Trey Canard Exclusive Interview
Fresh off a win at the final round of the All Japan MX National Championship series at Sportsland Sugo in Sendai, Japan, we sat down with Team Honda HRC’s Trey Canard for an exclusive interview.
Canard talks to Ultimate MotorCycling Editor Don Williams about his goals for the 2016 Supercross series on his CRF450R, past injuries, visiting HRC’s MotoGP technical facilities while in Japan, and the insecurities that come with trying to stay on top in Supercross and Motocross.
Read our Justin Bogle Interview.
UMC: What are your expectations for 2016, both in general and anything specific?
Trey Canard: A major goal would be completing the whole season, every race. It’s something I’ve yet to do. If I want a shot at a championship, I’ve got to do that. So, it’s a big part of it. What I expect from myself is effort. I know I’ll give it my all and I’ll do my best, and I’ll work hard. But, as far as what I’d like to achieve, it’s obviously the championship, race wins, and consistency. We’re going to do our best to make that possible.
UMC: When you’ve come back from injuries, which you have had to do a lot, is it more of a mental issue or a physical issue. Which is harder?
TC: Ummm [hesitates], it’s both. With each injury it gets tougher. It’s not like you learn the processes and you’re able to do it easier. It’s more and more difficult to pick yourself up and tell yourself, “Next time it’s going to be different.” Mentally is tough, but physically it’s hard to continue to push yourself.
UMC: Before you got in the crash that ended your Supercross season last year, were you satisfied with your performance up to that point?
TC: Yeah, I really was. The riding was really good, I thought. The bike was great. The team was good. The only thing that was really lacking, I feel, was the starts. I really have nothing to complain about last year. It was great.
UMC: Your 2015 season ended on a fluke [Canard landed on Jake Weimer, who missed a jump].
TC: It’s just racing. If I had a better start, I wouldn’t have been in that position. But, sometimes these things happen. I’ve got to take responsibility for it, but at the same time that wasn’t due to a major error on my part.
UMC: How has HRC coming into the team impacted on how things work? What are the positives and negatives of that for you?
TC: It’s been great. Last year was definitely the best I’ve seen the team function and operate, and I think they’ve had a major hand in that. It’s been really encouraging just to see the effort they put behind it. They’re really dedicated to the work that we do, and they’re a part of it. It’s not like they’re just lending a hand; they’re part of everything that we’ve worked for and achieved. I hope that years from now that relationship continues to build and grow.
UMC: When you saw the MotoGP workshop, did you feel a little jealous?
TC: Oh, man, I don’t know [smiles]. So much of that stuff was so far over my head. They had so much data, it was unbelievable. I think it’s easier for them to use data because it’s a little less about rider feel, I think, than racing motocross, which is more rider preference. There are certain techniques that guys have. Road racing is much easier to gauge a lot of that stuff, because you’re on a similar surface and that kind of thing. But, it was amazing. It was cool to see what they have and some of that stuff does trickle down.
UMC: What has the 2016 Honda CRF450R brought you that you didn’t have in 2015?
TC: With the 2016, there’s not a lot that is terribly different. I think that’s good because we’ve taken our ’15 model and improved the weaknesses. Sometimes when you start completely fresh, you haven’t discovered the weaknesses, and I feel like we’re doing that. I feel like we’re improving, and that’s a good thing.
UMC: Are there any specific challenges you are expecting when prepping for the first Supercross round of 2016?
TC: I think the biggest challenge is myself. I’m my worst critic a lot of times. I give other people a lot more credit than I give myself. I’ve got to change that way of thinking and make sure that I’m aware that I’m capable, too, and I’m just as good as those other guys and we have every opportunity like they do. That’s important for me.
UMC: Do you not see yourself as one of the elite riders?
TC: It’s insecurity within all of us. We’re always measuring ourselves up against other people, and it’s certainly the case for me. We’re all insecure that we’re good enough, definitely in my case, so I’ve just got to remind myself that I do have what it takes.
UMC: Do you have an expected number of wins for 2016?
TC: If I didn’t get a win, I’d be disappointed. But, I think to win a championship, you’re going to have to win a handful of races. I think four, five or six is a good number. I think the consistency is the main part, just being there each race and not having that big catastrophic race.
Paddock photos by Don Williams
Track photos by Garth Milan
2016 Supercross Schedule
|January 9||Angel Stadium||Anaheim|
|January 16||Petco Park||San Diego|
|January 23||Angel Stadium||Anaheim|
|January 30||O.Co Coliseum||Oakland|
|February 6||University of Phoenix Stadium||Glendale, AZ|
|February 13||Petco Park||San Diego|
|February 20||AT&T Stadium||Arlington|
|February 27||Georgia Dome||Atlanta|
|March 5||Daytona International Speedway||Daytona Beach|
|March 12||Rogers Centre||Toronto|
|March 19||Ford Field||Detroit|
|April 2||Levi’s Stadium||Santa Clara, CA|
|April 9||Lucas Oil Stadium||Indianapolis|
|April 16||Edward Jones Dome||St. Louis|
|April 23||Gillette Stadium||Foxboro, MA|
|April 30||MetLife Stadium||East Rutherford, NJ|
|May 7||Sam Boyd Stadium||Las Vegas|