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250 Words: Atlanta Lites

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A few years ago I asked five-time GNCC Champion Rodney Smith how he was able to beat riders in the woods who were able to beat him on a motocross track (for example, four-time AMA National Motocross Champion Mike Kiedrowski was never able to beat Rodney for a win in the woods). Rodney said that he made a mistake early in his motocross career. When he first turned pro in motocross, he tried to get top 10s, then top 5s, and then build toward wins. But racing doesn’t work that way. Rodney says once you get a few eighth-place finishes, you start thinking you’re an eighth-place guy and the wins never come. When he hit the trails, he set his goals on winning right off the bat. He did and he never stopped. Today, he tells young riders to set the bar high immediately, otherwise, you can get stuck in the doldrums.
 
  • Trey Canard came out swinging as a professional supercross racer.
The latest generation of rookie pro talent knows wins must come early for them to come often. Ryan Dungey won the first AMA Supercross he entered last year even though he was so young that even Roger DeCoster originally didn’t expect him to win races until his sophomore season. Now Trey Canard is sharing that rare air, winning his first AMA Supercross start Saturday night in Atlanta. He didn’t wait at all. Canard put in the fastest lap time of anyone in the very first Lites practice session, then he won his heat race and the main, leading every single lap along the way. That’s simply amazing.

Perhaps Canard’s secret is that he was once one of those riders who used to be finish in the top five, and he refused to accept that. Two years ago he stepped up his game big and starting winning at the amateur level—he dug himself out of a hole very few riders can get out of. He wasn’t about to put himself behind again at the pro level. He came in expecting to win, and he did. Now that he has started his pro career on top, expect him to stay there for a long, long time.
 
Lites Results
1. Trey Canard (Hon)
2. Martin Davalos (KTM)
3. Ryan Sipes (KTM)
4. Jake Moss (Yam)
5. Tyler Bowers (Yam)
6. Branden Jesseman (Kaw)
7. Josh Grant (Hon)
8. Nico Izzi (Suz)
9. Kyle Chisholm (Kaw)
10. Ben Coisy (Hon)
11. Ryan Morais (Yam)
12. Kyle Partridge (Hon)
13. Ryan Mills (Hon)
14. Billy Payne (Hon)
15. Jimmy Albertson (Suz)
16. Phillip Nicoletti (Kaw)
17. Ricky Renner (Kaw)
18. Matt Boni (Hon)
19. Nathan Skaggs (Hon)
20. Levi Kilbarger (Hon)
21. Chad Ward (Kaw)
22. Ryan Villopoto (Kaw)
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