For a surprise entry into the 450 class, Cole Seely sure has made an impact. After trying the bike for two days before Indianapolis and then immediately grabbing a podium, the Honda Muscle Milk fill-in holeshot his heat and the main in Detroit and got to add another 450 lap led to his resume. Now his 2014 450SX foray is complete, but we chatted with him just after the race to see how he saw it.
Racer X: How’d it go?
Cole Seely: It was a good night. I got a great start. Working on starts a lot actually throughout the week. It reminds me of doing a cycling race. You kind of get set in a pace and you kind of wait for the guy to try and sprint out and get a good lead. Or if it fails on him, he gets tired and drops back. I think that’s kind of how the sport of motocross is becoming. It’s an endurance race. I practiced my starts so I could get a good shot early on and got a good start in the heat race. I changed tires before the race tonight, but I don’t think it benefitted me at all so we ended up going back to a tire that I’ve been on, a really good Dunlop tire that I’m happy with. Just did the same thing in the main. Dialed in my starts, focused really hard, and led a couple laps. Stewart got around me and I just started making little mistakes here and there, and Villopoto got around me, then Dungey… I felt really good though. I feel like the 450 is a really good bike for me. In time I’ll be really a big threat in the class. It’s just I didn’t really plan on doing these races; they’re just kind of like a spur of the moment thing. When it comes time to race 450 full-time I think I’m going to be really good and have a really good team behind me. It was a good night. Unfortunately I got taken out, really dirty move by Andrew Short. Kind of took my front wheel out from under me. It’s already dangerous enough out there without having bikes thrown at the inside of you and to make it that much more dangerous is kind of… I don’t know. It’s racing, I guess. [Editor’s Note: We’re working on an interview with Short to get his side as well]. Just got to thank the whole American Honda team, Muscle Milk, everyone that helped me here tonight and for Daytona and Indy. I think we had a lot of success in what it was. It’s definitely a cool opportunity that was presented and I’m glad I took it.
How was the track?
Very, very slick. It was almost worse than a West Coast round. We’ve seen a lot of really slick races over on the west, Anaheim and San Diego being really slick. I think tonight even topped that. It was super hard and really had to rely on bike setup tonight. Just not push it and kind of ride at a conservative pace. Wherever I felt comfortable I could push a little but I had to kind of stay in my comfort zone.
Did I see you picked the same gate for the heat and the main?
Yeah, I did. Me and my mechanic from Troy Lee Designs, Rich, he flew out with me, and he and I were looking at the starting positions. Everyone likes to stack up on the inside and I’ve always been a big fan of sticking close to the doghouse. It worked twice for me tonight. I think a lot of that mentality comes from McGrath. He’s been working with me a little bit on starts and always tells me go with your gut instinct; if you feel like it’s good next to the box, go to that. It’s not always going to work out when you stack up on the inside.