Trey Canard doesn’t seek out the motocross spotlight, preferring instead to quietly blend into the background and enjoy life’s pleasures as they unfold in front of him.
But the way the 20-year-old, fresh-faced kid from Oklahoma has been riding his GEICO Powersports Honda lately, being center stage is becoming a regular occurrence, one the team hopes he repeats at this weekend’s AMA Pro Motocross race at the Unadilla Nationals.
Canard is the hottest rider in the Lucas Oil Motocross Championship 250cc class, winning the last three national events in Red Bud, Spring Creek, and Washougal.
His fast rise to title contender has even made him the favorite to bring home a championship for the GEICO Powersports Honda team, which features legend Kevin Windham, Aussie Brett Metcalfe, New York native Justin Barcia, Texan Blake Wharton, and rookie Eli Tomac.
Trey Canard says: “To win that first race in Red Bud was really big for me,” Canard said. “It had been nearly three years since I’d won an outdoor race. Then to add two more on top of that, well, it’s hard to describe how much that means.”
Showing true championship grit, Canard isn’t resting on his recent accomplishments, choosing instead to push himself harder.
Canard continues “I’m always looking for things I can do better,” he said. “Every rider has weak areas. I’m certainly no exception. That’s why you get up and ride every day. It gives you the motivation to work out, watch your diet, and do all the other little things you need to do to stay competitive at this level.”
Canard enters Unadilla 38 points back of Christophe Pourcel. Helping him track down the talented Frenchman in 250cc competition will be teammates Barcia, Wharton, and Tomac.
Born in Monroe, N.Y., Barcia is sure to have a huge group of supporters this weekend. Currently fifth in the rankings, Barcia has one moto win this season and has contended for several others.
After a sluggish start, Wharton has fought his way up the standings to his current sixth-place perch through consistent and relentless riding.
Tomac, meanwhile, started his pro career with a win in Hangtown. He’s been learning the professional ropes ever since, maintaining enough momentum to earn eighth place overall through the first two-thirds of the outdoor season.
Since joining the 450cc ranks two races ago at the Spring Creek event as a fill-in for injured Team Honda rider Davi Millsaps, Windham has quickly shown the same form that lifted him to a runner-up finish in the 2010 Supercross Series. He’s already posted a holeshot start and has led several laps in his first four motos.
The team’s other championship contender is Metcalfe, who like Canard prefers to let his bike do his talking for him. A lofty third in the world rankings, “Metty” has a pair of holeshot starts to go with several podium finishes.