With the 2019 race season quickly approaching, it’s time to bring you up to speed on how the paddock will look come Anaheim One. Over the next few weeks, we will share updates and background on the top racers and teams, including the staff members, gear deals, equipment, and other important information.
Team Honda HRC is one of the largest, most accomplished organizations in the history of American motocross racing and the race team looks poised to add more success in 2019. The team will again field two racers in the 450 class with Cole Seely and Ken Roczen aboard full factory CRF450R motorcycles equipped with Yoshimura exhausts, Kayaba suspension (this could change based on rider’s personal preference), Renthal handlebars and chainwheels, Dunlop tires, Wiseco engine internals, and Hinson Racing clutch components. Former racer Erik Kehoe will return to his post as Team Manager.
14. Cole Seely
Mechanic | Jordan Troxell
With a new one-year contract extension for 2019, Seely returns to Team Honda HRC for what will be his fifth year with the factory squad. The 2018 season started off well for Seely as he amassed six top-ten finishes in the first seven rounds, the best being a second-place finish at Anaheim Two (that came thanks to a Moto win in the night's Triple Crown format). Unfortunately, disaster struck at the Tampa round when Seely crashed in a technical rhythm section and suffered injuries to his pelvis, sacrum, and abdominal wall. This required extensive surgeries and time off the bike, which kept Seely from racing the remaining AMA events in 2018.
There is only one major change to Seely's racing program for 2019, as longtime mechanic Rich Simmons has decided to step away from the racing scene. Jordan Troxell, a longtime mechanic at Troy Lee Designs and a friend of Seely, has been hired to handling the wrenching duties.
Seely will wear Troy Lee Designs helmets and gear, SPY goggles, and Alpinestars boots.
94. Ken Roczen
Mechanic | Oscar Wirdeman
2019 will be the final year of Roczen's initial three-year contract with Team Honda HRC, and although there has been no confirmation of an extension, we expect to see an announcement that will keep the 94 on red at some point in the season. Roczen's return to racing following a serious injury was a main talking point of 2018 and it didn't take long for him to be in the mix for positions at the front of the field, evident in his second-place finish at the Houston Supercross and five top-ten finishes in six races. A run-in with Cooper Webb at the San Diego Supercross resulted in a second serious arm injury in thirteen months and this sidelined him until the start of the Nationals. A slow start to the summer turned into consistent finishes for Roczen, which included his first outdoor Moto win since 2016 at RedBud and a third-place rank in the championship standings.
Roczen will continue his long relationship with Fox Racing for gear, helmets, boots, and goggles, as well as a personal endorsement deal with Red Bull.