Monday, March 13, 2017

Martin Takes Home Second at the Daytona Supercross by Honda, Seely Fifth

Courtesy of Honda Racing Corporation

AMA Supercross 2017   Round 10

Martin Takes Home Second at the Daytona Supercross by Honda, Seely Fifth

It was an exciting night for Team Honda HRC as fill-in rider Jeremy Martin put together a stellar performance, leading over half of the main event before taking the checkered in second at the 46th annual Daytona Supercross by Honda. Martin who currently rides full-time for the GEICO Honda squad in the Western Regional 250SX series impressed everyone during his premier-class debut aboard a factory CRF450R. Despite having a poor gate pick, Martin launched off the line from the far outside and didn’t let off the gas until he found himself at the front of the pack. The Minnesota native held off multiple advances from the competition throughout the first 10-laps of the race before relinquishing the lead. He held tough to the finish, taking the checkered nearly 10-seconds ahead of third.

Although he wanted more, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely secured a solid fifth-place finish, moving him up to third in the championship standings. Sitting eighth after the first turn, Seely quickly maneuvered his way into sixth on the opening lap. By lap 11, he had made his way into fourth. Seely came under fire on the last lap but ultimately was unable to hold off the competition, losing one spot to take the checkered in fifth.

  • On Friday, Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda riders participated in the pre-event press day, where they spoke with local media and were given the opportunity to try out a section of the track ahead of Saturday’s race. ”Even though they don’t let us ride very long here, it’s still beneficial to be able to preview a part of the track and kind of check out the layout and dirt prior to Saturday. I just wish we could ride a larger section because sometimes I get bored riding the small circle they give us,” Seely laughed.
  • Team Honda HRC provided special access to a group of promotional winners for Daytona International Speedway, organizing a rig tour and opportunity to meet Seely and Roczen prior to the race. The riders signed autographs and took photos with the fans.
  • On race day, Martin worked with both his current GEICO mechanic Richard Sterling, as well as Team Honda HRC support mechanic Jason Thomas. The two divided up tasks throughout the day with Thomas working on the bike and joining Martin on the starting line, while Sterling was in the mechanics area giving out the pit board messages.
  • During the daytime qualifying practice sessions, Martin was also impressive, laying down a 1:11.105 lap in the second session for second fastest, while teammate Seely clocked a 1:11.848 for 8th.
  • In 450SX heat 1, both Honda riders got off the line to top 10 starts with Martin fifth and Seely eighth. They swapped multiple positions throughout the six-lap race but were ultimately forced to transfer through the semi. During the semi, Seely took over the early lead and rode to a solid win, while Martin secured a respectable fifth.
  • Jeremy Martin’s third-place podium finish marks only the fourth time since 1976 a rider has gotten a podium finish in their first start at Daytona.
  • On Sunday following the race, Honda’s racing endeavors continued 55 miles from Daytona Beach in Palatka where JCR Honda’s Trevor Bollinger competed in the Wild Boar GNCC aboard the all-new CRF450RX.
  • On Saturday, March 18, Team Honda HRC will be in Indianapolis for round 11 of the AMA Supercross series. It will be a short week for Seely, as he will head to Indiana early for press activities and an event with team sponsor Honda Performance Development (HPD). 
THE FOCUS: Roczen Returns to the Track with Team Honda HRC
Following the Toronto Supercross, Team Honda HRC riders and crew headed directly to Florida to do some pre-Daytona testing near Clermont. While there, the team also got to spend time with Ken Roczen, who many have not seen since his horrific accident at Anaheim 2. On Tuesday, Roczen hosted the team at his house for a catered dinner and a fun evening.

Roczen also joined his crew on race day in Daytona. He sat alongside Seely, Short, and Martin during autograph session and even after the 30-minutes time frame was up, Roczen continued to take photos and sign autographs for his devoted fans who were ecstatic to see him. During the evening program, Roczen gave an interview on the podium before heading up to the Fox Sports broadcast booth to sit down with Ralph Sheheen for a candid interview, where he provided an update on his recovery. (Full Interview Here)

“It was awesome to see Kenny this week,” stated team manager Dan Betley. “I’ve spoken to him many times on the phone but to have him out at the track with us and to see him in such good spirits was really great. He’s gone through a lot but has been raised to be tough and it definitely shows. The team is behind him 100% throughout his journey back to racing.”

Jeremy Martin  6

Honestly, I was surprised that I qualified so good. These guys are really fast and they’ve had a lot of experience. I just had a good feeling today. That new Honda is an amazing bike. Today was my eighth day on the bike and I’ve really enjoyed it and working with the whole Factory Honda team. The bike’s good. I had 18th gate pick and I was on the outside. I knew I had to do something, so I threw it into the first turn on the outside and I railed the crap out of that berm. Just tried to do my best, but I knew the green machine was coming. To be able to lead, I think it was 10 laps, was just so cool. I have much respect for everyone in the class. I just got a good start and put myself in a good position.


Cole Seely  14

Today was all right. There are some positives to take away but a lot of negatives too so I’m a little bummed. I still finished in the top five so that is good but Dungey edged me out on the last lap with only two turns to go so I was almost fourth, which was unfortunate. I made some big mistakes here and there but also hit some pretty bad lapped traffic. It’s so frustrating that those guys just don’t get out of the way sometimes. I really just want to move forward though. I’ve been in the top five or six the past four rounds, which is great and all, but I want to be up front. It’s that plain and simple. I need to start putting myself in a better position off the start.

Dan Betley

Team Manager

It’s great to be back up on the podium here at the Daytona Supercross by Honda. I’m incredibly impressed and happy with how Jeremy performed today. I told him that anyone could win or be on the podium tonight if you just get a holeshot and put together solid laps. When it came time to pull it off, he pulled it off. What was so funny, right before the gate drop, I asked over the radio where the guys were lined up. I thought Oscar [Wirdeman] said five right of the box, so I counted over and couldn’t really tell who it was from the tower so just watched that person and when the gate dropped they went backward so I’m like oh great. Then I see this little number six hauling into the first turn, and I’m thinking ‘holy crap he’s actually going to do it’. He rode well but fell off the pace a little toward the end but that is to be expected. To jump onto a 450 in these conditions is hard and he handled it really great. Cole seemed to struggle again. The positive is that he moved up to third in points but he’s stuck in this rut where he’s finishing fifth and sixth and he’s better than that. We just need to keep working on it.

Richard Sterling

Mechanic (Jeremy Martin)

I think Jeremy rode awesome. Our whole goal was to battle with those guys and he did that without giving up. We got him really comfortable on the bike coming into this weekend during our test, which was great. We were right there in the top 10 all day through qualifying then in the last one he put down a great lap for second. I think he got a little excited in the heat – anyone would be during their first 450 race – making some mistakes and sending him to the semi. He had a pretty far outside gate for the main event, but he never shut off and came out with the holeshot. It was Jeremy and [Eli] Tomac up front setting the pace, putting almost 20-seconds on third. Once Tomac got around him, he just muscled it in for second. This was a great opportunity for him and to be able to bring home a second at Daytona, where Honda is the title sponsor is huge.

Rich Simmons

Mechanic (Cole Seely)

Positives for tonight are that he moved into third in points, which I’m honestly not too worried about. I think he rode okay but was just stuck in the pace of [Justin] Brayton and [Chad] Reed, which was not a very good pace. Even though it was a pretty one-lined track, he could have made passes early in the race. I feel like he just settled in and didn’t put in the sprint effort, which is what we’ve been working on. I guess we need to go back to the drawing table with him and see what we’re missing.

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