by Donn Maeda
Trey Canard has done what every motocross racer dreams; and he did it in his rookie season. The Oklahoma native rode his Torco Racing Fuels Honda all the way to the East Coast Lites Regional Championship, and did so in dramatic fashion. After winning three consecutive races at the beginning of the series, Canard suffered some bad luck while Lites powerhouse, Ryan Villopoto, chalked up wins of his own. It came down to the final East coast race in St. Louis, where Canard proved he had what it takes to be a champion. Now, there’s a new red-head on top of the Lites game…
Congratulations Trey. Has winning the East Coast title sunk in yet? What are you feeling?
It hasn’t sunk in. It seems only a few days ago I was working toward a Loretta’s Championship. I just won the Supercross Lites title. I don’t know what to think yet. I’m just taking it day-by-day, hour-by-hour.
What was your state of mind going into the night? Were you nervous or were you pretty calm?
I wasn’t nervous at all. Surprisingly, I was way crazier in Detroit. I was a complete head case riding super jittery and very defensively. When you are stuck in that mindset, your riding suffers. I let the head games get the best of me. I came into St. Louis knowing I needed to remain calm or the same thing was going to happen. I had one little bobble in practice but, for the most part, I felt super solid.
You won the first three races then two fourths, then a tenth in Detroit, which were all somehow due to crashes. We know you were pretty full of emotions after the tenth place finish in Detroit. What was going on?
I just felt crushed. That was when I realized how much my point lead had diminished. I soon realized that it wasn’t over and just needed to regroup for the next race. I think all in all it made for better racing. Although most anyone would like to just win every race and take the championship home early, that would just be boring for me.
Headed into St. Louis you knew that you had to win, but you tend to ride more defensive racing against RV2. In turn you end up riding much worse. With that said, was this a better scenario for you?
Oh heck yeah! Whenever I know I just have to finish in a certain position, I over-think and usually end up crashing. Anytime the math part of things comes into play, it usually affects me adversely. When I know I simply just need to win, it actually plays in my favor.
We’ve noticed your inspirational message hand written across your handle bar pad. What does two hands; two feet and one heart mean and was it changed for this weekend?
No, it stayed the same. It seemed to work in the past so why fix what’s not broken?? (Laughs) It basically means we are all the same. No one person has any advantage over the other. It helps me to put things into perspective and realize we are all on one equal playing field. Names and nicknames don’t mean anything!
Let’s fast-forward to the pivotal point of the main event where you and Villopoto came together. Can you tell us what happened?
Well, basically I was able to catch him and was set to make the pass then and there. He sort of cased the triple where I double-doubled. He drifted a tad wide so I knew that was where I needed to do it.
Did you actually make contact?
To be honest I’m not really sure. It was all a blur… I knew I wanted to pass him and if I did make contact I really didn’t mean to. He would have done the same exact thing to me. We were both running for a championship and, unfortunately, he went down. I’ve been told hhe easily could of backed off the gas a tad and not ended up off the track. That’s what I would of done.
Was there any words exchanged after the race?
No, not between us. I think other people in our organizations had words or something but I’m not really sure and really don’t care for it. We are dirt bike racers.
Was there ever a point this year when you didn’t think you were going to be able to pull off the championship, or did you believe in yourself the whole time?
No not really. I just rode the best I could. Next thing I knew I was fighting for an overall championship and that’s when I realized what was going on. Then Detroit came and went which messed me up mentally for a brief moment, but I was able to put my head down and take care of business.
What happens next? Is it all about the outdoors and the testing that accompany it, or are you still focused on SX and the upcoming East vs. West Shootout?
I really want to get the outdoor testing done so I can finish out the Supercross portion of the year. I will be out in California next week working on Outdoors and will get to do some SX testing too. The East/West Shootout has always been something I loved. I’m looking forward to that.
Now that you have a title under your belt are you going to start pushing the cool guy button on your phone, or are things going to remain the same for Trey Canard?
No way! You would think it would be life changing but I’m still the same guy. In fact,
if I ever get that way, slap me or something. (laughs)
Well Trey, congratulations again from all of us at Transworld. Is there anyone you want to thank?
Mostly the Lord Jesus Christ for giving me the talent to do what I do and for keeping me safe throughout the years. Also everyone involved with my team including Torco Racing Fuels, Honda, No Fear energy, Amsoil, Planet Fitness, Dunlop, DVS, my mechanic Brett and my Trainer Greg.