Frid’Eh Update #16 | Cole Thompson Interview | Presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #16 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Husqvarna Motorcycles Canada. I always seem to start these things off with a bit of a weather report. If you’re reading this in BC, ignore the fact that we just had a blip in our spring here in Ontario and go back to enjoying your perfect weather.
We just came through a few days of unseasonably cold weather here. In fact, we woke up to some snow on the ground each of the last 3 days! No, it didn’t stay around but the fact that it was there at all is enough to throw us all into a bit of a tailspin here.
Things are looking better as we move into the weekend and we’ll be up into the 20 degree Celsius and above range. Of course, it’s April, so that means we’ll likely be seeing some wet weather for a little while. But, as they say out on the west coast, “At least you don’t have to shovel it!” People down south who never see snow must wonder how we do it up here.
#16 is Cole Thompson from Brigden, Ontario. When I first moved back to Ontario from Vancouver back in 2007, Cole and his family were the ones I saw the most. I was driving the 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon then and it was, more often than not, parked in the Thompson’s pits from Florida to Texas to Nevada to Europe.
I remember driving that thing across the border to go to Loretta Lynn‘s and the only question the border guard asked me was, “Is this thing going to make it?!“
Although the car was old, it was in absolutely mint condition with pretty low miles on it. I said, “Yes!” and rolled quietly into Michigan and on my way down the I-75.
Long story short, the water pump went in a small town in Ohio and I had to wait a full day to get it fixed. The place I happened to stop was in Monroe County where they made a pretty big deal of having a shoe from Robert Wadlow – the tallest man in the world who stood 8′ 11″. The shoe was a 37AA. That’s very long and very narrow.
The kid at the service centre was interesting. He was some sort of savant and swept up around the shop. He was a super nice kid and all the wanted to talk about was the guy up near Exeter who used to smash cars and do stunts on Youtube. He knew everything about him and was thrilled that I was from less than a hour away from the property.
Where was I, again? Ah yes, Cole and his family were there at Loretta Lynn’s dude ranch that year. It was just another example of chasing CT16 around the continent.
Cole is a rider who is always battling for titles and won the 450 Triple Crown Series Supercross title in 2020. Unfortunately, his MX season ended early, and we’ll talk to him about that. Here’s a look at his 2020 season:
Here’s what he had to say when we got in touch with him this week:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Cole. We haven’t spoken for quite a while. Let’s first go back to the 2020 Canadian season for a minute. The MX portion of the series was a tough one for you. Can you tell us what happened? You did the first two rounds and then that was it for the summer.
Cole Thompson: Yes, it was a summer I’d rather forget. A week prior to round 1 I started feeling exhausted and became more worried when we arrived to go racing if I could even finish a moto. I ended up crashing hard in moto 1 injuring my shoulder and ending my weekend early. After round 1 we had a two week break but still feeling exhausted and now nursing an injury.
Going into round 2 it wasn’t looking good for me. Surprisingly, moto 1 I got myself into a good position early and landed myself on the podium. During that moto I was exhausted and I felt worst each moto I did that weekend. Anyways, a couple days later I found out I had the Epstein Barr virus and made the decision to pull out of MX and focus on my health.
Was this type of an issue even more frustrating than say a broken bone? It must have been tough to not have a set time for it.
Yes, extremely frustrating. I reached out to my former teammate Davi Millsaps for some guidance since he was the only person I knew that had gone through the same thing. Right away he started me on a program with lots of vitamins and helping boost my immune system. Within 3 weeks I started to feel better. I’m incredibly thankful for his help and passing along his knowledge.
How were you feeling when you came out for the SX portion? Were you 100%?
No those SX races were exhausting, to be honest. I still had the virus active and doing 4 main events a weekend was tough, to say the least.
You ended up winning the SX series, 12 points over #2 Matt Goerke. Were you happy with your riding there?
I was proud of myself. Of course, I wanted to win every race but it just wasn’t realistic. Competition only gets tougher each year and those guys I was battling were on the gas.
Hey, let me ask you about that last race with Matt. What are your thoughts on the way your game of cat and mouse went with him? I spoke with Matt and he wasn’t very happy with himself there. He said he wasn’t very good at it. Lol
It’s racing. I didn’t think anything he did or I did was wrong. It made for some excitement in the series and around the pits. At the end of the day, I’m racing for wins and championships.
What did you get up to when the season ended? Where have you been calling home?
