Canard Nails Down Second Overall at Unadilla National

Following a one-week hiatus, the 2014 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship series returned to action this past Saturday, August 9, at Unadilla in New Berlin, NY. Team Honda Muscle Milk rider Trey Canard put on quite a show, capturing his first career 450 moto win to secure second overall with 4-1 scores. Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac also had an impressive showing, landing on the podium for the sixth consecutive time this season with a third.

450 Race

Canard started the day off strong, scoring the Oakley Bomb Award with the quickest qualifying time in practice aboard his CRF450R. In moto one, Canard got off the line to a less-than-desirable start and was 12th by the completion of the opening lap. He fought through the field, making his way into fourth on lap seven, which is where he finished.

During the final moto of the day, Canard nabbed a second-place start and quickly set his sights on the leader. Within a couple laps it was an all-out battle for the front spot, with the two riders swapping back and forth multiple times before Canard was able to make a pass stick. Once out front, he fended off advances from the competition to earn the first 450 Class moto win of his career.

"I can't explain how good this feels. The team and I have been working really hard, so it is nice to finally have it all pay off and get a win," Canard said after his moto two win. "The day started off great. Getting the fastest qualifying time in practice always puts you in a good position and gives you momentum heading into the day's motos. I spun off the start in moto one and by the time I made my way into fourth the leaders were so far gone. I got a much better start in the second moto and it was an intense battle from beginning to end. Once I got around Eli (Tomac) and took over the lead, I just tried not to make any mistakes because we were all within a couple seconds of each other. I am so grateful to be healthy and can't wait for the last two rounds."

Team Honda Muscle Milk's Fredrik Noren put in another solid performance, finishing 10th overall with 8-10 scores. Noren kicked off the day with the sixth-quickest qualifying time in practice, giving him a good gate pick heading into the opening moto. In moto one, Noren piloted his CRF450R out of the gate to a top-10 start and rode consistent throughout the 16-lap race to finish eighth. When the gate dropped for the second time, he propelled himself off the line to another good start and was running eighth before going down, ultimately loosing two positions to finish 10th.  

"I think getting to ride on press day helped me out a lot, especially with qualifying," stated Noren. "The track conditions weren't the same but the layout was, so I didn't have to spend much time trying to learn the obstacles and could focus on trying to go fast. I was sixth overall in timed practice, which is where I want to be each week. I got good starts in both motos but went down in the second race and lost some positions. I'm still happy with a top 10 overall finish but I want to keep improving and do even better."

Muscle Milk-sponsored GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac finished third in both of the day's races to grab third-place overall. In moto one, Tomac asserted himself into third on lap two and rode a consistent race all the way to the finish.  After a great start in the second moto, he quickly moved to the forefront and led the first four laps before being passed by Canard. A mistake later in the race caused Tomac to loose another position, taking the checkered flag in third. Despite competing in only six rounds of the series, Tomac now sits fifth overall in the championship points standings.

"Another good weekend that probably could have been a little better," Tomac said. "But we're running so strong and consistent overall it's hard to be too upset. The team did a great job and we made the necessary adjustments as the day went along to make it better for me."

250 Race

Justin Bogle led the 250 efforts for the Muscle Milk-backed GEICO Honda squad, earning a podium finish in the second moto for fourth overall with 5-3 scores. "The day was good," Bogle said. "Any time you get to climb up on the stage you're pretty happy. Practice went well and we were able to make some changes to the suspension early on that made the bike better. That helped us have this really solid day, going 5-3 for fourth overall. It's not exactly what I wanted. I would have preferred getting an overall podium, but we just missed making that happen.

2014 AMA Horizon Award winner and GEICO Honda rider RJ Hampshire made his professional debut this past weekend at Unadilla after wrapping up two Loretta Lynn amateur titles last week with a flawless 6-0 performance. Hampshire had an action-packed day, launching his CRF250R off the line to a solid start in both motos but going down in each race to finish 13th overall with 11-16 marks.

Fellow Muscle Milk- supported GEICO Honda rider Zach Osborne returned to the series after injury to log 14th overall. Teammate Zach Bell went 17-17 for 18th overall, while Matt Bisceglia was sidelined for the day after going down hard in moto one.

The Focus: Honda History at Unadilla

Unadilla was a part of the inaugural AMA Pro Motocross Championship in 1972 and is known as one of the sport's most historic venues. The track also has some of the most uniquely named obstacles in the country like the Gravity Cavity, the Wall, and the Skyshot. The first premier class (now 450) race held at Unadilla was on July 16, 1972 and since then Honda has claimed a total of six victories. In the support class (now 250), Honda Red Riders have topped the podium three times, with the last being Eli Tomac in 2013.

450 Class Winners
July 15, 2007- Kevin Windham
July 18, 2004- Ricky Carmichael
July 20, 2003- Kevin Windham
July 21, 2002- Ricky Carmichael
July 18, 1999- Mike LaRocco
250 Class Winners
August 10, 2013- Eli Tomac
August 14, 2010- Trey Canard
July 21, 1996- Steve Lamson
500 Class Winners
October 14, 1990- Rick Johnson
October 15, 1989- Jean-Michel Bayle
July 31, 1977- Marty Smith
450 Class Overall Results
1. Ryan Dungey 1-2
2. Trey Canard (Honda) 4-1
3. Eli Tomac (Honda) 3-3
4. Ken Roczen 2-4
5. Justin Brayton 6-7
6. Andrew Short 5-8
7. Weston Peick 10-5
8. Phil Nicoletti 7-9
9. Brett Metcalfe 12-6
10. Fredrik Noren (Honda) 8-10

450 Class Championship Points (after 10 of 12 rounds)
1. Ken Roczen 447
2. Ryan Dungey 440
3. Trey Canard 373
4. Brett Metcalfe 280
5. Eli Tomac 252
6. Andrew Short 247
7. Weston Peick 244
8. James Stewart 226
9. Josh Grant 218
10. Chad Reed 159

250 Class Overall Results
1. Christopher Pourcel 1-2
2. Jeremy Martin 3-1
3. Marvin Musquin 2-5
4. Justin Bogle (Honda) 5-3
5. Blake Baggett 6-4
6. Dean Wilson 4-6
7. Joey Savatgy 9-9
8. Chris Alldredge 13-8
9. Alex Martin 12-10
10. Shane McElrath 10-13

250 Class Championship Points (after 10 of 12 rounds)
1. Jeremy Martin 422
2. Blake Baggett 356
3. Cooper Webb 348
4. Marvin Musquin 329
5. Christopher Pourcel 321
6. Justin Bogle 310
7. Jason Anderson 243
8. Cole Seely 225
9. Jessy Nelson 200
10. Dean Wilson 176