AMA Pro Motocross 2017
Tough Day in Tennessee for Team Honda HRC
It was a challenging day for Team Honda HRC during round five of the AMA Pro Motocross Series at Tennessee's Muddy Creek Raceway, as Cole Seely was sidelined following a crash early in moto 1. When the gate dropped for the day's first race, Seely got a good jump off the line but lost momentum up the hill and was shuffled back to nearly 15th around the first turn. The California native worked his way into 10th on the opening lap and continued to charge forward. He and another rider made contact over a jump while battling on lap 3, with Seely ultimately hitting the ground hard. After he was checked out by the Alpinestars Mobile Medical Unit, the team determined it would be best for him to sit out of the second race for precautionary reasons.
On Friday, Cole Seely and GEICO Honda's RJ Hampshire, Chase Sexton, and Cameron McAdoo attended a pre-race Motocross party at Atlas Motorsports in Bristol, Tennessee. Hundreds of fans were on hand to get autographs and meet their favorite racers.
Light rain during the early portions of the day made for slick and muddy track conditions throughout qualifying practice, which proved difficult for Seely as he struggled to get comfortable. After two sessions, Seely qualified 12th with a 1:54.368 time.
Fredrik Noren, who has ridden for the factory team several times in the past and who now races for the Precision Site Work/TiLube squad, had a decent day in Tennessee. The Swede secured a creditable 12th-overall result aboard his CRF450R via 13-8 marks in the motos.
Next up for Team Honda HRC is round six of the AMA Pro Motocross series, which takes place at iconic RedBud MX in Buchanan, Michigan, over Independence Day weekend. "RedBud is probably my favorite race of the year," Seely said. "They do a great job with the track, and the whole atmosphere is unreal. The fans are crazy and overall it's just an awesome event."
THE FOCUS: From Japan to Tennessee
With Christian Craig missing the event to recover from injuries, and Cole Seely's moto-one crash preventing him from scoring points on the weekend, the Tennessee round was undeniably frustrating for Team Honda HRC. That said, the squad did have a bright spot at Muddy Creek, with Toshiki Tomita notching his best round of the series thus far.
A past Japanese National Champion who is competing in the AMA Pro Motocross series with support from HRC, Tomita spent much of the past year recovering from a serious back injury and only began riding again at the end of March. "I want to be faster and stronger," Tomita said in a recent Transworld MX video. "I want to get skill, speed, and experience from the American top guys. I want to take myself to the next level. My goal is top 10 or top 15."
Tomita came close to achieving that goal in Tennessee with his 16th-place finish in the second moto, a result that combined with an 18th-place moto-one showing to put him 17th overall. Tomita also advanced four positions in the points standings to 24th.
Cole Seely 14
I'm bummed how today ended because I was feeling good before I crashed. It was early in the race but I definitely had more to give and think I could have kept working my way forward. I had a good jump out of the gate off the start but shifted into third and lost all my momentum because it was so deep. A few laps later, while I was battling with Cooper [Webb], we came together over a jump and hit. Unfortunately, I got the worst of it and went down hard. I got checked out by Alpinestars and the team, and I decided it was best to sit out the second race.
I'm a little frustrated in today's outcome, just because we've had such a tough run with injuries, but overall I'm very happy that Cole is okay. I was standing right where he went down, so I saw the whole crash and it wasn't good. We'll be back next weekend at RedBud with both Cole and Christian, so hopefully we rebound and get back toward the front.
Mechanic (Cole Seely)
I feel bad for Cole today. He struggled to get comfortable and find a good pace in qualifying but was riding well during the race before he went down. I didn't see the crash but it didn't sound good over the radio, so I'm happy he's walking away unharmed for the most part.
450 Moto 1 Results
Pos. Rider Num Nation Points Team Time/Gap
Jason 21 USA 25 Rockstar Husqvarna
Eli 3 USA 22 Monster Energy Kawasaki
Blake 4 USA 20 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
Weston 23 USA 18 JGR
Justin 51 USA 16 JGR
Broc 20 USA 15 RCH Soaring Eagle Jimmy Johns Suzuki Factory Racing
Marvin 25 FRA 14 Red Bull KTM
Dean 15 GBR 13 Rockstar Husqvarna
Cooper 17 USA 12 Star/MyPlash/Yamalube/Yamaha
Trey 41 USA 11 Red Bull KTM
Martin 47 ECU 10 Rockstar Husqvarna
Justin 19 USA 9 RCH Racing
Fredrik 40 SWE 8 TiLUBE Storm Lake Honda
Dakota 70 USA 7 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC KTM WPS
John 253 USA 6 ACM Services/ Short racing
Josh 125 USA 5 HD Supply Husqvarna
Heath USA 4 Got Gear Motorsports