After 11 professional seasons, Cole Seely has made the decision to retire. The Honda HRC rider officially announced his retirement from professional racing today, via a team statement. The 29-year-old competed in 16 rounds of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship, recording three heat wins and finishing seventh in the 2019 450SX points standings.
Seely recorded overall finishes of 14, 10, 11 through the first three rounds of the 2019 Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship until he suffered an injury during practice leading into the High Point National that knocked him out of the championship. This shoulder injury coming only a year after Seely suffered a season-ending injury at the 2018 Tampa Supercross when he mistimed a rhythm section and suffered a fracture to his pelvis and tailbone.
“These past two years have been very difficult,” he said in the statement. “Last year’s injury was severe and very tough on me both mentally and physically. I fought hard to return this season, but it was much more challenging than I anticipated. Now with this recent shoulder injury, it’s just another setback. This decision definitely wasn’t easy, but I think it’s the right choice. I’m grateful for having been given the opportunity to do something I’ve loved since I was a kid and to make it into my career. I’m grateful for the support from my fans and many sponsors throughout the years. I’d especially like to thank Honda, who has been behind me for my entire career, supporting me through the ups and downs. I’m grateful to have been partnered with such a great brand. I’m looking forward to this next chapter and to seeing where the future takes me.”
Seely turned pro in 2009, debuting at the 2009 Phoenix Supercross, where he finished 11th in the 250SX West Region. In 2011, Seely won his first main event, winning both the Los Angeles Supercross and the Seattle Supercross. Seely recorded his best finish in the 250SX in 2014 when he finished second in the 250SX West Region. He earned five career main event in supercross wins in the 250SX before moving to the premier class.
In 2015, Seely completed his first full season in the 450SX, capturing his one and only main event win in the premier class at the Houston Supercross. He finished third in the 450SX championship that year, his best finish in the premier class. Following his first full season in the class, Seely received the 2015 450SX Rookie of the Year honors.
His best finish in the 450 Class of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship was a third overall at the 2017 Unadilla National. He finished fifth in the 450 Class points standings that year—his best finish in the championship. Seely was also a member of Team USA at the 2017 the Monster Energy FIM Motocross of Nations.
Below is the team’s full statement:
Team Honda HRC rider Cole Seely announced today his retirement from professional racing after over a decade competing at the highest level in both the AMA Supercross and Pro Motocross series. Seely has dedicated nearly his entire professional career to the Honda brand, riding for a Honda satellite team throughout most of his 250 tenure before spending five years aboard a factory CRF450R.
At 29, Seely has accomplished a number of milestones. After turning pro in 2009, he signed with the then-Honda-backed Troy Lee Designs team in 2010. During his five-year stint with that team, Seely captured five 250SX victories and finished runner-up in the 2014 250SX West title chase. In 2015, he was awarded 450SX Rookie of the Year honors after finishing third overall in the AMA Supercross series, highlighted by his first 450cc victory, at the Houston Supercross. Seely also represented Team USA at the 2017 Motocross of Nations.
Over the past few seasons, Seely has been plagued by injuries, which contributed to his decision to retire. “These past two years have been very difficult,” he said. “Last year’s injury was severe and very tough on me both mentally and physically. I fought hard to return this season, but it was much more challenging than I anticipated. Now with this recent shoulder injury, it’s just another setback. This decision definitely wasn’t easy, but I think it’s the right choice. I’m grateful for having been given the opportunity to do something I’ve loved since I was a kid and to make it into my career. I’m grateful for the support from my fans and many sponsors throughout the years. I’d especially like to thank Honda, who has been behind me for my entire career, supporting me through the ups and downs. I’m grateful to have been partnered with such a great brand. I’m looking forward to this next chapter and to seeing where the future takes me.”
Team Honda HRC Manager Erik Kehoe thanked Seely for his time with Honda.“I was a little surprised at first when Cole mentioned retirement,” he said, “but after speaking to him, I could see where he was coming from. It makes sense, and I think he’s making the right choice for himself at this time. It’s been such a pleasure working with Cole. I can still remember the first time I saw him riding supercross out at the old Red Bull facility back in 2009, and I thought, ‘Man, that kid is talented!’ So now it’s very special to have worked with him and seen how his career has grown, particularly with Honda over the past 10 years. Cole is so talented that his abilities on a bike are only part of what he’s capable of, so I think that’s going to carry into every aspect of his life. I know he’ll be successful in whatever he decides to pursue next.”
Everyone at American Honda Motor Co. thanks Cole for his dedication and wishes him the best of luck in his future endeavors.
To watch Honda's video announcement, click here.
Below is Seely's Instagram post:
View this post on Instagram
Well guys the time has come.. I’m retiring from the sport of motocross. The term bittersweet has never felt so real before. The two words that come to mind as I step away from racing are thankful and excited. I’m so thankful for everyone who’s ever played a part in my career. To my family, friends and fans, you guys have no idea how much your support and love means to me. A decade ago I was just a kid with a dream and a slight chance to make it in this sport. I may not have broken any records and my stats may be far from the best but I hope I inspired the younger generation and gave the young riders that line up against the current protégés hope that the underdog can rise up. I got to ride for some of the best teams throughout my career and I very prideful in that. The few mechanics I’ve had over the years we’re some of the hardest working guys in the sport and we’re true inspirations to me. Also I’ve had some of the most badass teammates and got to share some awesome times on the road with you guys. I also want to say thanks to my competitors, it’s been an honor racing against the worlds greatest. Thanks for pushing me and constantly humbling me, I hope at times I did the same. Racing is all I’ve ever known but I’m stoked for the next chapter in my life. I’m super excited to explore what’s next and plan to share whatever it is I’m up to with you guys. Thanks for having me and watching me live out my dream every Saturday. Love, CS⚡️14