Frid’Eh Update #16 Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada

By Jeff McConkey and Billy Rainford

Week #16 belongs to Brigden, ON racer, Cole Thompson. | Bigwave photo

Welcome to DMX Frid’Eh Update #16 Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada. If the #16 doesn’t make you think of our featured rider from Canada, well, you really haven’t been paying attention to Canadian Motocross!

In fact, Cole Thompson and the #16 goes back to before he really even had a chance to choose, himself! You see, he’s the last of a big family of boys who all raced moto and they were the ones who put the #16 on his bike when he first started, as you’ll read in our intro interview.

When I first moved back to Ontario from Vancouver in 2007, Cole and his family were traveling to all the big US Amateur Nationals and I found myself tagging along to cover him and all the other Canadian racers chasing the dream. It seemed like a really good time in the development of Canadian riders, as we had a large group of fast up-and-comers to watch at the biggest races around.

Fast forward to 2019 and Cole has made history after winning the biggest prize in Canadian Motocross history — the $100K Rockstar Triple Crown 450 title.

The only championship of the 2018 season that eluded Cole was the MX series, which was won by Colton Facciotti for a 5th time. Cole finished 2nd in the outdoors but won the AX and SX titles to cement his crown.

Two races into the 2019 season ,and we find Cole at the top, once again. We’ve been to Abbotsford, BC and Calgary, AB, so far. The series takes a break for Easter Weekend and then we get back at it next Saturday in Sarnia, ON — Cole’s home town (close enough).

We got in touch with Cole as he was spending some time with his in-laws in Carolina. Here’s what he had to say:

Direct Motocross: Hello, Cole. We spoke with you recently about your Abbotsford win, but we didn’t touch on any of your history, so I’ll ask you this one question, to get things started. What was your first race number and how did you choose it?

Cole Thompson: #16 and my brothers picked it because I think my brother, Justin (Thompson), was originally 16. And then he was Pro so he couldn’t run #16 so I got the 16. It’s been around forever.

I chased you around during your amateur years, a lot. What would you say was your best amateur race over all the years?

I had some good races at Walton. I’d probably say Loretta’s was my biggest championship, obviously, because it’s Loretta’s. To me, I’d say like either my last year in the B Class when I pretty much won a championship at every national. I don’t have a specific race that comes to mind but I had a lot of good races.

I won 450 B at Loretta’s in 2011. It was against Jeremy Martin so I always make the joke that I beat him back then and then he went on to beat all the top guys so it’s funny.

So, using South Park logic, you’ve beaten all the top Pros!

(Laughs) Ya. I beat him when he was 450 B so technically I’ve got 2 AMA Championships.

The 250 B championship was pretty quick and I got 3rd in that one. The 450 B was just literally Jeremy Martin and me and I think every moto we lapped into the top 10. It was just a head-to-head race, almost.

That one was kind of special to me.

Cole lists his 5th at the 2014 Toronto SX as his best Supercross race of all time (Shown here with 250 first-time winner, Justin Bogle). | Bigwave photo

OK, then you moved up to Pro and raced a bunch of Supercross. What would you say was your best SX race?

Toronto. Toronto was my only top 5. Toronto 2014. I had some good rides before that when I was a privateer, but my top finish was Toronto 2014.

What would you say was the best SX race you’ve ever seen?

That one in the 450 class was one for the ages. Anything with (James) Stewart. I mean, I even watch some of his old stuff. There’s a race, I think it was Indianapolis 2007 when he came through the field…

Ya, chasing down Chad Reed. I actually just watched that one, myself! Weird.

Ya, it was amazing. The stuff that he was doing on the bike, even to this day, I don’t even know how he was doing it! The dude was just on another level.

Let’s move on to this year and the Arenacross series. How have the first 2 rounds gone for you?

It’s not gone bad. I got both wins in the Clash and the Main in Abbotsford. Calgary was tough. It was a tough track and I ended up with a 3rd and a 2nd, so I can’t complain. Matt (Goerke) rode really good all day and then in the main event he had some issues.

