Without a doubt, the grueling and thrilling sports of professional Supercross and Motocross racing remain a young man’s game. But even within an endeavor loaded with young athletes who possess seemingly unbounded talent, the superlatives flow freely whenever the name Trey Canard pops up.
Canard got a brief first taste of professional racing at the end of the 2007 Motocross season, and his three subsequent years of full-time competition have not only honed his racing skills but also made him a champion twice over. Riding for the GEICO Powersports Honda team aboard his CRF250R, Canard captured the 2008 AMA Supercross Lites East Championship and the 2010 AMA 250 Motocross title. Moreover, when Canard filled in for an injured rider during the 2010 Supercross season, he capitalized on the timely opportunity to try his hand in the elite big-bike series aboard a Team Honda CRF450R by finishing on the podium five times in a row. Sure, many people were hoping he would do well, but five consecutive podiums mid-season on a new bike? Let’s just say that even more people were simply shocked to witness such a high level of success so quickly. Furthermore, Canard topped off the 2010 season by helping Team USA win the overall victory at the FIM Motocross of Nations held in Lakewood, Colorado—all in all, quite a meteoric rise in only three years! Now only 20 years old, Canard steps into the bright-shining limelight as one of two riders on Team Honda in 2011.
“As an amateur racer riding Hondas for the Factory Connection team, it was my dream to one day make it onto the Honda factory team, and to be given this opportunity now is a real honor,” said Canard. “I’ve been a part of Honda’s racing program for a long time in both my amateur and professional careers. I’m pumped to be able to continue that relationship into the big-bike class.
“I’ve been riding Hondas since my amateur days, so the transition from the CRF250R to the CRF450R felt very natural to me; you can definitely see and feel the family resemblance between these two bikes. Obviously, there’s more power to deal with when riding the 450, but I think that makes riding it even more fun. Despite being a bigger bike it handles incredibly well, and I can’t say enough about the support the team gives me; they are just great. And now that we’ve had more time to get the bike dialed in to my riding style, things have really come together well.”
“To be honest, I’m kind of blown away at how quickly Trey got a handle on racing the CRF450R,” said Erik Kehoe, Motocross Team Manager. “Not everyone can make the jump to the bigger bikes easily, but pretty much right off the bat Trey demonstrated his ability on the Honda CRF450R. Actually, his earning five consecutive Supercross podium finishes in the middle of the season last year was quite exceptional. And it wasn’t only his results that impressed me, it was also how quickly he came to grips with the new bike and got up to racing speed in the 450 competition, riding a new and bigger bike against the best riders in the world. A lot of credit has to go to Trey’s nature; he works incredibly hard and he’s very coachable, always willing to stay late and learn more.
“He showed a great deal of racing maturity last year in winning the 250 Motocross championship. He had to overcome a points deficit from early in the season, but he just kept focused on doing what he had to do and slowly but surely chipped away at the points gap, getting stronger and stronger as the season wore on. The title chase came down to the last race in the season, but Trey never got flustered; he just kept charging, and he made his own destiny and became a champion for the second time in three years.”
Now the young racer faces a new challenge, his biggest yet. Will he win a third championship in 2011 aboard a new bike, riding with the factory team? Well, judging from the rocketship arc of his racing career thus far, a title in the 450 class is certainly within his grasp.