This comes as no surprise. With both Ken Roczen and Cole Seely sidelined for the remainder of Monster Energy AMA Supercross, Honda HRC has plucked Christian Craig from the GEICO Honda squad to fill in for Atlanta and Daytona.
This is a familiar role for Craig, as this fill-in stint will mark the fourth time he’s served as a substitute for the factory team. Last year he posted a pair of 11th-place finishes at Salt Lake City and Las Vegas and finished 11th overall in Lucas Oil Pro Motocross. He also rode for the team at the Monster Energy Cup.
“I’m super excited to be riding the CRF450R for the next few weekends, but I’m also extremely bummed for Cole and Ken,” Craig said in a statement. “Cole and I are training and riding partners and kind of do everything together, so seeing him get hurt last weekend was really upsetting. I worked with the team for a couple supercross rounds last year and the entire summer, so we know each other well. I also have an idea of what settings I like on the bike. We’ll have a couple days to test before heading to Atlanta this weekend. I’m grateful for this opportunity and hoping Cole and I can get back to doing our normal routine soon.”
“With Christian already being a Honda team rider and having spent a lot of time on our bike last year, it made the most sense for him to transition into the 450 class for us,” Team Honda HRC Manager Erik Kehoe explained. “He’s got the speed and talent to deliver solid results for us, so we’re looking forward to working with him again. This is one of the many benefits to having such a great partnership with GEICO Honda, and we appreciate them allowing us to have Christian so quickly.”
Craig is currently sixth in 250SX West Region points.
In addition to the Craig announcement, the team released a pair of updates on Roczen and Seely. You can read them below:
Roczen is making progress in his recovery. On Tuesday, February 27, the German visited his local physician for his first follow-up appointment since Dr. Viola performed surgery on February 16. Roczen’s stitches were removed from all five incisions and another X-ray was taken. He is still wearing a brace and has another checkup in three weeks. Roczen is optimistic about the future and has his sights set on the start of the AMA Pro Motocross series, which begins at Hangtown on May 19.
Teammate Seely is still admitted at Tampa’s St. Joseph’s Hospital but is hoping to be released by the end of the week. At that point, he will return to his temporary home in Clermont, Florida, where he’ll remain until his follow-up appointment.