Frid’Eh Update #11 Presented by Loudmouth Intakes
By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford
Welcome to week #11 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update Presented by Loudmouth Intakes. #11 is special in that it signifies our MX2 champion. In 2016, our roving Monster Energy AMA Supercross star, Cole Thompson.
We’ve been following Cole’s career since he was on little bikes, so it’s extra special to see him claim an outdoor title in his home country. Cole was an established competitor in the MX1 class, so when he dropped down to contest the MX2 class in 2016, we all new it made him the one to beat, instantly.
Cole is famous for his smooth style. In fact, his style is so smooth it sometimes looks like he’s not trying. Would that technique translate to the hyper style of the 250 outdoor world? Well, we all know the answer, but it doesn’t stop Cole from sometimes beating himself up for not riding like he thinks he should on the little bike.
Here’s a look at his 2016 Rockstar Energy MX Nationals season:
Cole won 7 out of 10 rounds and was never off the podium. He was 106 points ahead of second place finisher, Shawn Maffenbeier. Was this the most dominant season in Canadian history? I don’t know, but it was definitely one for the ages! At times, he seemed like a ‘man among boys’ and we’re going to get the chance to see him run the #1 in 2017. Can anyone step up to challenge for the title? I know there are a few riders who are ready to step up to the plate. It should be an exciting season.
We grabbed Cole for a chat as he was just arriving in Indianapolis for this round of Supercross. Here’s what the 23-year-old had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Cole. Can you talk about last summer? Dropping down from the 450 class, were you excited to be back on the 250?
Cole Thompson: Ya, it was a fun summer. It was different riding the 250. I turned Pro and I’ve never done 250’s outdoors. It gave me a chance to see how I could ride the little bike on the moto track. The plan was to just do 1 year but now we’re going to do 2 years.
Ya, well obviously they want to see a big #1 on the KTM.
Ya, a championship is always good for the team and the brand.
You’re more known as a smooth rider whose style is more suited to the 450. How did you like riding the 250? Did you feel like you got the aggression back?
I think I still ride a little too smooth. Sometimes I try to tell myself to ride a little harder but it was good last year. I think this year will be a little better now that I’ve been around the circuit on a 250. And racing Supercross again on the 250, I’m more in the mode of the little bike rather than going between the 450 and 250 like I’ve done in years past. I think this year will be much easier for me with testing and everything.
If you had to pick a highlight from last year, what would it be?
All season was really good. One in particular would be my closest to home race at Gopher Dunes. For me, it was a huge event with pretty much my whole family there. Being able to go 1-1 on the day just felt great with my family and friends.
You clinched the title at Deschambault, and yet JSR had to physically put a smile on your face on the stage. What was up there?
I won that day, and it was good. It was a lot of stress off me and it hadn’t set in that I won the championship yet so I was still in race mode. I think I was just mentally preparing for the next weekend. To me, I’m not much one to celebrate. It was a good moment, for sure, but I’m always trying to get off to the next thing and I think he had to kind of wake me up and get me to try to enjoy the moment, for sure.
What did you get up to after the final round at RJ’s?
The following weekend I went to Costa Rica so I wasn’t able to attend Walton. After that, I took about 2 weeks off and just enjoyed the rest of the summer because our summers are short-lived racing all summer you don’t get to enjoy the weekends. I took some time off and went to the lake and did normal stuff for a little bit and then got back into training around the 1st of October and geared up for this season coming.
So, you’re based out of Tallahassee, Florida. How did you prepare for this season of Supercross?
Right now, I’m living in Tallahassee renting with Joey Savatgy. He’s got a house there. And I’m actually training at MTF (Millsaps Training Facility). I’ve been there since the end of November. They’ve been able to accept me like another member of the family and I’ve been able to get along with everyone at MTF and it’s been a great help for my program, the mental side and everything like that.
I was there a couple days ago but I guess you guys were over at Coleen Millsaps’ other track?
Ya, she has a track that’s about 20 minutes from MTF.
Will you do any outdoor racing before the season starts out in Kamloops?
Ya, I think after I finish up in Supercross, I’ve been talking to JSR if he wants to do at least 1 or 2 rounds previous to our nationals. One, maybe 2 if things are going well, but I’ll try to do at least a round of the AMA outdoor series and head up to Canada to start the 11-week, 10-round schedule. So, it’s pretty much wide open all summer and then I’d like to try to do any AMA events that are available. I want to try to keep racing into the fall and then get ready again next year for Supercross.
So, because you’ll be moving up to the 450 class in Canada for 2018, does that mean 450 Supercross next year as well?
