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Top 10 Finishes for Seely, Noren at High Point National

Although expectations were higher for Team Honda HRC at round five of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, the squad was pleased with the fact that both factory CRF450R race machines finished in the top 10. Cole Seely had an off day, but the 450 class rookie was still able to put together two respectable rides to finish eighth overall with 7-10 marks. Meanwhile, Fredrik Noren posted his best qualifying position and moto result of the season en route to a tenth-place finish via an 8-11 tally.


  • For the second time in his career, Fredrik Noren secured a top 10 qualifying time. The Team Honda HRC substitute rider's 2:02.228 time was ninth-quickest, while teammate Cole Seely was 12th with 2:02.501.
  • Mountain biking plays a huge role in Seely's training program, and on the Wednesday preceding race day, the Californian competed in a Quick n' Dirty mountain bike race in San Diego, where he finished second in his age group. "I love any type of cycling," Seely said. "I don't normally race mountain bikes too much during the racing season because it's a lot on your body to race motocross every weekend and also do a bike race during the week. It was a pretty exhausting week, but it's something I love to do so I have a hard time staying away. The race was a really fast-paced, sprint-style event, so it was a lot of fun."
  • This year, the High Point National showcased a new track layout, which many riders enjoyed. "I think the new track layout today was good," said the Swedish Noren. "The changes they made were good overall but there were a few things I think could've been a little different. I've liked racing here in the past too, I think maybe because it has a bit of a European feel to it."
  • For nearly four decades, factory Honda riders have been battling for the top spot at historic High Point Raceway, and they've enjoyed ample success, with 11 wins in the 450 class, eight in the 250 division and five in the now-defunct 500cc class.
  • Trey Canard, who has been recovering from an arm fracture since March 21, was recently given the official go-ahead by his physician to begin riding. "We're pleased that Trey has been released to start riding," said Team Honda HRC manager Dan Betley. "Right now, he's only doing some light stuff, but as time progresses, we expect him to be back to speed. An exact return date isn't set, but we're going to be taking it week by week and expect to have him back later in the season."
  • Following a much-deserved one-week hiatus, Team Honda HRC will return to action on June 27 for the Budds Creek National in Mechanicsville, Maryland. "I'm really looking forward to the weekend off," said Seely. "I don't have any plans except to hang out at home and try to recover the best I can. I'm pretty tired so giving my body a break before going into the second half of the season is much needed. I'm more excited about a week without traveling."

THE FOCUS: The Perfect Partnership Most fans know that at the beginning of the 2015 season, Cole Seely came to Team Honda HRC from the Troy Lee Designs squad, but he wasn't the only person making that transition. Seely's long-time friend and mechanic, Rich Simmons, followed his rider to the factory team as well.

This is the duo's sixth season together and they have quite the relationship. "We know each other very well, and we get along great," Seely said. "Rich is like a combination of my dad and big brother. He knows when I'm acting up and how to put me in my place, which I need from time to time. We can get into yelling matches or he can be blunt with me on things, and he's normally right. That's why I was so happy when he decided to come with me to Honda. He knows how to amp me up and just knows the right thing to say when I'm in a good or bad mood. It's always comforting having him on the line next to me."

"I've seen and helped Cole grow since basically the beginning of his career, from when nobody even knew who he was to now riding on a factory team," Simmons said. "We have a great relationship and don't have to say much to know what the other is thinking. I can also be hard on him right before a race and it doesn't mess with his head, whereas if someone else said it, it might."


Cole Seely "Today wasn't good. I felt flat all day; not sure if it was the little extra work I put in this week at home, or maybe the season is just catching up with me, but I struggled and just wasn't feeling it. I qualified 12th overall, which I wasn't happy with, so we made some adjustments to the bike before going back out. I felt really good in the first moto and was able to get up to seventh, which is where I finished. I felt strong and fast throughout the whole race. In the second moto, I was running eighth or ninth when I tipped over and fell back to 11th. I don't like being back that far or feeling the way I did today. It was a little bit of an off day, so I just need to take a much-needed rest weekend and regroup for Budds Creek."

Fredrik Noren "Riding-wise, I'd say today was one of my best races. I feel like we've just been getting better and better each week. I kind of struggled in the first practice but we made some bike changes in between sessions and I felt a lot better in the second one. I qualified ninth, which is the best for me so far this year. I started outside the top ten in the first race but worked my way into eighth, so I'm super-pumped on that since it's my best of the year. I felt good the whole race. In the second moto, I was probably running about eighth again when I fell down in a corner. After that I started riding really stiff and got pretty tired, so I finished 12th. It's okay though, we're going in the right direction so I'm happy."

Dan Betley: Team Manager "I'm very disappointed in today. I felt like we struggled all day long and really should've done better all around. I think we missed the mark a little on bike setup, and it seemed like the guys struggled on the track all day. We need to work harder and get everything dialed in more. Both these riders are better than today and they deserve to be further up in the standings."

Rich Simmons: Mechanic (Cole Seely) "We struggled a bit to get going today. I think Cole was tired coming into the weekend, so it was hard for him. He didn't have the best qualifying but had decent starts and rode well, especially in the first moto, so there were some positives to take away from it. I don't think it was too bad for what it was, but it definitely could've been better."

Brent Presnell (Fredrik Noren)

"It was a good day for Freddie. He had his best qualifying performance of the year and got his best finish, so he's definitely making progress. The first moto went well for him; he was charging and had a good pace throughout almost the whole race. He was running pretty good in moto two but had a small crash that set him back. He's starting to get back some of the speed and aggression he had before tweaking his knee, so the goal is to just keep making steps forward each week."

450 Motocross Overall Results

1) Ken Roczen (2-1)
2) Ryan Dungey (1-2)
3) Jason Anderson (4-3)
4) Christophe Pourcel (3-5)
5) Justin Barcia (5-4)
6) Broc Tickle (6-8)
7) Weston Peick (11-6)
8) Cole Seely (7-10)
9) Wil Hahn (10-9)
10) Fredrik Noren (8-12)
11) Justin Brayton (9-14)
12) Ryan Sipes (13-13)
13) Phil Nicoletti (40-7)
14) Kyle Chisholm (14-15)
15) Kyle Cunningham (12-17)
16) Blake Baggett (34-11)
17) Matt Lemoine (17-16)
18) Jesse Wetland (15-19)
19) Gannon Audette (16-20)
20) John Short (21-18


450 Motocross Championship Points Standings (after 5 of 12 rounds)

1) Ryan Dungey 222
2) Ken Roczen 185
3) Jason Anderson 150
4) Justin Barcia 148
5) Blake Baggett 145
6) Broc Tickle 131
7) Weston Peick 129
8) Eli Tomac 125
9) Christophe Pourcel 115
10) Phil Nicoletti 106
11) Cole Seely 104
12) Fredrik Noren 95
13) Justin Brayton 93
14) Kyle Chisholm 68
15) Wil Hahn 63
16) Chad Reed 61
17) Kyle Cunningham 38
18) Brett Metcalfe 36
19) Ryan Sipes 36
20) Matt Lemoine 36