Noren Seventh at Budds Creek National
The AMA Pro Motocross Championship's Budds Creek National saw Team Honda HRC's Fredrik Noren score a solid seventh-overall result with 8-7 moto finishes during his second race of the year aboard the factory CRF450R. In moto one, Noren hit a downed rider's bike in the first turn, shuffling him back to a mid-pack. He swiftly began working his way forward, completing the first lap in 12th. By the halfway mark, he had moved into eighth, which is where he finished. When the gate dropped in moto two, Noren launched to a top-10 start and then advanced to eighth during the early stages of the race. He improved one more spot before the checkered flag, finishing seventh.
- During the week before race day, Team Honda HRC announced that they have extended their contract with Cole Seely for an additional two years. Seely's mechanic Rich Simmons is also excited to be continuing his relationship with Honda. "I feel really good about Cole re-signing with Honda," he said. "This year was a step in the right direction with the team. Cole is continuing to build his fitness, and we have a new bike that I'm excited about. My expectation for the next couple years is to be in the title hunt for supercross and for Cole to continue to build in motocross and be top-three."
- During the morning's timed qualifying practice period, Noren was eighth-fastest with a 2:06.104 lap time, posted in the second session.
- Next weekend, Team Honda HRC heads to Indiana's Ironman MX for the final round of the 2016 AMA Pro Motocross series. Including AMA Supercross, it will be the team's 30th race of the year.
THE FOCUS: Supporting Jessy Nelson
Last weekend's second 250 moto of the Unadilla National was red-flagged after Jessy Nelson went down in a corner and his bike fell on top of him. Nelson was injured in the incident and has been hospitalized since then, with limited sensation in his legs. The Wings For Life Spinal Cord Research Foundation has been working directly with Nelson's doctors. Nelson underwent surgery last Wednesday and everything went according to plan, but it is still too early to know the extent of his injuries.
Nelson is currently a member of the Troy Lee Designs/Red Bull KTM team, and he rode a Honda CRF250R when that squad was Honda-mounted. He also spent the majority of his amateur career as a Red Rider, and on race day at Budds Creek, Fredrik Noren's factory Honda HRC CRF450R wore a custom "One Love" sticker on its fender in support of Nelson.
"It's a huge bummer," said Cole Seely's mechanic Rich Simmons, who worked with Nelson during his 2012 rookie season and is close with the family. "Things can change so quickly and everyone in this sport needs to think about that. Nobody deserves to have that happen, but Jessy is a good kid and a great friend. He's an athlete and he knows how to fight, so that's what he'll be doing."
Everyone at American Honda sends thoughts and condolences to the Nelson family. Road 2 Recovery has set up a special page where fans can donate to help offset the medical costs that will accrue.
Fredrik Noren I don't think today went great. I felt pretty stiff all day and didn't ride how I normally should. I struggled in practice and both motos, just not being able to find a flow. I qualified eighth, which is okay but I want to be better for sure. I had a little hiccup in the beginning of the first moto and had to come through the pack, but I was able to get to eighth. I had a much better start in the second moto but just kind of ran by myself a lot of the race. There's some stuff I need to work on for sure but it was an okay day. Seventh overall isn't something to be unhappy about, but I still want to be better.
Dan Betley: Team Manager I'd be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed in the results. We were expecting better. Freddie came together with another rider off the start of the first moto and was probably 20th the first lap. His charge to the front was good because he ended up making it to eighth. The second moto he got a top-10 start and just kind of stalled out I think; he didn't have it for the full race. We're going to put our heads down for one more race and then call it a season.
Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Fredrik Noren) Today didn't go exactly how we wanted, but it was still okay. Freddie is consistent; it seems like where he qualifies, he finishes. He didn't seem comfortable all day, so we pretty much made changes every time he went out. I think he was fighting the track more than anything.
450MX Results 1) Ken Roczen (1-1) 2) Justin Barcia (3-3) 3) Marvin Musquin (2-4) 4) Eli Tomac (6-2) 5) Phil Nicoletti (4-6) 6) Dean Wilson (5-5) 7) Fredrik Noren (8-7) 8) Andrew Short (7-9) 9) Benny Bloss (11-10) 10) Anthony Rodriquez (10-11)
450MX Championship Points (after 11 of 12 rounds) 1) Ken Roczen 534 2) Eli Tomac 458 3) Marvin Musquin 365 4) Justin Barcia 316 5) Christophe Pourcel 217 6) Benny Bloss 204 7) Phil Nicoletti 201 8) Andrew Short 189 9) Justin Brayton 173 10) Broc Tickle 171