Cole Thompson – A1 Conversation
By Billy Rainford
Brigden, Ontario, rider #127 Cole Thompson is the sole Canadian competing in the 2016 250 West SX series. With that in mind, we’ll try to catch up with him each week after Saturday’s event. We caught him earlier today after he finished riding the Supercross track at Pala.Here is what the Slaton Racing Royal Distributing Fox KTM Canada rider had to say about the first round in Anaheim.
I thought it was a technical track for the first round. There were a lot of rhythm sections and the dirt was a little bit soft in the middle and then the faces were hard. It was a weird pocket that was very hard to hit consistently every lap. All in all, I thought it was a good track for the first one but it was just a little technical.
There were a lot of triples that were right out of the corners and I was only able to get a few triples out of the corners. For the most part, you’d go 2 and then start tripling through, but everything felt like it was really tight so it was hard to get into an actual pocket and then land and get off to the next triple.
It was more technical than what I remember Supercross being but it’s also been two years since I’ve actually raced, so it could just be that I have to get used to it again, kind of thing.
The landings were pretty steep too on a lot of the rhythms. They’re usually a little bit more mellow but this one you couldn’t really mess up. You had to be spot on with every rhythm or else you were going to have a really close call or go over the bars or something.
Practice and Qualifying:
I didn’t really get to ride my race bike other than a few laps on a sand track to test the motor and make sure it was good, so I was kind of just trying to figure out the bike as practice went on. By the last practice, I actually felt pretty comfortable on it.
Lining up for the heat race, I hadn’t been doing starts because with everything going on I didn’t have a start device until we got there. It was one of those weekends where I just thought I’d go to the inside and tuck around the inside and just do the best I can.
In the heat race it was good but in the main event I just got a little off balance out of the gate. I was just a little rusty. It was a tough main event, for sure.
The Main Event:
I was good through the first couple corners and then right before you do the triple into the whoops there’s a rhythm right before that and I just…a guy had fallen I didn’t see him so I jumped right onto his bike. I didn’t crash but locked up our bikes together to where we had to get an assistant to get our bikes apart. Once I got going again, I think I was probably 15-20 seconds down on the last place guy. The first lap was kind of a mess.
The rest of the race, I don’t know if it was just me not breathing or what, but I felt really really tight. Near the end, if you’re not breathing, it makes it that much tougher to get through it. The last few laps I didn’t really have that much to give. I don’t know, it was one of those weekends where you can only take some of the positives and apply them to this week and get better.
I didn’t know who it was I landed on. I was more confused about how it all happened! I landed on his bike and just stopped dead and we couldn’t get apart. I know that when I came around, I’ve been riding with Mitchell Harrison a bunch, he jumped in right behind me and through the first few laps we were going really good together and then I ended up stalling it right after the whoops section and he got around me.
I got back in behind him and he kept going forward where I kind of got stuck in my position. It was kind of funny because he got up right behind me and he’s been doing most of our motos right behind me. I had a good opportunity to do well and had someone to push with that was like I was just on my own but it was just really really tough for the first weekend with the track and the little bit of jitters.
Plan for the Week:
Right now, we just went riding today to work on a few things; just getting more comfortable on the bike. Then I’ll start working on starts and then the same old…just always trying to improve.
I did the same sort of thing this summer – the first round things didn’t go really as planned and then I just put my head down and did my work during the week and made sure not to make the same mistakes the following weekend.
I rode the Supercross track up top at Pala today. It’s actually a pretty good track. That was the first time I rode there and it was over a minute lap times and it’s hard to find tracks that are that long that are public tracks, so it was good.
There were a lot of guys there today. Jimmy D (Jimmy Decotis) was out there today, and Alex Martin and Chris Alldredge, so there were a few factory guys and then quite a few good privateers. I think there were probably 20-25 guys out riding, so it was good.
Qualifying – 13th
Heat 2 – 6th
Main Event – 18th
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