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Cole Seely Interview at MEC

Dan Lamb /

At the 2013 Monster Energy Cup, there were six full-time 250SX riders that qualified for the main events in the deepest talent pool in the history of the event, and when the points were tallied, Troy Lee Designs/Honda-backed Cole Seely was 6th overall and the second highest scoring full-time 250SX rider. Watching the races live, you could see Cole was feeling more comfortable on the 450, and it showed on the scoreboard.

In moto one, Cole rounded turn one in the back of the pack and things got worse before they got better. Cole made some early passes, climbing up to 14th, but on lap three, the #21 got stuck in a pile up. After getting untangled and back on track, Cole climbed up to finish 13th. After a horrible opening moto, Cole went into nothing-to-lose mode in main event two, and it showed in his riding. With a 13th place start, Cole used consistent laps and an early Joker Lane strategy to climb up to a 7th place finish.

Heading into main event three with twenty points on the board, the podium was way out of reach, but it looked like Cole had a point to prove. The race started with Cole having the worst start of his night—rounding turn one around 16th—but it would somehow turn into his best finish of the night. Marred back in 14th after lap one, Cole took the Joker Lane on lap one and spent the next nine laps passing and charging forward. When the checkered flag waved, Cole found himself inside the top-five and with a 13-7-5 on the night finished 6th overall.

After the race, I caught up with Cole in the pits to ask him about his night in Las Vegas. You can read our conversation in the interview below.

Cole, your 2013 Monster Energy Cup is in the books and you progressively got better with a 13-7-5 for 6th overall. How would you rate your night?
Yeah, the night was good. It started off a little rough with a 13th in the first moto. I just didn’t ride good, and the track was tough. In the second moto, the track was broken in pretty good actually. There was a lot of traction out there, and I tried to play it smart with the Joker Lane. I took it at about halfway and I think I ended up about 7th. I made some good passes. The third moto was really good. I got a bad start, but I went for the Joker Lane right away. I kind of got out of the pace of everyone else and rode my own pace the whole moto. I was just catching guys, making passes. Then I would think I was catching someone and they’d take the Joker Lane and it was an easy pass for me. I ended up 5th and 6th overall on the night, so it’s good to walk away with a 6th—some fast guys here. There was a lot of good racing, so I’m excited.

Yeah, you were noticeably better each race. Was part of it just getting more acclimated to the 450 as the night went on?
I just had a rough first moto. I got a bad start, there was a pile up and I got stuck behind it, and it just didn’t go my way. That’s racing and sometimes good things don’t happen. I just tried to bounce back, and I got a little aggression from that first one and I ran with it.

At this time last year, you were injured and not even back on the bike after a long layoff, so where you’re at now is obviously way better. How are you feeling heading into 2014?
Good, yeah, that was the main reason I wanted to do this race tonight was to keep me in race mode. Last year, I didn’t race for seven months before I raced at Anaheim, so that’s tough to bounce back from. It’s tough to deal with the nerves and all that jittery stuff before you line up again. Obviously racing all summer and now this, it’s easier going into Anaheim. Also, helps with stuff like settings. We got a solid setting before this race, and we can tune it down a little bit for the 250, run with that and see where that takes us before Supercross starts up.

Do these solid performances on the 450 help your confidence, not only in the 250SX class, but for your future in the 450SX class?
Yeah, yeah, really good. This is going into my fifth year with the Troy Lee Designs Team, and they’ve had a lot of faith in me, but they don’t have a 450 program, so I’m going to start looking for 2015 and see where it takes me. I think I’ve proven a couple times that I have the speed and enough of what it takes to run with the guys at the front of the class. So I’m excited and can’t wait to get on the bike full-time and be a front runner 450 guy.

I look forward to seeing it too. Thanks for talking to us, and we’ll see you at A1.
No problem



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