Most factory team managers are willing to gamble on the third 450 rider for their squads. Why
not? You can pick up a dark-horse contender on the
cheap (although, you’d be surprised how expensive
cheap is at some teams), and he might surprise
you. Thus, when Honda hired Ken Roczen, someone
had to leave the two-man red team. Honda had
to choose between 2016 team riders Cole Seely
and Trey Canard. They chose to keep Seely. Why?
He was a new commodity, while Trey had raced
Hondas since his first AMA 250 National back in
2007. If it seems cruel to fire the guy who carried
the red torch for 10 years, Honda didn’t feel that
way. Honda had been very loyal to Trey during his
many injuries and layoffs, and they offered him the
in-house test-rider position at Team Honda for 2017.
Trey turned it down (the position eventually went
to Andrew Short). Trey wanted to keep racing. Here
is how Trey described his feelings: “When I heard
that they were talking to Ken Roczen, they gave me
an option to be a test rider, but I wanted to keep
racing. I hope I represented Honda well. I did the
best that I possibly could, and I really appreciate all
they did for me.”
But, for Trey to keep racing, he needed someone
to gamble on him. That man was Roger DeCoster.
Roger already had Ryan Dungey and Marvin
Musquin, but decided to take a chance on Trey. It
was gamble of epic proportions, because Trey had
missed over 60 races in the last seven years and
scored outside the top 10 in five series. But, and
this is what Roger saw, when he was good, he was
really good. He finished fourth, third, sixth and ninth
overall in four major series since becoming a 450
rider. Roger was gambling that Trey had another
good season left in him.
The gamble didn’t pay off in the 2017 AMA
Supercross series. Trey got hurt in practice at the
first round of the Supercross series and never got
healthy. KTM pulled Trey out of the remaining 2017
Supercross events so he could be ready for the AMA
450 Nationals, where the gamble continues.