The competition is so close this year in Monster Energy Supercross that you really need to step back are revaluate your evaluation when you look at results. The difference between first and seventh this year can come down to something as simple as the start, or as small as one mistake. But in a field of riders with such high expectations, finishes out of the top five still don’t sit well.
That’s Trey Canard’s challenge this year, as he tries to keep his chin up and enjoy the fact that he’s able to race at all. Remember, a year ago at this time, his entire career was somewhat on an unknown, since he was just starting the road back from a major back injury, and was far from even being able to get on a bike. No one knew what to expect heading into 2013, but the expectations were quickly raised when he nearly won the Anaheim opener, and then nearly left round two with the points lead. Another podium at Anaheim 2 seemed to cement his status as a title-contender. But it hasn’t been quite as good since then.
Hasn’t been bad, either. Trey has been just out of the top five for the last few weeks, often coming from behind after bad starts. In other races, a few small mistakes or quick tumbles have kept him out of podium contention. Trey hasn’t been terrible, but not quite as sensational as he was at the beginning of the year. In this field, the difference is small. But that also means that on any given night, he can find himself right back where he was in January—battling for the win.
Canard has been mired in traffic for the last month, but still has the same abilities that had him contending for wins at the beginning of the season.
Unfortunately in recent weeks, Trey’s nights have started with bad afternoons. He’s had quite a few practice crashes, and that seems to send the whole night into a downward spiral. With confidence being key in this game, it’s then key for Canard to have strong runs during the day to find that edge again. Today, he did that. He looked good today in practice, ending up second overall with top-three times in both sessions. He looked sharp, aggressive, nimble. Finding Trey in the pits later, he looked to be in good spirits, and admitted only, “I’m feeling pretty good” while smiling and posing for pictures with fans.
Trey is still here, with the same talent and skills and fitness and program that had him dueling for wins in the early part of the season. One of these nights, he’ll do that again. Could tonight be the one?