Catching Up with Cole Thompson | Atlanta SX Chat | KTM Canada
By Billy Rainford
Brigden, Ontario’s #72 Cole Thompson is on a modified 250 East Supercross schedule that will se him compete at 6 rounds. He missed round 1 in Minneapolis but will be at rounds in Toronto, Daytona, Indianapolis, Detroit, and St. Louis.
He lined up in Atlanta this past weekend on his KTM Canada Parts Canada Thor 250 after spending his time living in Tallahassee, Florida, and training at MTF in Cairo, Georgia.
Heat Race: 5th
Main Event: 16th
Direct Motocross: Heading into his first round in quite some time, how did you feel and what did you expect?
Cole Thompson: I didn’t really expect much heading into this first one. I’d been away from [Supercross] for a year now. I didn’t really know where’ I’d fit in. Obviously, it wasn’t my best race, but I learned a lot and I’m definitely going to apply it next weekend when it counts at my hometown race.
What did you think of the track?
I thought it was a pretty simple layout. Nothing too crazy technical on the track. Every one was doing the same rhythms. I wasn’t too pumped on the sand section. I’m never pumped on sand sections in Supercross, especially when it’s right after a wall and everybody’s just blasting you! I wasn’t stoked on that.
I thought the whoops were pretty technical. I was first practice with the C group and they weren’t that bad because they were fresh and then I went back out for the timed practice and after all the other guys worked them, they got beat up pretty quick.
For the night show, they couldn’t really do much with them so then they basically just became jumpers – everybody just started jumping through them. They claimed quite a few people during practice.
But, for the most part, I thought the track was pretty good.
Had they never heard of you before?! Why did they put you in the C group, anyway?
I think they just did it because I wasn’t at the first round and they kind of just had people that were in the night show at the first round in the B group, I think. I’m not even sure how that system works. I was actually pumped on it because there were only 9 other guys in my practice so it was like I had the track to myself.
The only downfall was that I couldn’t really tell…when I did my last timed qualifying, everybody started jumping the whoops and I was still trying to skim them, but I didn’t know that people were going to start jumping them until I watched the A practice. Then (Zach) Osborne and all of them were jumping and setting fastest lap times.
I was a little caught off guard with that but, for the most part, it was kind of nice having the track to myself to get comfortable and not worry about other riders or getting caught up in anybody’s line or anything. I was thrilled on that part, I just didn’t know the hot lines through the whoops and other little sections.
You qualified 18th. Were you OK with that?
Uh, like I say, I felt like I should have been a little further up there, but I had a good gate pick. In the heat race, I got a little excited and jumped the gate a little bit and it messed up my jump. It was my first race, so I was just a little jittery.
When I was going into the main event, I was trying to just get calmed down and relax and just put in a solid race. It gets overwhelming quick.
You started 2nd from the inside and I was expecting you to get a great start or do your patented ‘wait and pass people on the inside’ move.
The 180 start was kind of tough because you had to get a good enough jump to get to the front and tuck in on everybody. I had a decent jump but I was neck and neck with two people beside me and the safe side of me told me to just let off the throttle and take a bad start and try not to force it.
I think being the first race I went in way too safe and didn’t try to force the issue. I just kind of rode around for the most part and when I came off at the end I wasn’t even breathing heavy. I almost rode too safe. I didn’t push hard enough. I was just a little nervous and jittery.
I wasn’t worried about making the main. I’ve been working really hard at putting 15 minutes together and it wasn’t fitness or arm pump or anything, it was just mental. Everything’s there – the bike’s good, I feel good – it’s a matter of just going out there and actually doing it and not being frustrated if I get a bad start.
Then I got a bad start and I wasn’t doing too bad at first and then as soon as I got passed and messed up, then I started getting frustrated.
After that, I kind of just settled in too much. This week, I’m going to work on a few things and take everything I did at Atlanta right, take that, and leave all the negatives behind me.
You’re shown starting out in 13th and ended up 16th. How did the race go?
Like I say, it wasn’t too bad. I think I was in the middle and I was just watching the person ahead of me more than just trying to go ahead. I think I almost would have been better off if I’d just started last (Laughs) and was pushing through with my own pace going. I’d get passed and slow dow. I was riding almost like a goof, almost, at one point.
Your brother, Kyle, was there with you. What was he saying on the pit board?
Ya, he was keeping me on track with times. Everything was good that way – good communication. Even in the heat race…I was riding all right. Everything’s there, it’s just one of those weekends where I’ll put it behind me and not think too much about it.
I told him just to put…we figured out how many laps it would be… I told him to just put lap times. We’ve been doing times when we do our practice motos so I said to just put the time there and that way I could just focus on that and not stress too much.
What’s the plan for this week before Toronto?
I’ll ride Tuesday and Wednesday and then I fly out Wednesday night. I’ll do Press Day and stuff on Thursday and we get to ride the track so I get a little bit of a head start this week.
And you’re going to hang out with us for a couple hours at the Houston Friday night to sign some autographs?
Yep. I’m going to be up there. It’ll be good.
What’s your goal for this weekend?
Obviously, to better my results. I want to be inside the top 10…I want to be in the mix and not put myself so far behind. Maybe if I can get in there early on I can catch the pace of the leaders and not fall so far behind and actually put some good laps in.
OK, Cole. Thanks for chatting with us. Have a good week and we’ll see you this Friday in Toronto.
OK, sounds good. I appreciate the call.