Honda has officially started the electric bike racing era at round 8 of the All Japan Motocross Championship with an impressive qualifying performance by Trey Canard.
Team HRC’s Trey Canard got the Honda CR ELECTRIC PROTO off to a flying start at the opening day of Round 8 of the All Japan Motocross Championship 2023 at Off-Road Village, Saitama. This is Honda’s first participation in an official race with an electric motorcycle.
Making a wildcard appearance in the premier IA1 category of the series, performing in the heat of competition for the first time, Honda’s electric prototype off-road machine proved fast in both of today’s sessions.
In the opening official practice, Canard, who currently serves as team advisor for American Honda Motor Co. Inc., set the second fastest time of the session aboard the number 41 machine and finished second overall just behind multiple champion Jay Wilson.
In the afternoon’s qualifying race, Canard crossed the line in fifth, wrapping up a successful debut day for the CR ELECTRIC PROTO and giving him a good gate pick to carry that momentum into tomorrow’s three race heats.
Trey Canard, no.41 CR ELECTRIC PROTO
“It was a good day overall. I didn’t really know where I or the bike stacked up. I was happy to have a good lap time in practice one and a good start in the qualifying race from pick 24 which has given us a better pick for tomorrow’s races.
“There are some areas I can improve with my riding for tomorrow and we will adjust the bike to fit the track better as well. It’s exciting to race the CR ELECTRIC PROTO, and I believe it will really help the development of the machine. It’s also fun for me to be back racing after a long time away from the starting gate.
“The development team has done a great job adapting the bike in the last month and it’s been a very fun process.”
Taichi Honda, Team HRC Team Manager
“I am very happy that we were able to complete today’s competitive debut of the CR ELECTRIC PROTO without any problems, and that we could see that the bike’s performance is strong. It’s Honda’s first major competitive outing for an electric machine so we are very pleased for this milestone in bringing another new Honda initiative to the world stage.
“Today’s running revealed some small issues, which is normal for such a prototype machine, and we will adopt countermeasures for tomorrow’s races. It’s a valuable part of testing and learning in such a competitive environment, which is our main objective from this weekend.
“I would like to thank all the people involved in this project for their cooperation and hard work. The opportunity to learn and develop with the CR ELECTRIC PROTO is more important than outright results this weekend, but today the performance was strong, the results were good and we are looking forward to more track time in the heats tomorrow.”