Factory Honda displays front-running potential in 450 class.
American wildcard Trey Canard endured a mixed weekend on debut aboard the factory Team HRC Honda ‘CR Electric Proto’ entry at the weekend’s All Japan championship final round, displaying front-running form despite crashing out of contention.
Canard – who is Honda’s factory test rider in the US – was fifth in the Saitama qualifying race and then raced to second in moto one behind Australian Jay Wilson, who had already clinched the 450 title with Yamaha.
The second moto saw Canard power to the holeshot, only to come together with Wilson in the early stages and end any hope of an overall podium when he was unable to resume. He returned for the final moto, again starting fast, but falling once again while challenging toward the front of the field..
“This weekend was definitely a big challenge for me, but it was a great race for our development,” Canard reflected. “Each time I was on the track we improved the motorcycle and the CR Electric Proto team adapted to the challenge.
“We had some shines of brilliance as a team, the starts being one of them with two of the three holeshots. There were also some sections on the track that were very impressive and that makes me excited for the future of this motorcycle.
“I’m disappointed to not finish all of the motos after all of the hard work the team has put in, but I think we showed that the potential of the bike is quite high, especially for our very first attempt at racing. I’m grateful to be a part of this effort and I’m very proud of each and every person who has worked so hard.”
Team HRC manager Taichi Honda added: “First of all, I would like to thank the development team and everyone involved for preparing the CR Electric Proto to be ready for competition in such a short time.
“I would also like to thank Trey Canard for showing his potential even though he has only had a few tests. We had three heats today for the first time and we will take what we learnt from each race and feed it back to the ongoing development of the CR Electric project.”