-Wednesday, September 27, 2006.
It was announced today that 2006 amateur motocross sensation Trey Canard has signed a three-year deal to race with the Factory Honda-backed and Factory Connection-managed Sobe/No Fear/Samsung race team. According to Rick “Ziggy” Zielfelder, Canard, 16, will launch his 2006/2007 campaign by competing in the A classification amateur races, his debut coming at the Mini Olympics in Gainesville, Florida (November 20-25).
“Factory Connection, as far as a suspension company, has been aggressively watching and working with the amateur racers of today,” explained Zielfelder. “We have a strong focus there because we see the kids race at every major event. And whether it’s Florida, Texas, Vegas or Tennessee, we see them same kids rise to the top. We realize there is a certain core group of them that always rise to the occasion and perform. An example of this core group is Trey Canard.
“You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to look up the lap times at a big amateur event on the Internet and see who is going fast,” he continued, citing Canard’s perfect six moto sweep of the 125 B Modified and 250 B Modified classes, respectively, at the 2006 AMA/Air Nautiques Amateur National Championship. “At Loretta Lynn’s, and as a B rider, Trey Canard had the best lap time of all Lites riders all week. Austin Stroupe, Trey’s major rival, had the second fastest Lites time, and Josh Hill, the third fastest lap time. That’s an impressive trio.
“Trey is an extremely fast and smart rider. He’s smooth consistent and rides within himself. He ha a lot of potential. He’s calm, cool and calculated. We feel very fortunate to have him.”
Zielfelder went on to describe how Canard will be integrated into the Factory Connection program, both as an amateur and, ultimately, a professional racer. “Our plan for him during the next few months is to get him comfortable on the Hondas and elevate the equipment for him during his last year as an amateur. We want him to be around our tests and to integrate him into our system so when he evolves from an amateur to a full-time professional, it’s not such a shock to the system.
“I’m extremely excited that Trey decided to chose to come to our race program,” Zielfelder added. “Trey had substantial offers from very competitive race teams, but after he evaluated everything, he chose us. I’m proud because it has shown where this program has come in the last few years. A lot of Trey’s decision had a lot to do with the Honda motorcycles and the level of performance our team brings to the Honda motorcycles. The bottom line is that is that I’m excited and proud Trey chose our program in the end.”
And does Zielfelder believe Canard will have an immediate effect in the highly competitive AMA Motocross Lites division later this summer? “I do think Trey will be a major player in Lites racing — and I don’t think it will be a long time in coming.”
Understandably, Canard is enthused to be the latest member of the well-heeled Factory Connection program, explaining, “I’m really excited to be a part of the team. I’m beginning to train and get ready for the Mini Olympics. We decided that the Mini Olympics will be my big debut race with Factory Connection. I’m going to go to California right after the U.S. Open to begin getting ready.
“Right now I plan on doing Lake Whitney, Oak Hill and Las Vegas,” he continued, citing his proposed racing program for 2006 and 2007. “After Las Vegas [World Mini Grand Prix], I may turn professional. If not then, I’ll race Loretta Lynn’s and then do the last four Nationals. Either way, I’m happy because Factory Connection has given me a lot of freedom as far as when I want to make that decision. After Las Vegas, Honda, my mom and I will make the decision.”
Highly touted and highly sought after, Okalahoma’s Trey Canard is now in position — as well in possession of the technical and financial wherewithal of the Honda/Factory Connection outfit — to make a run at his dream of being an AMA National Champion.
“I’m not going to say I’m going to dominate, but I’m going to do my best and give 110%” stressed Canard. “I’ve been given this awesome opportunity and I want to use it the best I can. The Factory Connection people are putting a lot of time and effort into me. I want to give them results. I want to work as hard as I can for them. I want to do my job and have fun and win races. I’m very happy. My dream is starting to come together. It’s the start of a long dream and I’m only at the beginning. I’m pumped. Not many people get this opportunity and I want to make the best of it.”
For more, check out this interview with Trey right here.