Christian Craig to ride HRC Honda's CRF450R for 2017 Outdoor Motocross Series

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ML512

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4/4/2017 12:01 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/4/2017 12:06 PM

Well, I didn't expect that...



Christian Craig to Fill in for Team Honda HRC During AMA Motocross Series
TORRANCE, Calif. (April 4, 2017) – Team Honda HRC is happy to announce that current GEICO Honda rider Christian Craig will fill in for the injured Ken Roczen throughout the entire 12-round AMA Pro Motocross series. Craig will pilot a factory CRF450R alongside Cole Seely beginning with the Hangtown season opener on May 20.

Craig is not new to the premier class, having campaigned 450s during the 2009 ’11, ’12 and ’14 Pro Motocross seasons. The Californian has a career-best 450 outdoor finish of seventh and is hoping to improve with help from the factory squad.

“Honestly, when I got the call that factory Honda wanted me to fill in, I couldn’t stop smiling,” Craig said. “To have this opportunity is an honor. Obviously, everyone including me is so bummed Kenny got hurt, and I’ll do everything in my power to make the team and Kenny happy they chose me as the guy to ride his bike while he recovers. I’ll be going into the season open-minded and as prepared as I can be. The 450 class is more stacked than ever, but hopefully after the first couple rounds I’ll be able to learn the pace and see where I fit in. Thanks to the entire Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda crews for allowing this to happen, and to Kenny for letting me borrow his bike for the summer. I’m beyond grateful.”

“We’re really excited to have Christian riding for us in the AMA Pro Motocross series,” said Team Honda HRC manager Dan Betley. “He’s shown notable speed in the 450 class in previous years, and I think he has the potential to deliver solid results. GEICO Honda is our extended family; we have a great relationship, so we appreciate them allowing us to have Christian for the season.”

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Marc_Honda

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4/4/2017 12:05 PM

I'm happy for Craig but bummed that Roczen can't defend his title. Man he looked good on that Honda and would have been a handful for the other riders for sure. And with Eli riding the way he is it would have been and epic season.

JRT812

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4/4/2017 12:07 PM

Good for Craig, but that is sort of surprising

ab

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4/4/2017 12:07 PM

I'm excited to see how Craig does. Good for him

Damn!

mxb2

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4/4/2017 12:09 PM

Nice ,. Imo,. 8-12.

jeffro503

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4/4/2017 12:12 PM

YES!!! Been really hoping to see Christian back on a 450! He can ride the hell out of one , and personally I think his style fits the 450's better. And on a full factory HRC Honda.....sheeesh! Awesome opportunity. Good luck Christian!

And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

Lastander

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4/4/2017 12:12 PM

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

kaptkaos

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4/4/2017 12:13 PM

FUCK YEAH!!!

This made my day, seriously, I am grinning ear to ear. I cant think of a better person to fill in other than Mookie.

Craig will be so good on a 450 outdoors. He has style for days and he is on HONDA baby!

If they would have put Noren on that bike I would have been super disappointed. Nothing against Noren.

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MX Guy

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4/4/2017 12:14 PM

So J-Mart on the Geico 450 and Craig on the HRC 450?

...I mean I guess...



WillMX114

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4/4/2017 12:15 PM

Craig did pretty good on a 450 before he retired. Hope he does good.

jorgechavez

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4/4/2017 12:15 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/4/2017 12:16 PM

MX Guy wrote:

So J-Mart on the Geico 450 and Craig on the HRC 450?

...I mean I guess...

No, JMart on the Geico 250

ML512

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4/4/2017 12:16 PM

MX Guy wrote:

So J-Mart on the Geico 450 and Craig on the HRC 450?

...I mean I guess...

J-Mart on a Geico 250 for outdoors, he's the title favorite... 450s are 2018 for him.

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Rockstar

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4/4/2017 12:20 PM

Does this mean Decotis can run the outdoor series now on the Geico Honda?

ML512

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4/4/2017 12:23 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

Freddy Noren has twelve top ten 450 MX finishes in 60 starts.