And then (Phil) Nicoletti just got better throughout the day and he pulled out the win in the main. It was frustrating for me in the main because I had him in my sights pretty much the whole race. He was quicker early on and then at the end I started picking away at it but didn’t make things happen quick enough. He rode great.

I think it’s going to come down to between him, Matt, and me for the championship with the points.

It was interesting how, on the podium, he said he was expecting a “T-bone move” but that he didn’t think anyone wanted to start a “blood war yet.” Is that the only way you could get by on that track? Were you considering it?

Last year, I don’t ever remember getting physical with anybody. After the finish he came up to me when me and Colton crashed and he got in my face and started saying he wanted to kill me and was going to break my nose.

This year, it kind of carried over. Like Hamilton, he kind of had that same attitude like he just carried it on over.

Me and Matt had issues last year and I think we race each other fair.

Cole has been #16 whenever he gets the chance to choose it (Shown here with #155 John John Pauk). | Bigwave photo

In Calgary, unless he opened the door and I could have slid it, I’m not going to tee him up! If you look back at the Colton situation, I didn’t tee him up. I don’t know where he gets the idea that I’m this terrible person, but anyway, he came up to me after was like, “Hey man, we don’t get along, but great race.”

What do you mean we don’t get along? We’re just competitors. It doesn’t mean that we don’t get along.

Why would I T-bone somebody to get the win? If he was riding good and he was faster than me, then he’s faster than me. I’ll try to get better for the next weekend. I try to keep my head level in those situations. I think, for the most part, it’s been pretty clean racing.

I said, when I came off the track in Calgary, “2nd is not good enough!” There’s a reason the 3 of us are battling. We all have that same mentality.

After the whole Colton thing, I became this villain. People said I shouldn’t have made that pass for the win. I should have just checked up and let him have it. That’s the attitude that sets you up for failure. You’ve got to be hungry and want to win every race. 2nd’s not good enough. It really isn’t.

If you look at it as 10 years, or whatever a Pro career is, you’ve got to make the most of those 10 years and then after that go to the races and have fun with your buddies and enjoy your riding.

What are you doing on your weekend off?

Not too much. I’ll just spend the weekend here with Chloe’s family in Carolina. They have a Supercross track here so I’ll probably get some riding in later in the week. I’ll probably head back to Sarnia on Thursday or something and maybe get a day of riding in at home before Sarnia.

Speaking of Sarnia, this is your home race. Is that more pressure or is it just like any other race for you?

More pressure I put on myself. I always want to do good at any race, but Sarnia being my home race, I don’t want to make a bad memory of that.

Last year, it was great for me. I won everything. I’d like to try and repeat that but I know it’s not going to be any easier this year.

Everyone knows you’re kind of the one to beat indoors, but what are you going to focus on to go after the outdoor title this summer?

I thought I put a lot of effort into my outdoors last year. I struggled with bike set up going from 250 to 450. This year, I kind of got a jump start. Even in the fall I was riding quite a bit of outdoors.

All winter, believe it or not, I believe I only did like 3 days of Supercross. I did 2 days at GPF and I rode County Line’s Pee Wee track.

No joke, I really want to get this outdoor thing figured out. It’s been a struggle on the 450. I dominated the 250 but, like I say, on the 450 I’ve always been like a 4th place guy. That’s more frustrating than anything.

I’ve learned from the last couple years of racing. Bike set up is huge and I think we’re getting closer to what I need to battle with the front guys.

And obviously fitness. It’s gnarly for the rounds on the east — the heat and the roughness. So, outdoors is one I really want to check off this year.

Indoors, I’m really comfortable. It’s just tight, so you’re getting in and out of your corners quick whereas outdoors you’ve got 2-minutes of track to make up time.

Cole heads into Round 3 with a 4-point lead over Matt Goerke in the 450 AX series. | John Meaney photo

Who are you training with for fitness? Do you have a person?

No. I work with my brother. We’ll put stuff together. My brother, Jeffery (Thompson), is really smart with nutrition, so I work with him. And then my brother, Kyle (Thompson) is really smart with the fitness side of things.

