Team Honda’s Trey Canard and Cole Seely Lead 2016 Charge

Honda’s dirt racing lineup from Supercross to Trials.

Trey Canard and Cole Seely sitting in chairs

Even though the professional motocross series just concluded a couple months ago, teams have already begun ramping up their programs for the fast-approaching 2016 season. This week, Honda unveiled their 2016 racing teams, opening up the doors of the fabled Honda race shop in Torrance, California, to the prying eyes of the press. Everyone congregated to the immaculate race shop where they were greeted and the floor was opened for questions. "I started here in 1989, and I can't ever remember this happening," Factory Honda Team Manager Dan Betley said as he welcomed everyone to the team presentation. "When we did this last year, I discussed what our goals were, and I think we lived up to our expectations. We were short on earning a championship, but I think everyone can agree that we made a step in the right direction."

On paper, the Factory Honda effort appears unchanged, however, the duo of Trey Canard and Cole Seely are entering the season refreshed and optimistic about the future. Both are healthy, and both are hungry to prove that they belong up front. “I learned a lot last year, so just taking that into this year is going to be a huge help,” Seely said. “Not only that, but learning the team, learning the testing, and experiencing all that has been a huge advantage.” Betley echoed Seely’s sentiment, enthusiastically supporting his impressive rookie season effort where he won the Houston Supercross main event and finished the season with a few podium appearances. “I thought he rode really well and above everyone’s expectations,” Betley said. “It was his first year on the team, we put a lot of pressure on him to perform, and he won his first Supercross main event in Houston.”

Honda Race Shop environment

Already a veteran in the 450 class, and after recovering from another injury midway through the ’15 season, Canard is upbeat about ’16, and is entering the season after showing impressive speed at the Monster Energy Cup last month. “We’re all striving for this ,” Canard said. “If you go to another press intro for someone else, they’re all going to be saying the same things, but we’re giving our honest and best effort, because that’s all we can ask for. I really feel like our best effort is just as good as everyone else’s.” Team Manager Betley capped it off with a strong promise, “If we can’t win races and championships, then we’re going to have to bring other people in that can—meaning replacing myself,” he said. “I put the pressure solely on my shoulders to make this team successful.”

Also in attendance were representatives from Honda’s other racing efforts, including GEICO Honda’s team manager Mike LaRocco along with rider Christian Craig and amateur racer Carson Mumford who is a new addition to the team, as Honda plans to revamp its amateur support with Mumford aboard a custom-built CRF150R in ’16. “Each year, we go to Loretta Lynn’s to find the next big thing, because it seems like the talent is getting better even earlier nowadays,” LaRocco said. “This next year in 2016, it will be our first year with an amateur mini rider, working with Carson Mumford on the CRF150R.” Rumor is that Honda is working on building a works, custom-built 150cc four-stroke for young Mumford, and his seven-year contract will stretch into his first years of professional racing.

Montesa-Honda motorcycle

In addition to the Supercross and motocross teams, Honda also unveiled its plans for off-road and trials competition with Johnny Campbell from JCR and Martin Belair from the Montesa trials team. For ’16, Honda will continue its push in GNCC racing with the addition of Ricky Brabec in the west, competing in the desert and rally events worldwide. Honda also plans to continue support for trials competition with its fuel-injected four-stroke Montesa machine.

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Jeremy McGrath?s Factory Honda CR250.

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(From left to right) Cole Seely, Dan Betley, and Trey Canard.

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Trey Canard.

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Trey Canard.

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Cole Seely.

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Mike LaRocco.

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Johnny Campbell of JCR.

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The spare parts cage in the race shop.

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Honda has a full machine shop to create anything they need.

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Honda has a full machine shop to create anything they need.

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Titanium fuel tank.

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Cole Seely?s mechanic Rich Simmons works in this work bay.

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Trey Canard?s mechanic Brent Presnell?s work bay.

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Spare sprockets.

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Spare works triple clamps.

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Spare swingarms.

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Carson Mumford?s GEICO Honda CRF250R.

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Gary Jones? Honda Elsinore.

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Spare engine cases.

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Spare seats.

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GEICO Honda?s Christian Craig hanging out before lunch.

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One of the Montesa/Honda machines.

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Cole Seely.

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Trey Canard.

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Cole Seely.

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Trey Canard.