After things wrapped up I took a few weeks off and enjoyed life. I did some play riding with my much slower big brother Kyle (Thompson). Jokes, he actually flies on a dirt bike still. Near the end of November I went to Florida with my wife and lived at the beach for over a month before getting back into riding at the start of January.
I see riding videos of you lately on Instagram. Where have you been training and how has it been going?
I spent 10 weeks training at GPF and now I’m at my parents’ house riding County Line. It’s been an awesome winter, just miss racing my dirt bike. Haha
How is the new bike?
Amazing. It’s pretty similar to last year but I’m always loving my KTM.
I know whenever we talk before the season you say you want to do better in MX. Is that the same this year and what do you think will be the difference for you?
Yes, I want that MX championship, especially the way 2019 and 2020 went for me. I have an awesome training program with Davi Millsaps and the best team in Canada, so anything less than winning will feel like a failure.
I’ve chased you around since you were a little kid! How many more years do you have in this game?
It goes quick. It’s weird being the older guy in the class now but no clue what the future holds. I love dirt bikes and racing so hopefully you’ll see me for many more years, but at the same time, results determine how many more years I can keep doing it as a job.
What about AMA Supercross? Any chance we ever see you on the gate again or has that chapter closed for good?
I want to race it so bad but it takes a massive effort to be competitive. I really don’t want to say the door is closed for good but I’m running out of years to try it again. Hopefully, you’ll see me lined up for 2022 and battling with the best again.
One last thing, looking back over your career, is there one race or event that stands out as a highlight for you?
Gopher Dunes 2016 will always have a special place in my heart. I crashed in the first turn and came from last to first. I want to say my best races are still ahead me, so stay tuned for this summer.
All right, thanks for taking some time with us and good luck. See you at Round 1 and who would you like to thank?
Thank you for the interview. Just a massive thank you to KTM Red Bull Thor racing team for all their efforts. See you guys at round 1.
Man, I could have spent the entire week going through photos of Cole. I’ve got shots of him from almost everywhere you can think of! When his career is finally over, I’ll be able to do a pretty thorough photo tribute, that’s for sure.
As the COVID-19 lockdowns continue to rule our lives, we’re all left wondering what this can possibly mean for the 2021 Canadian Triple Crown Series.
As of right now, the schedule looks like this:
Unfortunately, with the way things are going, we’re likely going to have to make adjustments to this schedule. There are actually armed checkpoints on both edges of the Ontario border right now. It’s not good.
The rumours floating around are that we will have to modify the plan, which means we likely won’t be heading west and won’t be starting until July. It’s a really crappy situation…again, but you can’t blame anyone in our sport for not trying to get us to as close to normal as possible. Of course, this modified plan may have ramifications to some teams and their racing programs for the summer, but I hope we still see everyone on the gate.
If you’re worried that your local sponsors won’t be able to see their logos on your bikes and rigs in person, we’ll do our absolute best to spotlight some of these companies from across the country, if that helps. I haven’t figured this out yet but if it gets more teams coming to the races, we’re willing to do whatever we can to assist.
I’m thinking a weekly segment with a title stolen from the late Casey Kasem called, “Long Distance Dedication” where we grab someone who’s travelled a long way to be at the Nationals. We could do a sit down video interview where they get the chance to talk about all the people who helped get them there. It’s just an idea at this point…
Peter Derry Productions Joins Forces with Walton Raceway!
WALTON, ON, April 19 2021 – Walton Raceway gears up for a full schedule of events for 2021 with a focus on building the Walton Raceway brand and energy surrounding our events for years to come. “We understand that we are in a time of change in Canada.” said Walton Raceway President Brett Lee. “We want to let our supporters know that we are working hard in
this down time to create an environment that is safe and exciting for all our guests. This also means building a strong team to lead into the years to come, including 2022 for the 50th anniversary of Walton Raceway and 30th anniversary of the Walton TransCan Amateur Grand National Championship.”
Walton Raceway is excited to announce the addition of Peter Derry of Peter Derry Productions to the Walton Raceway family. Peter has a long history of building relationships in the Canadian motorcycle industry through his successful Spring Motorcycle Show, as a promoter of Canadian National Superbike events, and a long love of motorcycling.
“Brett and I often talk about shows and events in general and share the event producer’s perspectives. On a recent ’catch up’ call, Brett revealed his vision to take Walton to the next level. From there, things developed quickly, we approach events very similarly. Brett proposed that I would be ‘the guy’ to help. Motocross is a big part of the Derry family, we’re very
passionate about it and Walton Raceway is a signature keystone event of Canadian MX, where we’ve raced for 20 years. I’m very proud to be a part of the Walton family with Peter Derry Productions and I’m looking forward to cultivating marketing partnerships for Walton’s events.”
