Trey Canard is generally regarded as one of the most humble, friendly and likable riders in the paddock, but don’t let this fool you. It takes nothing more than strapping on a helmet and firing up his CRF450R for him to make the transformation into a hardened competitor who simply will not quit. After battling back from a nearly career-ending crash in 2012, the Oklahoma native proved throughout 2013 he is still blazingly fast and a force to be reckoned with on the track.
During the 2013 Supercross season Canard came out swinging, nearly winning rounds one and three, logging three podium appearances, four additional top-five finishes and one heat race win aboard his CRF450R. Canard continued to improve and make a noteworthy comeback throughout the 12-round motocross series, with three podium finishes and three top-fives.
“2013 was a really good year. I definitely wanted to improve the results, but the main goal of the year was to stay healthy and build a base for 2014 and I think that was accomplished,” explains Canard. “The two races that really stand out in my mind as the most satisfying are Anaheim one and the motocross finale at Lake Elsinore. I didn’t know if I would be able to compete at the same level after my accident, so to come back after such a long hiatus and be up front battling for the win was really cool. My results weren’t the best at Lake Elsinore, but it felt great to cross the finish line after an entire season. All and all I look back on it as a season I am really grateful for.”
With a full season under his belt where he proved he could run with the fastest riders in America, Canard is more confident then ever.
“Getting a full season under my belt was a big boost in confidence for myself and I feel like everyone else around me, as well as a huge momentum builder for this year. I rode fairly conservatively in 2013, so hopefully this year I can come back with more intensity and aggression, while keeping the consistency.”
You can’t burst onto the motocross scene better than Canard did. At the young age of 17 he won his first three professional races and clinched the AMA Lites East Championship during his 2008 rookie season—a feat only accomplished by a small group of riders. In 2010, Canard repeated this success by wrapping up his career-first AMA 250 motocross title with a total of five wins. He put the final touches on his season by helping Team USA claim its sixth-straight Motocross des Nations victory at Thunder Valley MX in Denver, CO.
Now in his fourth year with American Honda, Canard is very aware of the advantages of being a member of Team Honda Muscle Milk and he wants nothing more than to deliver even greater results for the team that's played a key role in his success throughout his professional career. “Adding my name to the wall of plaques at Honda is definitely something I want to do. They are so committed to the sport and have such an extensive championship record. It would mean the world to me to bring another title to the team. As a racer, winning championships has always been the goal, but I also want to bring that success to everyone involved.”
“There are so many benefits to having a long-standing relationship with a company, and I am so grateful to have that with Honda,” says Canard. “Being associated with Honda is awesome. They are a genuine and sincere company that is dedicated to developing the best quality product they can. I also think it is good not having to start fresh with a new team and new people. I already have a bond with everyone from past years, so it’s easy to have that level of trust needed to succeed.”
With an entire season aboard the all-new 2013 CRF450R, Canard is as excited as ever about his bike and its performance heading into 2014. “My 2014 CRF450R is unbelievable,” Canard says. “It is nice to go to a track and look at it, and have complete belief that your motorcycle is going to be able to do what you need it to do. When you know your bike is going to handle the way you want in the whoops or corners, it really makes riding that much more fun. The handling has gotten so much better than in past years and I am still a big supporter of the dual-exhaust system. I think it really helps with the whole balance of the motorcycle. I am really happy with my bike and think it is so cool to see the whole team working so hard to make the motorcycle better than it has ever been.”
With the competition stiffer than ever heading into 2014, Canard believes he has one thing that separates him from the rest of the field. “The competition is so tough now, and we are all such similar athletes, but one characteristic that I believe I have is heart. I have been through some difficulties and have been able to pull through and I really have to attribute that to my faith 100 percent. That has kept me going through everything. For 2014, of course, the expectation is to win races and ultimately a championship, but the only thing I can guarantee is my effort. I will focus on the things I can control, which are my thinking, my riding and my effort and I hope that when the time comes we can cross the finish line in first.”
Speed. Determination. Perseverance. Canard has all the qualities of a champion, and nobody has more heart.