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Between the Motos: Trey Canard

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Although he was in the middle of silly season just a few weeks ago, Trey Canard has returned to the GEICO Powersports Honda team for the 2010 season. Now in the middle of testing the all-new 2010 Honda CRF250R, Canard called us this morning and gave us an update on what’s been going on with him since he broke his wrist at High Point earlier this year.

  • Trey Canard was doing well in the Nationals before he broke his wrist while leading at High Point.
  • At Texas, he led eventual champion Ryan Dungey for quite some time.
  • At High Point, he was beating eventual championship runner-up Christophe Pourcel until the end of the race, when he crashed and broke his wrist.
Racer X: Obviously, you’ve been back riding now for a couple of months, right?
Trey Canard: I started riding again around the Southwick National, and then I was on the bike for a few weeks, and then I actually crashed again and broke the tip of my thumb and broke the thumbnail off, so I had to take a couple weeks off from that, but since then I’ve been riding. I started working with the 2010 Honda, which is a really good bike, and I started riding some supercross a couple weeks ago, so we’re just going from there.

Some media folks have ridden the 2010 CRF250R, but in the general public not a lot of people have been exposed to it yet. Can you talk a little bit about some of the key differences to you?
Yeah, it’s a completely different bike. It’s just like the 450, which had me worried to be honest, because the media and a few other people kind of had a bad attitude toward it, but I got on the thing and was instantly comfortable. It’s lighter, and the fuel injection is just insane. The handling isn’t an issue, either. I feel like I’ve already got the thing really close to where my bike was last year, and my bike last year had three or four years of development into it. Personally, I’m really excited about it, and I think we’re starting off with a much, much better motorcycle than before. I think it’s a great bike, for sure. My only complaint is that the seat is really flat, so I slide to the gas cap. I had to build a front bump [on the seat]. (Laughs.)

So now you have two bumps?
Yup! It’s pretty awesome...

I hadn’t ever had a bump on a seat until last week, and honestly it’s pretty nice because it gives you a small amount of feel for where you are and lets you relax a little more in turns and things like that.
Yeah, it works really well, especially for supercross.

A lot of the media I have talked to about the 2010 Honda CRF250R say that it’s a screamer, with like all top-end power. Isn’t that how you like your bikes anyway?
No, I don’t think it’s a screamer, to be honest. I think a lot of people haven’t ridden fuel injection, including myself, and it’s just a different sound because there really isn’t any sort of delay, so the bike kind of always sounds the same. It’s kind of always in the same tune and it can be easy to get lost in what gear you’re in and stuff like that. I think, if anything, the thought that it’s a top-end bike probably comes from people not being used to the fuel injection, because the bike is fast. It’s faster than last year’s. It’s a good bike. If you read negative things about it, don’t listen to it, because I know during my contract negotiations, I was reading a lot of negative things on the 450, but until you ride it yourself, don’t make any judgments. It’s a really, really good bike.

That’s probably good advice all around, to not judge before you try it yourself...
Yeah, for sure. You shouldn’t have predetermined opinions.

When you first started testing, did you start out doing outdoor stuff? Or did you go straight to supercross tracks, since that’s what you’re racing first?
My first week of testing this year – or, at least, during the start of this motocross new year – I went up to Factory Connection, where it began with Ziggy [FC Racing co-owner Rick Zielfelder], and we started from scratch. I rode a stock bike all week and we just worked on little stuff, and then I came back to California for the next few weeks and did probably three or four days of motocross testing before we jumped onto the supercross stuff. I really like what’s going on with the team this year, with [Mike] LaRocco helping out, because he’s got a lot of really good experience, and he was always a great test rider, so it’s a big advantage to have him around.

Do you know yet which coast you’ll be racing this year? And do you have a preference?
I would like to ride West just because last year didn’t go how I wanted it to go. I feel like I can be competitive, but wherever I’m at, I’ll be happy with it. I’ll just go do whatever I can, and however it plays out it plays out, but the west coast would be nice.

Can you talk a little bit about your contract negotiations in the off-season and how relieved you were when you finally got it all done?
This year, especially, has been extremely tough. There are guys who still don’t have stuff done – top guys, you know? Past champions still don’t have anything. I’m very lucky and fortunate to have a place to be, and I feel like where I am is really good for me, and it has been good to me for the past few years. I was happy to land back here again. It’s a solid team. The relief was big, though. I was stressing out. Just to have that out of the way, I feel really blessed and fortunate to be able to do this, and to be on a top-notch team on top of that, what more could I ask for?
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