Catching Up With...Cole Thompson: Toronto SX
Interview and Photos by Billy Rainford
Toronto was abuzz last weekend as the Supercross Tour made its only stop in Canada at the Rogers Centre. In addition, it was our chance to see young Canadian phenom, Cole Thompson, line up against the best on his home soil. Sometimes our sport jumps up and bites us as a reminder of how tough and dangerous things can get when you put it all on the line and last Saturday was one of those times. Cole crashed hard in practice and was forced to sit out his home race. We caught up with him Monday to see how he's feeling and when we can expect to see him on the track again.
DMX: Hey there, Cole. How are you?
Cole Thompson: Hello. I’m pretty good, right now. Not bad. I’m not injured, other than my head is a little sore.
Your whole family has been, or is, sick. How was your week?
Ya, I think I got it on Monday night when I got the fever. I went to the hospital to try to get some stuff, to see what it was, and to get some medication, but they wouldn’t give me anything except for a puffer and that did nothing. I just suffered through it and took whatever I could from the pharmacy.
I got it first in my family. I thought I was just tired and it just sort of snuck up on me. I did nothing during the week. I just stayed in my bed or on the couch from Monday until we left on Thursday night. I still felt really crappy on Thursday and I didn’t think I was going to be able to ride on Press Day. I felt ok on Friday but still pretty sick. On Saturday I didn’t feel 100% but…
So, did you actually get out onto the track on Friday?
Ya, I got suited up and rode at around noon. I felt all right, not healthy, I mean, I felt a bit lightheaded and still had a bit of a fever and didn’t feel like my coordination was there. You could ride the first rhythm section after the finish line, and the triple.
Cole was sick all week, but was up for the challenge of racing for the home crowd in Toronto.
What did you think of the track?
I thought it was going to be good. Other than the rocks, the track layout was pretty cool. It seemed a lot faster than most of the east rounds have been, just with the bigger stadium. I was really excited. It was definitely different dirt, but it seemed better on race day than it did on press day. It had better moisture to the dirt, too.
With all that great weather last week, did you guys get your track set up and did anyone go to your place to ride?
No, I haven’t even touched a bike to the dirt out here. We didn’t even really unload from Indy because I was sick and couldn’t ride anyway, so we just left it.
As you arrived in Toronto, were you more excited or nervous than normal about being in front of your home crowd?
I was really excited for Toronto. It was great to be back home, finally. To be racing where I know people and people know me was going to be nice. I looked forward to it for a long time. I was really ready to just get it going.
Speed had a nice spotlight on Cole planned for this round.
So, let’s move on to your crash. I was watching the straight before the whoops where you crashed and saw Justin Bogle do the rhythm and get by you and then you both went into the whoops at almost the same time. What happened?
First of all, I just want to say, every time, since Atlanta, me and Justin have been together in practice either I go down or he goes down whenever we’re together. So, I looked over my shoulder, actually, that lap when I went down the straightaway and I saw him behind me. I was just thinking that this has never ended well. You don’t want to think like that because I’m not…I mean I’m superstitious, but you can’t think like that. I came into the rhythm section and I wanted to go double, triple, like they were doing and I screwed up. I just double, doubled through there and kind of took it easy getting a feel for things and I felt pretty good. I remember clicking 4th gear and hitting the whoops. I’ve probably hit whoops a million times! I’ve hit arenacross whoops and supercross whoops, and I have a pretty good feel for them. That time I just dropped the front end and that was it.
I can just remember the feeling of dropping the front end and the last thing I remember is the last 30 seconds of being in the room where they did the concussion test. I don’t remember much of how I got back to my motorhome. That was when I started, sort of, waking up.
I don’t even think I could remember the memory test they did even if I didn’t have a concussion! I asked my brother what they did to me and he said I passed everything like the balance test, the stuff they did with my hands--I passed everything fine--it was just the memory of ‘dog, green, car’ they asked me to say. That was it.
They said not to ride, but it was just an iffy situation. I’ve been knocked out before and then ridden and I remember how bad my coordination was. Riding a supercross track is all coordination and feeling comfortable, so I didn’t want to go back out there with even the slightest bit of weirdness. It felt weird even just walking.
Cole spent a very tense few moments motionless in the whoops section, after the crash that took him out of the event.
So, what happens next? Do you know when you’re coming back or when you go get tested again?
I’ll probably get tested this week and then I could probably push it to get back for Houston, but being so far down in the points and all the travel it’s just easier if we take the week off to regroup and get ready for New Orleans. The schedule is Houston and then a week off and then New Orleans. It’ll give me lots of time to get back to race shape.
I heard you’ll probably ride the 450 outdoors in the summer, right? Will you use the little break to get some testing done for that?
We’ve got a 450 coming for the outdoors, but, ya, I’ll just ride some outdoors and have some fun with that again.
So, sum up how you feel with the way the weekend went.
It was a big disappointment, for sure. I wouldn’t say I put a lot of pressure on myself, but I always want to do well and to have it come to an end that quickly, being my hometown race, was really a bummer. It felt like a big setback, for sure.
Well, thank you, as always, for chatting with us and giving us an update on your condition. Good luck and we’ll be watching for you in New Orleans.
Ok, sounds good. Thank you.
Cole’s 2012 sponsors:
Thor, Parts Unlimited, BPM motors, Fast Lap Suspension, Oakley, Pro Circuit, CMX Racing, MXschools.com, Jet Werx, LDS, Renegade Fuels, Moto Tassinari, Pro Wheel, Alpinestars, Works Connection, EVS, Ogio, Lime Nine, Dunlop, Vanquish, and, of course, the whole family.