Canard to Daytona with his CRF450R
With every passing day Trey Canard of the GEICO Powersports Honda race team is getting more comfortable at the top level of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series.
Canard, who is currently third in the points in the Supercross Lites West series, finished second in just his second start on a 450cc bike last weekend in Atlanta. He enters this weekend’s ninth race of the 2010 series at Daytona International Speedway with another week of practice under his belt and he’s ready to once again prove his worth.
Trey Canard Speaks…
"It’s amazing how much a couple of days of testing help," Canard said. "I don’t think Indy (his first Supercross start subbing for injured Team Honda rider Andrew Short) was that bad, even though I didn’t finish the race. I just got a bad start, crashed and broke something on the bike. It was just a rough weekend, but all-in-all I think it helped me."
The fresh-faced 19-year-old quickly rebounded to that second-place finish in Atlanta, even though he says the larger bike requires a different touch than the 250cc machine.
"The weight of the bike isn’t all that different," Canard said. "It’s the inertia of the bike, the increased mass of the moving parts, that makes it feel a lot heavier when you are turning and jumping. The throttle control on the bike is pretty different also. And staying calm when you are in a racing moment, that’s been the biggest challenge so far."
Canard said it’s been a thrill to take the track alongside riders he grew up admiring, especially GEICO Powersports Honda teammate and Supercross legend Kevin Windham.
"Racing with K-Dub is an honor," Canard said. "He’s been racing professionally about as long as I’ve been alive. That’s a cool thing to be able to do. I’ve got a lot of respect for Kevin and the other 50 riders out there."
After back-to-back podium finishes, Windham saw a great start to his Atlanta race go sour in the main event. He was the low qualifier at the Georgia Dome and easily won his heat race. However a crash early in the main interrupted his recent string of success. He did rally for a 14th place finish on the day, however, and now sits seventh in the standings.
Aside from the team connection to Windham, Canard said he’s been treated well by the other riders because he’s not in the way of their championship aspirations.
"It’s been pretty cool because I’ve not been much of a threat to them," Canard said. "I’m not running for points; I’m basically just another body there. Everyone has treated me with quite a bit of respect. It’s been a pretty cool experience."
What would be cooler for Canard is to improve on that second-place finish in Atlanta and earn a victory at Daytona, hallowed ground for anyone involved in motorsports.
"My intentions are to go race my motorcycle and learn as much as I can," Canard said. "I’m not here to make enemies. Winning in Daytona would be insane; I’d be stoked for sure. But the main thing I need to remember is that I’m here to do the best I can."