No. No way. That class is personally way too gnarly! Those guys are all really good riders and I think I’m fine with staying in the 250 class. Not that the Lites class is any easier, but I have a lot of experience on the bike and racing those guys. So no, no way, that’s out of the question. Once I get a little bit more confident in the 250 class, but for now, no.
Is your goal to one day do the full 17-round Supercross series in the 450 class?
Ya, of course. Obviously, it’s still a goal of mine to be in America racing, but it comes to the point where you can’t keep trying to do it on your own. You need some kind of help. I’ve been thankful for all the help from KTM Canada to allow me to race Supercross in the winter and then go up there and have factory support and a great team to work with all summer to be able to do a lot of things that I set out to do, and one of them was to win a championship and I did that last year.
Now, moving into this year, I’ll try to defend the title and then move back up to the 450 class. That’s the main goal and where everyone wants to be.
So, what’s the goal this weekend in Indy? I know you want to get into the top 10.
Ya, same goal. Everything’s there, I’ve just got to put all the pieces together. I’ve been really struggling with starts. It’s been tough this year, coming to the track and getting into the mix with those guys. You look at the lap times and everybody is on the same lap times, maybe not the first 3 or 4 guys are a little bit quicker, but from there back everyone is pretty much fair game. I’m going to try to get a better start.
OK, well good luck this weekend. Who would you like to thank?
I’d like to thank KTM Canada, Parts Canada, Thor, and all my family back home for supporting me.
Thanks for taking the time to talk with us today, Cole. We’ll be cheering you on Saturday in Indianapolis!
About Loudmouth Intakes
Understanding How Your Engine’s Output is Directly Related to the Efficiency of its Airflow
Our engineer is absolutely brilliant! First off, the stock setup doesn’t do much for optimizing air flow. There are areas of high flowing air and there are areas of low flowing air. All of which have to pass through a series of obstructions before entering the intake tract. The Loud Mouth intake, on the other hand, removes and replaces all of these obstructions from the intake at the start by eliminating the cage and all of it’s hindering components. The system then collects and concentrates all of this air through its specially designed and relocated air inlet, and accelerates it into the intake tract at maximum velocity, and vastly reduces turbulence. In short, your engine is a glorified air pump. You get out of it what you put in.
No Jetting/Mapping or Aftermarket Exhaust Required.
Hey, Guys. It’s finally Friday, but Mother Nature has completely lost her mind here in a southern Ontario. We were all teased with the warm weather, heck, it was warm enough for Gopher Dunes to open! Then ‘boom,’ we get slapped with round 2 of winter. With it being March Break, some of the lucky ones are down in the Southern states enjoying the warmer weather and putting in some hours in preparation for the 2017 season.
RICKY CARMICAEL AMATEUR SUPERCROSS
Speaking of heading south, many made the trip to Daytona, and quite a few lined up in Daytona for the amateur side of things. I think this is good and bad. Good for the racers that have been putting in the work and have already got some seat time over the winter. Bad for the racers that just rolled off the couch and drove south.
First of all, even a super-tamed-down Daytona is still a whole different beast than 99% of us are used to. In my opinion, it’s just a recipe for disaster and injury. Let’s hope the weather changes quick and we can hit the great outdoors here in the great white north sooner than later.
The big boys took to the Daytona track on Saturday and put on a good show. In 250 East action, we saw something special. Former phenom, Adam Cianciarulo, showed the world and himself, that he was back after a few very rough, injury-filled years. After setting the SX world on fire in his first 5 starts, poor Adam fell victim to injury after injury. Most people would have cried themselves to sleep and most likely walked away from the sport, but not AC. Adam dug deep and made it happen. It was something awesome to see and I hope the momentum stays with him as he tries to get back to the top. I think Adam will be flying and super-confident in Indy. Here are my predictions:
1st Joey Savatgy
2nd Adam Cianciarulo
3rd Zach Osborne
4th Christian Craig
5th Dylan Ferrandis
In the 450 class, it’s been pretty much a one man show. Eli Tomac has almost been unbeatable. When he starts in the top 10, you can almost guarantee a win. Yes, he’s that fast and dominant right now. But to be honest, Ryan Dungey has also been very good, and he still has a decent points lead. But, Dungey has to win or at least beat Eli a few times to keep the title. Ryan can’t keep on giving up 3 plus points a weekend, or before he knows it, it will be too late.
