At RedBud this past weekend, Thompson had his best race as a pro going 7-8 in the highly competitive 450 Class. These two motos and his seventh overall on the day gets him the Racer X Unsung Hero award—he might not have made the podium, but he certainly deserves some credit.
Thompson made a ripple with a season opening ninth in the Lites East Supercross Championship but from there, it was a battle to the end. Cole missed a couple of races after crashing in Toronto, and failed to make a few mains, but still showed good speed in his rookie year. For the Nationals, the Sarnia, Ontario native switched to the 450 due to financial reasons and hit the Nationals starting at the second round at Freestone, Texas. There he scored a 19-13 and at Budds Creek he was 12th until a few laps to go when he got zapped by a couple of riders to end up 14th. These three motos were the only ones he’s managed to get points until Redbud. So what was it that enabled Cole to do so well on Saturday?
Thompson finished a career-high seventh overall at RedBud.
Simon Cudby photo
“I think the break helped a lot, I worked on my cardio and it was a series of things. Getting a good qualifying time, then a good gate pick and a couple of good starts,” said Thompson as he soaked in a tub of water after the grueling race. Seeing as how this race was the closest one to his hometown, Cole and his mechanic (and brother) Kyle were surrounded by family and friends.
“For the first time this year, I did some testing. At Budds Creek I rode my practice bike and I thought I rode it better. So we decided that it was time to get the race bike like that. I also am here with my suspension guy and it worked great.”
Detuning the Honda was key for Thompson, who was battling to hold on to his bike at the earlier rounds and battled arm pump. “I always rode stock bikes my whole life so why not try to go back to that?”
And with that he laughed, “I’m too little to hold on to a fast bike!”
Certainly Thompson is the brightest up and comer from Canada in a long time and this year, he gave up a salaried ride with a couple of teams in his homeland to contest what is the toughest motocross series in the world as a full privateer. Thompson is trying to get to the top step and realizes that racing in Canada wasn’t the way to do it. And besides, if this USA stuff doesn’t work out, he can always head home and be a contender for wins and titles back home.
Thompson is hoping he can put together back-to-back solid races, starting this weekend at Millville.
Simon Cudby photo
The wallet was the determining factor in not going to Hangtown and as well, the Thompson’s won’t be at Washougal as it’s too costly to head out there. His ride at RedBud may attract some attention from some teams but the second test for Thompson will be to prove that he’s more than a one-race wonder. He’s got to keep backing it up from here on out. And this weekend, at another track that he’s never been to, he’ll once again try to be the privateer hero.
“This is huge for me and going to Millville will be great and I’d love to do something similar this weekend. I’ve heard that it’s a great track and it’s great being up there with those guys. Hopefully I can do it again.”