Christian Craig has eight top ten 450 MX finishes in 23 starts.

Christian also has seven top ten 250 MX finishes in 12 starts, three of which are top five.

I like Freddy, but it's not a bad choice for HRC Honda to bring up Christian, he's done very well on a 450 outdoors...

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twotwosix

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4/4/2017 12:23 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/4/2017 12:24 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

Disagree completely. "Fast Freddy" should be called "Pretty quick and very likeable Freddy".

Born in Corona, living in East TN.

ab

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4/4/2017 12:24 PM

Rockstar wrote:

Does this mean Decotis can run the outdoor series now on the Geico Honda?

sadly Decotis is not as good outdoors as he is indoors and I think LaRocco is aware of that. I would love for the rippa to come out and beat everybody at southwick thoughh

Damn!

kiwifan

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4/4/2017 12:24 PM

Pretty cool for Craig, he has shown a lot of speed on a 450 outdoors...definitely could be a top 5 guy consistently...in my opinion

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MXD

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4/4/2017 12:26 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

I agree that Freddy will probably end up ahead of him by the end of the season but I bet CC will have a better single moto finish. CC can put in that hero moto or 2 where he lands on the box and gets people talking. That's probably all they want for a fill in.

ML512

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4/4/2017 12:31 PM

Rockstar wrote:

Does this mean Decotis can run the outdoor series now on the Geico Honda?

Right now their outdoor lineup is:

Jeremy Martin
Chase Sexton
Cameron McAdoo
RJ Hampshire (may miss the first few rounds)

Running five guys outdoors is a pain in the butt for a 250 team. Also, Jimmy's only been inside the top 20 overall at 11 nationals of the 30 he has attempted...with his best being 16th overall at his home race in Southwick. Last year on a Geico Honda, he only managed two 19th overalls and a 21st overall in the three rounds he did...

If they need another person on the bike, I could see them trying out someone else to evaluate bringing that person on to the team in the future.

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4/4/2017 12:32 PM

WillMX114 wrote:

Craig did pretty good on a 450 before he retired. Hope he does good.

I agree! He led several motos it seems like and looked effortless.

jeffro503

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4/4/2017 12:33 PM

What year and track was it that CC lead about 1/2 the moto? He was running the #144 on a Honda , and I think even David Bailey said " Sheeesh....Christian is flat out hauling the mail...and pulling away". I think Reed was in 2nd if I remember right. When Christian is feeling good on a 450 , he has world class speed for sure. Just really hope he stays healthy.

And there goes Jeffro. One of God's own prototypes. A super high-powered mutant of some kind never even considered for mass production. Too weird to live, and too rare to die.

Pimpin' Ho's , Rollin' fatty's......drinkin' beers , beers , beers!! ~ Ja

ML512

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4/4/2017 12:34 PM

jeffro503 wrote:

What year and track was it that CC lead about 1/2 the moto? He was running the #144 on a Honda , and I think even David Bailey said " Sheeesh....Christian is flat out hauling the mail...and pulling away". I think Reed was in 2nd if I remember right. When Christian is feeling good on a 450 , he has world class speed for sure. Just really hope he stays healthy.

I think that was at Freestone 2011?

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tcallahan707

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4/4/2017 12:34 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

MXD wrote:

I agree that Freddy will probably end up ahead of him by the end of the season but I bet CC will have a better single moto finish. CC can put in that hero moto or 2 where he lands on the box and gets people talking. That's probably all they want for a fill in.

Freddie is capable of top 5's. I would be shocked to see Craig on a podium this summer.

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4/4/2017 12:38 PM

Really cool, I think he'll surprise a lot of people on the 450.

tcallahan707

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4/4/2017 12:42 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

ML512 wrote:

Freddy Noren has twelve top ten 450 MX finishes in 60 starts.

Christian Craig has eight top ten 450 MX finishes in 23 starts.

Christian also has seven top ten 250 MX finishes in 12 starts, three of which are top five.

I like Freddy, but it's not a bad choice for HRC Honda to bring up Christian, he's done very well on a 450 outdoors...