Walton Raceway is preparing to safely open under Ontario Provincial regulations May 21, 2021 for the season opening practice weekend.
Inquiries regarding marketing, branding and event opportunities:
ph; 905 771-0132
Cell 416 458-7143
About The TransCan GNC
In 1992, the Walton TransCan Amateur GNC was created an annual event drawing on all the best things in the sport of motocross: an annual coming together for bragging rights and a true celebration of Canadian Motocross. The TransCan was built from a great natural track, strong community, accessibility and support from the industry. The emphasis was to be real
outdoor-style motocross, highly competitive with lots of extracurricular attractions and an opportunity for the best Canadian racers in all age classes to compete against each other for a Canadian Amateur and Pro Motocross Championship.
About Walton Raceway
Walton Raceway is located in Huron Country on Ontario’s West Coast. The address of the facility is 42932 Walton Road in Walton, Ontario, Canada. Walton Raceway was opened in 1972 and is one the longest running and most prestigious Motocross facilities within Canada.
Social Media @waltonraceway
Monster Energy AMA Supercross
We’re heading into the final two weekends of racing to decide the champions in the 2021 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series. Just when we thought things were going to tighten up and make this a two-man race to SLC #2, #94 Ken Roczen falters while dominating Atlanta #3 and #2 Cooper Webb has his 2nd 450 Supercross title in his grasp.
If this were almost any other rider you’d think there is still a chance that something exciting could happen, but Cooper is just so damn solid, mentally, that it feels like you could just hand him the trophy and money now. There’s little chance he’s going to mess up enough to change the outcome of this one.
#3 Eli Tomac remains an enigma. When playing any Fantasy League, it’s difficult not to pick him for the win, but it’s getting easier. Just like I’d pick Colton Facciotti whenever he was racing here in Canada, if someone asked me who my pick was for the win, I’d say Eli. Will I again this week? Probably, but it’s not as certain as it has been.
#23 Chase Sexton is probably the most impressive young rider on the track. He rides like a seasoned veteran out there. He was a lot of people’s pick for the win last week until he had some troubles and wasn’t able to perform at the top after qualifying second.
#21 Jason Anderson is riding like someone who really wants a top job in the future. There’s been a noticeable improvement and aggression level in his riding lately. #7 Aaron Plessinger is has also been riding like he is ready to bust out a win. He’s only got two more chances to get it done this season. #27 Malcolm Stewart is another rider who is poised to land on the podium but then he ends up where he always seems to, in 5th or 6th. It’s odd that he hasn’t won a 450 race yet. According to the Racer X Vault, he actually hasn’t won an AMA SX race since the 250 East class win in East Rutherford, NJ back in 2016!
We’re back to the 250 East this week where we’ll see one more battle between #64 Colt Nichols, #29 Christian Craig, and #18 Jett Lawrence. It feels like it’s been a while!
The East/West Showdown next week should be a good one. Many people have commented that the East appears to be a little watered down this year, but when we throw them all together with the West riders, I think we’re going to see a great battle for the top 6 places at SLC#2.
Logan Leitzel on SSR TLD Gas Gas 450
Although we’ve yet to see this made official, videos of Pennsylvania rider Logan Leitzel on a SSR TLD Gas Gas 450 have been popping up on social media. He’ll, obviously, be the 450 rider alongside #28 Sam Gaynor on the 250 for the 2021 season.
I wonder if Logan is aware of who Acton Vale’s favourite son is? I’m sure JSR is somewhere nearby…
We’ll grab Logan for an interview in the coming days.
Jonathan Mayzak Memorial Scholarship Fund
Head over to their GOFUNDME page.
Team PRMX Owner Julien Perrier Podcast
We grabbed Team PRMX Wossner Deep South Kawasaki owner Julien Perrier for a podcast interview this week. We wanted to talk about how the team’s Supercross season has gone as well as find out what his plans are for once the SX season ends in a couple weeks.
Julien is a Canadian from Quebec, so it’s always good to keep up on what he’s got going on. Give it a listen on the Direct Motocross page on any of your favourite podcast suppliers. Here’s the Spotify link:
Have a good weekend, everyone. I hope you all get the chance to fire up your bikes or get out on your cycles…or better yet, both.