Honda Hosts In-House Pep Rally

Kit Palmer | May 20, 2009

Team Honda held an open house/luncheon/pep rally at its corporate office in Torrance, California, yesterday, where the entire Honda Red Bull Motocross Team was on hand to sign autographs, hand out posters and mingle with the crowd. Andrew Short, third in the 2009 Supercross Series, Davi Millsaps, Ivan Tedesco, Ashley Fiolek and even former Supercross and National MX champ Jeremy McGrath took time out of their schedules to attend the event, which was primarily to benefit the employees of the company.

“We just wanted to have the team come out, so that everyone here at Honda could get the chance to meet the riders, get a close-up look and tour of the team hauler, and just see what we’re all about,” said motocross team manager Erik Kehoe. “Usually, we’re in the back building stuff, doing our thing, so we thought we’d show everyone here what all that noise we make back there is all about. It’s been fun.”The open house also coincides with this weekend’s opening round of the Lucas Oil AMA Pro Motocross Championship at Glen Helen Raceway, and the event will perhaps inspire even more of the Honda employees, who also work in the automotive side of things, to come out and watch and cheer on their team this Saturday.

We spoke with Kehoe a bit and he said that he and his team are ready to get things started. “We’re ready to start something new and fresh, you never know what can happen,” he said. “We’ve been doing a lot of testing and I think we’re in good shape.”He added that his team is healthy and ready to go racing outdoors. “Andrew is looking good, and so is Davi,” Kehoe said. “And Ivan had a really good session the other day, so we’re excited about that.””We’ve got the bikes pretty well dialed in,” Tedesco said. “We’ve got some new suspension setting for the outdoors and the bike is working really good. I’m looking forward to Glen Helen.”McGrath was his usual cheerful self while signing a stack of posters for his fellow employees. The seven-time Supercross champion said he is quite anxious to see how the outdoor motocross series will pan out. “I think it will be pretty interesting,” he said.

McGrath recently returned from Texas where he competed in an off-road truck race, where, in one of the two races, he battled with fellow former Supercross champ Rick Johnson for the win. The race, he said, came down to the wire with “RJ” coming out on top. The second race, McGrath finished fifth. McGrath said he has another race coming up in Southern California in a couple of weeks.

Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.