How many of those 60 starts were out of a van, on the same bike he practiced on all week, with his gf (at the time) wrenching? I bet many of those finishes were top 15 as well.

I'd be curious to see the top 5 and top 15 finish comparisons.

I certainly agree that they are probably fairly equal on paper if you are HRC. I feel if you are going to pick a guy with a ride already, then maybe his ride should get filled. This basically equates to one less factory bike on the track this summer.

agn5009

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4/4/2017 12:47 PM
Edited Date/Time: 4/4/2017 12:55 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

twotwosix wrote:

Disagree completely. "Fast Freddy" should be called "Pretty quick and very likeable Freddy".

And "barely able to qualify for supercross freddy"

Seriously, I like Freddy but he's not on the same level as Christian. Freddy is that guy everyone wants to see do really well but honestly he is a 14th-20th place finisher in this field. Christian will probably be a consistent 7th-12th place finisher.

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4/4/2017 12:49 PM

Sweet.

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4/4/2017 12:51 PM

ML512 wrote:

Well, I didn't expect that...



Christian Craig to Fill in for Team Honda HRC During AMA Motocross Series
TORRANCE, Calif. (April 4, 2017) – Team Honda HRC is happy to announce that current GEICO Honda rider Christian Craig will fill in for the injured Ken Roczen throughout the entire 12-round AMA Pro Motocross series. Craig will pilot a factory CRF450R alongside Cole Seely beginning with the Hangtown season opener on May 20.

Craig is not new to the premier class, having campaigned 450s during the 2009 ’11, ’12 and ’14 Pro Motocross seasons. The Californian has a career-best 450 outdoor finish of seventh and is hoping to improve with help from the factory squad.

“Honestly, when I got the call that factory Honda wanted me to fill in, I couldn’t stop smiling,” Craig said. “To have this opportunity is an honor. Obviously, everyone including me is so bummed Kenny got hurt, and I’ll do everything in my power to make the team and Kenny happy they chose me as the guy to ride his bike while he recovers. I’ll be going into the season open-minded and as prepared as I can be. The 450 class is more stacked than ever, but hopefully after the first couple rounds I’ll be able to learn the pace and see where I fit in. Thanks to the entire Team Honda HRC and GEICO Honda crews for allowing this to happen, and to Kenny for letting me borrow his bike for the summer. I’m beyond grateful.”

“We’re really excited to have Christian riding for us in the AMA Pro Motocross series,” said Team Honda HRC manager Dan Betley. “He’s shown notable speed in the 450 class in previous years, and I think he has the potential to deliver solid results. GEICO Honda is our extended family; we have a great relationship, so we appreciate them allowing us to have Christian for the season.”

Didn't I tell you this when you came over?

Mathis is getting weeded out of the pro pits one team at a time he and his almighty will be outsiders soon.

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4/4/2017 12:52 PM

Im pretty sure Noren got a HRC bike for the last few outdoors last year, don't quote me on that but I remember Langston talking about him. Wasn't he their Test Rider?

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agn5009

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4/4/2017 12:54 PM

Lastander wrote:

Who the fuck signs that asshole over fast Freddy? Norén would and will smoke his ass outdoors

MXD wrote:

I agree that Freddy will probably end up ahead of him by the end of the season but I bet CC will have a better single moto finish. CC can put in that hero moto or 2 where he lands on the box and gets people talking. That's probably all they want for a fill in.

tcallahan707 wrote:

Freddie is capable of top 5's. I would be shocked to see Craig on a podium this summer.

In what world do you live in that you believe Freddy can get top 5 by beating any of the following without crashes or issues:
Tomac, Dungey, Musquin, Anderson, Webb, Baggett, Canard, Brayton, Millsaps, Grant, Seely, Wilson, Bogle, Tickle and Barcia. He's not beating any of those guys without them having issues. Freddy is in the next group of guys, somewhere outside the top 15. Typically every race there's a few guys who have issues so I would say on average Freddy would finish 14th to 20th.