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Craig Salvages 11th at Foxborough Supercross


Foxborough, Massachusetts, played host to round 15 of the AMA Supercross series, where Team Honda HRC’s Christian Craig overcame a crash on the opening lap of the main event to turn in an 11th place finish. Craig launched his CRF450R out of the starting gate with the holeshot and early lead, but the Californian made a mistake on the opening lap, landing on some trackside Tuff Blox before hitting the ground. He remounted and rejoined the race in 19thplace. Craig began chipping away at his deficit and advanced to 11thby the checkered flag.

NOTES

  • For the second time this season, riders and teams were on a daytime schedule due to the Foxborough Supercross airing live on the Fox network. The program started four hours earlier than normal, with track walk taking place at 6:30 a.m. and the racing being completed by 6 p.m. “The early schedule is kind of rough,” Christian Craig said. “It’s nice being done earlier in the evening, but waking up and getting to the track so early isn’t fun, especially for those of us who are on West Coast time—it’s basically 3:30 a.m. I definitely drank a good amount of coffee this morning!”
  • During the morning qualifying practice, Craig was 10thquickest with 55.165” time, which was secured in the day’s second session. Smartop/Bullfrog Spa/MotoConcept’s Justin Brayton was once again the top Red Rider, landing eighth overall with a 54.709” lap.
  • Brayton and Craig were both slotted in 450SX heat 1, and they launched their CRF450R race machines down the start straight in fourth and fifth places, respectively. Craig made a mistake on the second lap, losing one position. He maintained sixth through the remainder of the race, transferring directly into the main event. Despite being under pressure for much of the second half of the heat, Brayton stayed cool and collected, crossing the finish in fourth.
  • The Foxborough track posed an interesting challenge for riders, as the conditions changed substantially from qualifying practice to the evening program. “It was like a completely different track than what we had earlier,” Craig said after his heat race. “In practice, there was way more traction. The dirt was softer and it was really rutted. Now it basically went from a normal East Coast track to something we’d see on the West Coast—super dry and slippery.”
  • Race mechanics often build a close bond with the riders they work with, which could make things strange when they must work with a fill-in rider. Although Rich Simmons and Cole Seely have been working together for nearly 10 years, Simmons also has a close relationship with Christian Craig. “I don’t approach working with a fill-in rider any different than I would if it was Cole, but yes, it is different, especially if you don’t have any relationship with the rider,” Simmons said. “However, I’ve worked with and around Christian since 2010, so I know him. He’s a friend and I’ve been around him in racing, so I know his personality on and off the track. That makes it easy for me to work with him. Obviously, we all wish Cole were here racing, but Christian is here and wants to get better, so when you give him information, he applies it. I’m having a lot of fun with him.”
  • In the 250SX East class, GEICO Honda’s Jeremy Martin dominated the competition most of the day, posting the fastest time in qualifying before nabbing the win in 250SX heat 2. It looked as though the Minnesotan was going to continue his recent hot streak, but an unfortunate crash on the first lap of the main event left him dead last. He remounted his CRF250R and began hammering out blazing-fast laps as he charged through the pack for the remainder of the 17-lap race, taking the checkered flag in an impressive fourth—a mere219seconds off the podium. Martin’s fastest lap time of 55.183” was unmatched by the competition. He currently sits third in the championship standings with one round remaining.
  • This Saturday, Team Honda HRC will take on the penultimate round of the 2018 AMA Supercross series in Salt Lake City. On Friday, Craig and GEICO Honda’s Chase Sexton will make an appearance at Honda World to sign autographs for fans, beginning at 6 p.m.