Yamaha Motor Canada Presents The Cole Thompson Report

Coming into the opening round of the 2022 Monster Energy Supercross Series, all eyes were on Cole Thompson as he was the lone Canadian on the starting line. Cole’s story is a unique one as he’s down in California and racing in the 250SX West with very limited support. However, what he does have is a 2022 YZ250F that he loves, support from key sponsors like Parts Canada and Factory Connection, as well as the love and support from his family and his fans back here in Canada. On Saturday night in Anaheim Cole rewarded everyone with a solid 14th in the 250SX West main event. It was a great result and we caught with him the day after the opening round.

MXP: Hey Cole, what is going on today?

Not too much. I am just back at our home base here in Menifee and getting some things done.

Well, let’s jump right into this. How do you think your day went at the opening round in Anaheim?

Overall I was really happy with how things went. Remember how you and I spoke about how my suspension felt stiff while out testing? Well, I’m glad I left it stiff because the Anaheim track was soft and I definitely needed some good suspension. I felt good all day though and I just kind of took what the track gave me, to be honest. I think I could’ve rode faster but with the way the track was, I think my approach was a good one. As you saw, a few riders hit the deck so the track could bite you quickly. For my first race since September I was happy with how it went.

Once you hit the track on Saturday did you feel confident with your riding?

Yes, I did feel pretty good. As I said, the track was challenging and you had to be patient. The goal was to get through qualifying in one piece and then try and make it to the main event without having to go through the dreaded LCQ. The opening laps of my heat race were a little sketchy as I had to pass a few riders. In the main event, I didn’t have the best gate pick and the short start really favoured the inside riders. I didn’t get the best start in the main event either so I just did what I could.

It was great to see Cole Thompson and his smooth style at the opening round of SX.

I looked at your lap times and they were pretty solid for the entire main event. How was your fitness at the opening round?

It was okay but about halfway through the main event I started to cramp up and had trouble staying relaxed. It was tough last week because I was so busy trying to get everything ready that I didn’t have time to train properly. This week is going to be a lot better as I can focus more on getting ready for Oakland.

But overall you must be excited with how Anaheim went and you must be feeling confident heading into Round 2?

For sure Palms! Now that I have one race under my belt I know what to expect this coming weekend so I know I’m going to be more prepared. Now that I’ve had a little time to process A1 I know what I need to work on and I’m excited to see what I can do in Oakland.

What are a couple of items you think you can do better this weekend in Oakland?

Well, it’s easy to say that I need to get better starts. I mean, almost every rider in the main event probably wishes they got a better start. But I think it begins in qualifying. I have to qualify a little better and then that will give me a better gate pick for my heat race and that hopefully will lead to a better finish etc.. Basically, your gate pick and finish in the main event could come from a good qualifying lap in practice so you have to be on your game early. I know I’m going to feel more comfortable this weekend so I should be able to qualify better. I don’t know, I’m excited to race again this weekend.

Cole knows that it all begins with a solid qualifying session.

That’s great Cole! So what is the plan for this weekend? When are you leaving for Oakland?

I looked and it’s about 400 miles from our campground to the stadium in Oakland so we’ll leave on Thursday afternoon and split up the drive. I heard that the stadium in Oakland isn’t in a nice part of the city so I kind of want to be in and out and not spend a lot of time there. That’s about it, my race bike is ready to go and I know that physically I’m going to be ready.

Well Cole, good luck and trust me when I say that all of Canada will be watching and cheering for you on Saturday night!

Thank you Palms! Hopefully, I can have another solid finish and give everyone something to cheer about. I think the track will be a little better this weekend and the weather looks good so I’m ready to go.