Cole Thompson – San Diego 2 Conversation
By Billy Rainford
Canadian #127 Cole Thompson headed south to San Diego this past weekend from his temporary home in Lake Elsinore, California, for round 6 of the Monster Energy 250 West SX Series. After taking 13th in the main event the previous week in Phoenix, the Slaton Racing YP.com Nuclear Blast Fox KTM Canada rider was looking to build on that result as the West series gets ready to take a break. Here’s what Cole had to say about San Diego 2.
The Week between Phoenix and San Diego 2:
The week was good I did two days of riding; kind of the usual program. I did some rehab on my shoulder and just got the body back to 100%. The shoulder isn’t bad or anything I’m just trying to make it feel better. I went into the weekend feeling fresh. That was the goal so that once you get there you can go 100%.
It was a cool track. From the first round, it was longer than the first San Diego. The track was a lot tighter than they have been on the west. I think it was the tightest one yet. Overall, I thought it was good. For me, it was good to get comfortable right away. It was pretty technical. The whoops were a decent size. They weren’t the biggest ones but they were still pretty big. There was a short set that wasn’t too tough and then there was the longer set. They seemed like they were going to wear down and get smaller but they never did. They didn’t seem big but they were big, if that makes sense. They were big enough to where you couldn’t mess up.
I did [the big triple into the sand section] in the heat race and then, in the main, I went back to just doubling it. It wasn’t bad. It was just kind of one of those jumps that you just pin it and hit it and launch into the sand. Actually, once I jumped it I thought it was pretty easy to do. When I got into the main I just never jumped it. I went back to doubling and then just rolling through those singles. If you did it right, you could make it faster but it’s tough when you’re doing 15 laps to hit it right every lap.
[The right-hand first turn] was slick all day. Your brake side is down so everyone kind of pushed into each other. I thought they’d get rid of the right-hand starts after a few weeks ago.
Practice and Qualifying:
I was faster in my first practice again. The last two weekends were the same, which is weird. They didn’t do a lot of track prep before the second timed qualifier. They just put down water and I thought it was tougher to get a good lap time in the second practice than it was in the first.
I was 10th in the first session and i think I ended up 13th. It was right around where I’ve been finishing in time practice. I’d like to do better than that to have a better gate pick but I got to the inside at the gate for the first race and had a good start. I came out around 4th and was 4th for pretty much the entire race and then right at the last, I’d say, 2 inches of the track I got passed by (Mitchell) Oldenburg for 5th. It was a good heat race. I had some good pressure on me and I felt like I rode well.
[Is there any tension between you and your old racing buddy, Mitchell?] No, at Phoenix, I was asking him about his track (they own Oak Hill MX) because I’m probably going to head back after Santa Clara. I’m going to head back to Texas and do some riding outdoors. They got rid of the concrete start and that was always something I hated going to. They finally get rid of it after I go there for years and years of amateur racing (Laughs). I like riding there; it’s always been a good track. I have fun there.
It’s kind of fun. The group that I’m in, most of them, like Joey Savatgy and Cooper (Webb) and (Christian) Craig was a little bit older, but, for the most part, it’s all the same kids that I grew up with. That’s the part that makes it tough too when you see them winning and fighting for podiums and I’m struggling to find my place out there. It’s tough but you can only improve and try to keep getting better, so that’s what we’ve been doing. This past weekend was a step in the right direction.
The Main Event:
It was good. I struggled the week before in the main event really bad so this week I was trying to just get in 15 laps consistently. I got behind (Joey) Peters and did 15 laps. It wasn’t that I wasn’t racing, it’s just that wanted to be consistent and not have a tip over or crash. I just did a good 15 and I think it was good but it wasn’t great. Even looking at lap times, it was more just steady. I never really laid down a fast pace but it was good to get through.
I like that we’re heading into Dallas for this one because it’s more of an east race than a west round so I’m looking forward to that. At this point, I’m just trying to put decent results together because it’s been one of those seasons where you just try to salvage what you can.
Cooper just told me today that they do Vegas now. It used to be a round and then last year it was a shoot out, and now it’ back to being a round for points. After this weekend it kind of mellows out and I’ll be more focused for getting ready for the Canadian Nationals after this.
It’s be cool [to get into the top 10]. As long as I’m right around the top 10 then that’s good because I wasn’t able to race Anaheim 2 and then a couple weekends weren’t great. As long as I can finish out strong and put together 2 or 3 good races here heading into outdoors.
I’m trying to get stuff set up to race the first 2 rounds of AMA Outdoors but nothing is really set yet. It’s just talk. I’d like to do that because last year going to Kamloops I struggled pretty bad at the first round. I hadn’t been racing in a long time but still it’d be nice to do a race down here before I head up there and kind of shake everything out.
Plan for the Week:
We rode yesterday (Tuesday), trained on Monday and then rode yesterday at Pala. Today I just did another day of training but it’s the same old, I guess. Hopefully, I can start putting some good stuff together for outdoors now that we’re going to have this break and get comfortable.
My dad will be in Dallas, as well as my brother (Kyle). He’s still out here kind of on a little vacation.
Qualifying – 13th
Heat 2 – 5th (less than 1/10 of a second behind 4th)
Main Event – 9th
250 West Points – 14th
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