|The Honda Red Riders made their opening appearances in the 2011 SuperCross, an FIM World Championship season at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, CA on Saturday, January 8. In a field packed with talent, American Honda Racing riders Trey Canard and Josh Grant rode towards the front of the pack aboard their Honda CRF450R® race machines.
After being hit and going down on the opening lap of his heat race, Canard transferred through to the main event by way of the Last Chance Qualifier (LCQ) race. Getting a mid-pack start in the main and rounding the opening lap in ninth position, Canard rode a solid come-from-behind race to finish in fourth place.
"I'm really happy with fourth overall tonight," said Canard. "I need to work on my starts this week as I demonstrated I have the speed to race up front. But having to fight my way through the pack cost me valuable time. My bike was set up perfectly and I'm where I need to be fitness wise; I just need to get better starts in order to put myself in podium contention each week."
Making his SuperCross debut for American Honda Racing, Grant put in a strong performance to finish fifth in his heat race and go on to record a solid ninth-place result in the main.
"My goal for the first race of the season was to finish in the top 10 and I achieved that tonight," said Grant. "I'm really happy to get the first race of the season out of the way and I now know where I need to be in terms of fitness and race pace."
Honda newcomer TwoTwo Motorsports' Chad Reed finished one spot behind Canard in the main, taking fifth place aboard his Honda CRF450R, while GEICO Honda's Kevin Windham clinched the number six spot on his CRF450R.
In the SuperCross Lites West competition, Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Honda's Cole Seely raced his Honda CRF250R to fifth overall and teammate Travis Baker nabbed eighth place. GEICO Honda's Eli Tomac finished 10th in his SuperCross Lites debut aboard his CRF250R.