MXA INTERVIEW: COLE SEELY TALKS ABOUT HIS RECENT SUCCESS & WHY
You often hear riders say that “you cannot win the championship at Anaheim 1, but you can lose it”, and this appears to be team Honda HRC’S Cole Seely’s approach to the 2018 season. Rather that making it his sole mission to win early, Cole has taken a logical approach of steady improvement. With this thinking, the Californian has used finishes of 6th, 4th, and most recently 2nd overall to earn his position of second in points to old rival and points leader Jason Anderson. Cole may be a bit overshadowed by crowd favorite teamate Ken Roczen, but he doesn’t mind. He’s simply quietly at work putting together a successful 2018 Supercross season. We called Cole the other evening to get his thoughts.
BY JIM KIMBALL
COLE LET’S BEGIN WITH ANAHEIM 2 WHERE YOU WON A MAIN EVENT AND TOOK 2ND OVERALL. It was a good weekend for sure. I just finally got off to a good start, and have been working on upping my intensity, and all of that kind of stuff. I put the puzzle pieces together, and felt like I did really well. I definitely rode with a lot more intensity, and aggressiveness than I had in the past couple of races.
WHAT DO YOU THINK OF THE TRIPLE CROWN FORMAT? It was fun, and it was different. It is cool to see some changes in the sport. I do not necessarily think that we should go to that full-time, but it is cool to switch it up, and shake up the program a little bit.
WHAT WERE YOUR THOUGHTS GOING INTO THE SEASON OPENER WHEN THERE IS SO MUCH UNKNOWN, AND HYPE? I don’t know. It is cool to kind of go in there, and have everything so open. You do not want to peak with intensity, and wear yourself out at the beginning of the season. So, often you just try to get through it, but obviously a win is really good. But in my eyes, it is it really good too, to just to get in there, and get in contention. Starting off the season in a decent position is the best; that is the way I look at it. Absolutely, it is always good to just get out of there in a good spot, not lose too many points, and put a gap on the competition.
LAST YEAR YOUR TEAMATE KEN ROCZEN HE WAS INJURED AND YOU THE LONE RANGER FOR THE TEAM THE ENTIRE YEAR. HOW IS BEING BACK WITH A TEAMMATE? It is always good; Kenny has gone through a lot, but I don’t focus too much on that. There has obviously been a lot of hype around him, but I am focusing on me trying to better myself, so I can’t pay attention to that too much. It is kind of distraction for me in a way (with Ken Roczen hype), but like I said, I am just trying to focus on myself and focus on my results, whether I have a teammate or not.
DID YOU FEEL MORE PRESSURE TO PERFORM LAST YEAR? Maybe, but really I don’t think of it that way. I do think a lot of other people would think of it that way, but I don’t like to because I don’t like to put any more pressure on myself than I already have. With my program, I am trying to better my speed, and essentially bettering my results. I’m trying to make myself a better racer, and not really focus on anything else.
AND NOW YOU ARE SECOND IN SUPERCROSS POINTS! I try not to get too caught up in championship points, as it is so early in the season right now. We still have what 14 rounds to go and there is a lot of racing to be done from here on out, so I try not to focus on that too much. But it is a good thing to be in the position that I am in points wise. I just try to think of it race by race and every time the gate drops, getting closer to the front and winning. You can’t’ win a championship without winning races, so I just try to focus on that and make sure that I am on the podium every weekend or close to that. There are a lot of pieces that go to this thing so I have to make sure that I do not overlook anything.
I REMEMBER INTERVIEWING YOU IN THE PAST, AND RYAN DUNGEY’S CONSISYENCY CAME UP. DO YOU FEEL THAT IN 2018 MORE RDERS ARE THINKING OF RYAN’S KEY TO WINNING CHAMPIONSHIPS? Yes, I think so. He is the most consistent rider that we have really ever seen in our sport. He holds records for the most consecutive podiums, along with a long list of wins, and all the championships. He is one of the best. Mentally and physically he has it altogether, is someone that I think we can all look up to.
HAS MUCH CHANGED WITHIN THE TEAM? The biggest change was Eric Kehoe coming back to Factory Honda; it is a good change. Our past team manager, Dan, is still really involved with the whole program, while making efforts to bring the Factory Honda and Geico team closer together. It has been a good thing for sure with the new roles of Eric and Dan. Eric and I go way back. I have been a friend with him since I was 12 years old, and I have seen him around a lot. I had ridden the factory 450 bike as a fill in rider multiple times under Eric, and I really like the guy. He is really smart, and he has had a lot of experience both as a team manager and racer. It is good to have somebody with that kind of experience, and position to run the show. He can definitely guide me and get me in the right direction when I need it.
I HAD HEARD THAT YOU RELOCATED TO FLORIDA; ARE YOU LIVING IN CALIFORNIA, OR FLORIDA? I live in California full-time, but I did go to Florida last year for three months during the outdoors last year. I will be going back there. I only live in Florida really for the summer. I just go there to train for outdoors. I live in California nine months of the year. I don’t think I will ever call anything but California my home.
WHO ARE YOU TRAINING WITH RIGHT NOW? I am working with Peter Park and Blake Savage with Platinum Fitness. He works with Kenny (Roczen), Adam (Cianciarulo), Christian (Craig), Chase Sexton, and myself
FINAL THOUGHTS ON 2018 SUPERCROSS. It is shaping up to be a good year and as I said before, I am just trying to focus on all of the little pieces and not overlook anything. I want to keep myself improving, and moving forward. Honda really did a good job building a good platform for whether it is the wakened warrior or amateur racer or factory racer. It has been a good bike for pretty much every level or rider, and I think that is super important.