Mt. Morris, Penn. – Motocross racing is among the toughest sports in the world, and we are regularly reminded why it’s considered such. The top GEICO Powersports Honda rider in the AMA 250 Pro Motocross Championship points standings, Trey Canard, was off to a career day at High Point Raceway in Mt. Morris, Pennsylvania, last Saturday, the 13th of June. He came from outside the top 10 in the first moto to grab second in the race, even gaining significant ground on the leader in the moto, Christophe Pourcel.
Then, in moto two, Canard grabbed the holeshot and with Pourcel on his rear wheel, led the first 30 minutes of the moto. After the two-lap board, less than two circuits away from his first-ever AMA National overall victory (and moto victory, for that matter), Canard hit a kicker on a jump face in a line he hadn’t taken in a while and went over the bars, breaking his right wrist.
“It just goes to show that, with our sport, things can change in a moment,” Canard said a few days later. “I can’t put into words how bummed out I am that I had this happen. One second, I thought I had my first overall win in the bag, and the next moment, I’m on the side of the track with a broken arm.”
However, there’s no doubting Canard’s speed or his racing prowess, as he had gotten the holeshot in solidly four of the eight motos run so far this year (and one of the motos, he got the holeshot twice, after it was red-flagged on the first go-around), and had finished on the podium in all but one moto run as well.
“I felt like I was back to where I was last year before I broke my leg,” Canard said. “So it’s good to know that I got back to there, and then some, so it’s easier for me to see that I can do it again.”
He’s going to need some time to let his wrist heal before he’s back at it.
Similarly, Dan Reardon has been showing a lot of promise since moving up to the 450cc class for the outdoor championship, and he was looking like he was having another one of those days at High Point.
In the first moto, Reardon started mid-pack – around 20th – and by the end of the first lap had moved up to 14th. Over the next few laps, Reardon put on a display as he moved quickly through the pack until he was in sixth with barely over two laps to go. But as he switched lines to pass a lapper, he encountered a kicker in a jump face and was sent over the bars spectacularly.
“I maybe moved over two or three inches out of my normal line,” Reardon said, “but it kicked me hard, and there was nothing I could do. I thought I broke both of my legs because I couldn’t move them, but they’re fine.”
However, Reardon did dislocate his already-injured shoulder, which forced him to get surgery earlier this week to repair it. He hopes to be back before the end of the championship, though.
“That’s the plan,” Reardon said. “I really want to continue to show what I can do. I never came into my own back in Australia until I was on a 450, either, so I just want people to see that I’m a top 450cc rider. My team took a risk in putting me on the bike, and I was proving to them and everyone else that it was the right move. This is just a temporary setback.”
Blake Wharton was the team’s top-finishing rider on the day, and he was his own worst enemy in both motos. But he was very fast.
“The first moto, I got a decent start, and I moved up to fourth by the end of the first couple turns, and then I was trying to pass Rattray, and I tried an outside line and it was wet, and I lost the front end and fell,” Wharton said. “I got up in about 14th or so and ended up catching up to sixth. In the second moto, I got a pretty good start again, and I went into the second turn a little hot, and I hit someone, and someone hit me, and I ended up falling. Again, I got up, this time in last place, and I ended up catching up to sixth in that moto, too. I got fifth overall, so that was good.”
Wharton worked for every bit of it on his way to fifth on the day, and he probably passed more people on the day than anyone.
His teammate Justin Barcia is still struggling with some issues with his hand, but he rode strong at High Point, starting inside the top 10 in both motos and riding consistent laps through pain for an 8-5 score and sixth overall.
Brett Metcalfe chose to stay out on the road between the Texas and Pennsylvania rounds, and while he was out practicing, he had a hard crash and came into High Point even more bruised and battered than he started the season. Things got harder when he was knocked down in the first turn and was forced to come from about a half a lap behind the next guy in the first moto.
“I hit the ground pretty hard, and then a good friend of mine – Alex Martin – ran over me,” Metcalfe said. “When it rains it pours sometimes. I got ran over pretty badly, and then it took me forever to get going again. I thought about just dropping out, but I thought I could get some points, so I pushed even with the bent handlebars and stuff. That moto was really hard on me, but I got up to 19th, so that’s two points! It was worth something!”
The second moto, Metcalfe started at the tail end of the top 10 and just tried to maintain an even pace.
“I was just focused on getting a good start and getting around as good as I could to the finish line,” Metcalfe said. “I got a better start and just rode my own race. I didn’t do anything radical, but I salvaged a seventh place and got decent points on the day considering how beat up I was going into the race.”
Metcalfe has been putting in tough rides all year despite his lingering injuries from supercross as well as the new bumps and bruises he got prior to High Point, and he feels his best days are still very much in front of him this summer.
“I’m not trying to be tough, but after Mt. Morris, we came home, and I evaluated the first four rounds, and when I looked at last year, I was probably the fittest and fastest that I’ve ever been in my life, and my results were really pretty similar,” Metcalfe said. “I still hadn’t made it on the podium last year, and the results weren’t much better. As of now, I don’t even feel like I’m close to 100 percent speedwise or otherwise, and I’ve been holding back a little bit just because I haven’t felt it’s there yet. Hopefully, that will keep getting better, but I’m pretty proud of what I’ve been able to achieve so far.”
From here, the GEICO Powersports Honda team gets a weekend off before heading to Lakewood, Colorado, for round five of the championship under the lights at Thunder Valley at night.
Team Sponsors: GEICO Powersports, Honda, Planet Fitness, Unbound Energy, AM/PM, Factory Connection, Fox, Shoei, Gaerne, DVS, Amsoil Lubricants, Cycra Plastics, Dunlop Tires, EK Chains, Filtron Air Filters, Hinson Clutches, Leatt Brace, One Industries, Pro Circuit, Renthal, Shock Doctor, Showa, TAG Sprockets, Vortex Ignitions, VP Fuels, and Works Connection.
High Point 250cc Overall:
1. Christophe Pourcel Kaw
2. Ryan Dungey Suz
3. Tommy Searle KTM
4. Tyla Rattray Kaw
5. Blake Wharton GEICO Powersports Honda
6. Justin Barcia GEICO Powersports Honda
7. Broc Tickle Yam
8. Matt Lemoine Yam
9. Kyle Cunningham Kaw
10. Trey Canard GEICO Powersports Honda
13. Brett Metcalfe GEICO Powersports Honda