Over the years, I’ve just learned what works for me and what doesn’t. Together, we kind of just put a program together and as we go I stick as closely as I can to it.

OK, let’s leave it there. Have a good weekend and I’ll see you in Sarnia. Who would you like to thank?

Ya, thanks. I’d like to thank KTM Red Bull Thor Racing, and parts Part Canada.



JEFF McCONKEY


Happy Easter, Everyone. How bout that weather? I don’t think we’ve had this much rain in the forecast in quite some time. Our poor friends in Quebec seem to be getting hit the hardest. Let’s hope Mother Nature eases up on them a bit.

Round 2 of the Rockstar Triple Crown series kicked off in Calgary, Alberta. After a round 1 didn’t have the best of dirt conditions, the track crew hit a homerun with the track in Calgary. It was one of those tracks where, after first glimpse, it was almost too pretty to ride. I know it’s tough for these track builders — limited schedule, different equipment, and not always the best material. Anyways, hats off to the crew, we appreciate all of your hard work and skill.

Onto the racing action.

The best thing about 2019 AX so far is that it’s looking like we will have multiple winners. We still have our strong favourites in the 450 class, Cole Thompson, Matt Goerke and Phil Nicoletti. And Luke Renzland, Tyler Medaglia, Dylan Wright, and newcomer Ryder Floyd. And just think, we are missing Colton Facciotti and Mike Alessi in the 450 class, and Jess Pettis, Tanner Ward, Jake Tricco and the Redemption riders in the 250 class. So top talent is not an issue moving forward in 2019.

However, it is looking to be a little difficult to get the meat and potato riders across the country and back. Most of them have real jobs or their parents are funding their effort, and can only afford one trip coast to coast. It makes sense and I get it. With us having so little in means of practicing and preparing for any indoor racing due to weather and lack of tracks, it’s a hard sell for the mid-packers and guys just trying to qualify.

How do we fix this? I really don’t know?

I, myself, love the fact that the Triple Crown offers all 3 disciplines, I’m just not sure how appealing Arenacross is. In Canada, outdoors will always be the main focus. Supercross is enticing, but it’s just not for everyone right now. I’m sure we will get more tracks and events and it will grow, but we are still very new to it.

So now we have a week until we head east and hit the 2 remaining rounds in Ontario. I’m on the fence if we will see many more top riders out for these last two. I sure hope we get more riders as Ontario has plenty to offer at all skill sets. I think the action will continue to be exciting and it really does make it interesting when there are many potential winners.

That’s it for me this week. Go have some turkey with family and friends and #smileforBC!


BILLY RAINFORD


Thanks, Jeff. It’s Good Friday and the start of a long weekend. I really didn’t want to bother people on a day that some take quite seriously, so we’re going to keep this short.

It’s still raining here in Southwestern Ontario, so I don’t know how many of you are able to get out to a track and take advantage of the day off around here, but, hopefully, it’s a little nicer out wherever you are.

There are a couple things to keep an eye on this weekend:

Cal Classic at Fox Raceway

We’ve got at least 3 Canadians to keep an eye on over the weekend. The Dynamic Duo of #43 Noah Viney and #53 Bjorn Viney will be lining up, so be sure to search their profile’s to see how they do. I also see Burg Giliomee from Coquitlam, BC in the 450 B class.

Here’s a look at the track from a drone on Instagram:

You can follow the LIVE TIMING right here: http://2xpromotions.com/results/

Wiseco 2-Stroke World Championships at Glen Helen

They’re practicing today and the racing is Saturday, April 20th. Whoever is there with a video camera or at least a cell phone, please take as much video of any 2-stroke 500 you can!

LIVE TIMING link here: http://live.tracksideresults.com/glenhelen/liveresults.asp


OK, like I said, we’ll keep it short this holiday weekend. Enjoy some time with family and friends and we’ll see you next week in Sarnia.

Since we won’t seen Colton Facciotti until June 1st in Calgary, let’s let 2011 bikers, Colton and Jocelyn, say it this week. “See you at the races…” | Bigwave photo