450 Words: Jacksonville

450 Words Jacksonville

March 22, 2011 2:20pm
The way Trey Canard has been winning races for the last six months, he sure makes this motocross and supercross thing look easy. Kind of the same way he made it look so simple when his pro career started—winning the first three Lites SX races he ever entered, and leading just about every lap, too.

But between that Lites East Championship in 2008, last summer’s triumph in Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross and his two wins so far as a rookie in Monster Energy Supercross on a 450, there has been plenty of frustration.

Coming off the high of winning that 2008 Lites East crown, Canard couldn’t keep the momentum going. He took a beating early and often in that summer’s AMA Motocross tour, missing a race with a concussion, then later breaking his femur when tangling with a lapped rider at Washougal. He wasn’t quite ready when the ’09 West Lites SX tour opened up, and he crashed out of the Phoenix race, eliminating himself from title contention early. He led most of the East West Shootout over Christophe Pourcel and Ryan Dungey, only to falter again while lapping a rider. He began to build momentum again early in the AMA Motocross Series, but crashed and broke his wrist while leading the High Point National.

Canard would hold off veteran Chad Reed to capture his second career SX win.
Photo: Andrew Fredrickson

Canard could have easily gotten lost at that moment. He would miss the rest of the series, not racing again at the top level for six months. Worse, he was at one point slated to move to the 450 division before he was ready. The old rule book said Lites Supercross Champions only get one year to defend their title, and after claiming one in 2008, he would have been forced to the 450 for 2010. Luckily for him, the AMA amended the rules, and Canard got another shot on the 250s.

Ironically, it was the 450 that revitalized his efforts. Canard got a shot on the big bike as a replacement for the injured Andrew Short, and began delivering podium finishes. He started getting the mojo back. His late rally for the Lites West SX crown went down when he tangled with his teammate Blake Wharton in Seattle, and then his AMA Motocross tour started with a few sub-par rides. But Canard was on the verge, and after scoring a breakthrough first career MX win at Red Bud, things finally started to come together again.

Since then, there have been championships, MXoN wins and race wins in the biggest, most prestigious series in this sport. Right now, the moments are good for Trey. But it took perseverance through the bad times to get here.