Team Solitaire Heartbeat Hot Sauce Yamaha’s Cole Thompson ended up 14th overall at the Triple Crown in Anaheim on Saturday but he certainly had a wild way of getting there. After a solid first race of the night, Thompson struggled a bit after that and even had a huge crash in the final race. Somehow through it all he still ended up in the top 15 and sits 13th in points, just five points outside of the top 10, after three rounds of racing.
With the 250SX West class getting a short break as the 250SX East series starts this coming weekend in Houston, Thompson will have some time to continue testing his machine as he develops more with this new program. We caught up with him after Anaheim 2 to hear more about his night and what he expects to work on during the break.
Racer X: Fourteenth overall tonight. Just kind of take us through your night and how you felt out there.
Cole Thompson: I felt really good on the bike, just didn’t execute starts. With it being a triple crown format, you got to get off of the gate with those guys. So, the last two main events I was coming through the field, slid out in main event two and ended up having to work my way up from 21st. And then main event three I was just sending it a little bit too much last lap. Had tenth in sight and ninth even ahead of him. Tried to make a cross rut not cross and ended up going over the berm, off the track, over the berm, and landed on my head. But all in all, healthy and took a lot of the positives out of qualifying better, racing better, and being in the battle with those guys felt good.
And that crash looked like it maybe took you a little bit to catch your breath. Did you kind of knock the wind out of you, or something?
I was more or less like, “What are you doing, man? Take up a new profession at this point.” But no. Way before that I had a moment right in front of the mechanic’s area and I saved that. And then I think at that point I was like all or nothing, kind of thing. I got up and thankfully it was one of those you get up and you’re like, “Wow, that’s sick. I’m not hurt.” Like one of those things where I knew I wasn’t hurting, and I was like, “Hell yeah, I’ll take that.” Like, someone was watching over me, and thankfully they were. Because a lot of guys have been getting hurt lately. Crashes happen and it is what it is. I’m happy with the bike. Happy with my riding. So, hopefully in Oakland we can get back to the normal format, execute good starts. I would love to be up there as close as I can to the top five.
I know it was like a wild end to the night. I think you still even got 14th in the last race. But is it kind of nice, because it’s a Triple Crown, that it kind of salvages your night? Even if you have a big one, it’s still a decent result?
I think on that aspect, yeah. Because I had two crashes in the last two. So overall, luckily, I had a ninth and then a 16th and a 14th. Salvaged a 14th. Honestly, any other format, I probably would have just pulled off. That crash was kind of hard enough that I was like, yeah, I don’t need to be out here anymore. All in all, the bike was luckily in good enough shape to get around that final few corners and get to the finish. But it was good to be on the last lap and had that one not first lap.
I think right before the third main, and correct me if I’m wrong, I saw you. You didn’t do the parade lap, and you pulled in.
So, that was another thing. So, I had gotten my bike hit when I went down in the second one. And I didn’t notice it when I was out there, just from the adrenaline. Then when I went out there for the hot lap, I’m like, “Oh, I definitely have something wrong with my wheel.” So, I instantly backed out of where it goes double, double across. I just turned and went straight across the mechanic’s area. I don’t think they were even ready. Obviously, they were looking for me and stuff. And I’m like, “Hey, I got to get this changed.” So, we got it changed out. And it was kind of one of those moments I thought I was going to execute a start from it. You know what I mean? You’re already like adrenaline’s going and it wasn’t the case. I was probably five bike lengths behind the next guy beside me. So, yeah. Execute better starts in this Oakland race coming up and we’ll see what we can do.
We have a couple weeks off from now until Oakland. What are you going to do? What are you going to work on? What are some things you’re looking to improve on?
Just stay consistent. It’s been going in the right direction up to this point. So I think for me, just stay consistent through every main event. I feel really strong fitness-wise and the bike’s getting better each round. Obviously, with California raining out for the last few weeks, it’s been hard to just get time on the bike. So, looking forward to getting more seat time. I’m going to go east and ride with some of the guys over there and then come back out here for Oakland and the rest of the west coast rounds. So, I look forward to getting over there and getting back to home territory and a bit more familiar people and grounds, and stuff like that.