I expect Marvin Musquin to have a good weekend after a few terrible outings. I’m also thinking Cole Seely is due for a solid Saturday night. He has been very solid all year, but he’s ready for a podium ride. Here are my Indy picks:
1st Ryan Dungey
2nd Cole Seely
3rd Marvin Musquin
4th Eli Tomac
5th Jason Anderson
How to follow Indy this weekend. Click HERE.
Thanks, Jeff. First off, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone.
St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually on March 17, the anniversary of his death in the fifth century. The Irish have observed this day as a religious holiday for over 1,000 years. On St. Patrick’s Day, which falls during the Christian season of Lent, Irish families would traditionally attend church in the morning and celebrate in the afternoon. Lenten prohibitions against the consumption of meat were waived and people would dance, drink and feast–on the traditional meal of Irish bacon and cabbage.
Enjoy your bacon and cabbage tonight…
I’d like to start by sarcastically thanking whoever came up with the idea to have the Monster Energy AMA Supercross series go to Atlanta, Toronto, and THEN Daytona. That is a ridiculous amount of time on the I-75 were you to hit all 3! Unfortunately, Atlanta was a huge 3-day event with Arenacross Friday, Supercross Saturday, and then Amateur Supercross on the Sunday. I had to pull the plug on that trip at the last minute because I knew I wanted to be in Daytona and something had to give.
So, after a fantastic weekend in Toronto, I hopped in the #DMXVan and set off down the highway to Florida. In what other walk of life does it make sense to tell someone you’re loading up your van and driving to Florida from Ontario for the weekend?! I’m guessing none, but that is what it boils down to.
Some people seem amazed at the amount of driving there is in Motocross. I don’t really have a difficult time with is, only that I’m racking up the miles on this 2015 van extremely fast. In fact, it turned 100K on the way down. Nope, it won’t be 2 years only for another 2 months! I guess I’ll have to just toss it in the garbage after this next year??? That makes great financial sense, doesn’t it…
If anyone knows anyone that runs a big car company, can you casually mention Direct Motocross for me? I’d gladly represent…hell, ANYone if it means not having to buy a new car every 3 years!
Anyway, the van made it on another adventure and she’ll be happy to take the weekend off.
The first stop on the trip was the Daytona Supercross on Saturday. You can check out our ‘Faces at the Race Presented by Leatt‘ HERE. The next day was spent in the rain and mud at the Hog Waller GNCC in Palatka, Florida. Canadians Tyler Medaglia, Ryder Heacock, Philippe Chaine, and Jamie Baskerville were all in action. We put up a few photos from the event HERE.
Monday was the Ricky Carmichael Amateur Supercross. We had quite a few Canadians racing this year and we will be sure to post a bunch of photos from the event as soon as we can.
Canadians Training at Club 57
On the way home, I stopped in to see Brad Jerominski and the group of Canadians training at Club 57 near St. Augustine, Florida. It rained all night, so it left Brad looking for a sand track to ride on. Fortunately, they found one not too far away and we all got in our vehicles and ran a little convoy north on the I-95 toward Jacksonville.
Thanks for letting me come and shoot photos and video, Brad. We’ll edit and post the video as soon as we can get to it.
2017 Rockstar MX Nationals Top 20
1. Davi Millsaps – Racing the AMA
2. Matt Goerke – Rockstar OTSFF Yamaha MX1
3. Brett Metcalfe – Racing in Australia
4. Kaven Benoit – KTM Thor MX1
5. Mike Alessi – Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki MX1
6. Tyler Medaglia – Husqvarna Canada MX2?
7. Cade Clason – Likely staying south
8. Keylan Meston – MX1 privateer effort
9. Morgan Burger – May show up at a couple west rounds MX1
10. Colton Facciotti – Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing MX1
11. Cole Thompson – KTM Canada Thor MX2
12. Shawn Maffenbeier – MX101 FXR Yamaha MX
14. Dylan Wright – Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing MX2
15. Brad Nauditt – Game-time decision but probably staying home and working
16. Jess Pettis – MX101 FXR Yamaha MX2
17. Mark Worth – Staying south
18. Dakota Alix – Likely heading north for full MX2 series
19. Hayden Halstead – MX101 FXR Yamaha MX2
20. Kyle Swanson – PRMX Strikt Kawasaki
377. Christophe Pourcel – Rockstar Energy Husqvarna MX1
101. Jacob Hayes – Monster Energy Alpinestars Kawasaki MX2
PR-MX Accepting Resumes
A Few Pics from GFP
I stopped in at GPF to check in on the Canadians training there.
OK, we’re already heading into overtime, here. I’m sure you’re all out having green beer already anyway!
Thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the races…