall it will be positive for him.