Cole Seely Interview
TLD/Lucas Oil Honda's Cole Seely is bringing some confidence and swagger into the 2012 SX season...
TLD/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely is still early on in his career as a contender in the pro ranks. In his two years with the team, he went from an occasional podium finisher in supercross in 2010 to a winner of two rounds in 2011. He also spent some time filling in at the Honda factory team in 2011 with some solid results in the 450 class. Outdoors, though, didn’t go as well for him as he would’ve hoped. We caught up with him at the Honda test track recently as he prepares for 2012; his third year with the Lucas Oil/TLD Honda team.
Motocross.com: So, you had a lot of success with Supercross this last year: winning the first race for the team and that sort of stuff. Outdoors seemed like a little touch-and-go. What was that about?
Cole Seely: Yeah, it was a little rough. I just felt like my fitness level was never there. I kind of started behind the eight ball and stayed there all season, I guess.
It was just tough. I guess you’re going to have those seasons. But this year going in I feel like my fitness is twice as good as it was last year. I’ve been working with Justin Brayton. He has been kind of showing me the ropes and teaching me some things about mental and physical strength.
As well as eyebrow grooming, I bet…
[Laughs] Yeah, eyebrow grooming! Basically, just how to be a badass in general.
It’s obviously one thing to win races and another thing to have time to reflect on it and all that stuff. Having all the time you’ve had since Los Angeles…
That’s right; Seattle! But in looking forward to a new season knowing that you really are capable of winning, has it changed your way of looking at the season compared to last year going in?
Yeah… I guess, because last year going in I knew I could win but I hadn’t had any wins under my belt. This year, I know I can win, and I have won, so it just gives me a little bit more confidence going in and a little bit more to work for. I know what I need to focus on.
Go in thinking “title” instead of thinking “maybe I can win one or two”?
Yeah, definitely. That’s what I’ve been working for this year. Pre-season is winning a title and wanting to win a title. Last year, I guess I just wanted to win races, but this year I want to put it all together.
That’s pretty normal. It’s just that mental difference of thinking you can and knowing you can. It’s actually a big difference.
Yeah, knowing that I have done it…
Yeah, that’s what I mean. As much as you might think you can, until you do, you don’t know you can. You can’t really know it until you do it…
Yeah, it’s on paper now!
Your team’s program seems to be right where it was, with the same motors, suspension, etc. So is that good or bad or both?
Nothing has really changed yet. No new teammates, no new mechanics, nothing. [Travis Baker’s new mechanic Eric Gass pipes in, saying, “Hey!”] Or, actually, I guess we’ve got Gass on board now, and he’s kind of messing up the whole program…
Well, he’s not really a mechanic; he’s just a parts-changer. Mechanics are probably still the same. So you were right the first time.
[Gass pipes in again, now nearly inconsolable after this bit of disrespect.] He’s a fill-in until we get a real guy [laughs]. It’s good. We’ve got a little more backing from Showa and Pro Circuit this year with suspension. That’s been huge. I tested a lot with them before Monster Cup on the 450 and got that thing dialed in really good. I’ve been working on the 250 now and we’ve got a pretty close setting. I think we could try a few things and see how that works. I feel like we’ve got a really dialed setup and working from what we’ve built up last year, too, is a big help.
And what about, speaking of Monster Cup, what’s it like to ride Supercross on a 450 and then step back down onto the 250F? Is it easier? Is it harder?
It’s louder [laughs]. The 250 is a lot louder. I feel like the 450 helped me out so much, especially last year riding for Factory Honda for the four rounds I did and then coming back to the 250. Obviously, I showed that helped a little bit because I came back and won the first round back in the 250 class in Seattle.
Does it feel smaller? More nimble?
Yeah. And because you know you can go that fast on a 450, since the times are faster, it makes you hungry to get more out of the 250, too. I think it helps in that aspect. I guess I’ll keep practicing on my 250 for now so I don’t mess myself up, though…
That is what you’re paid for right now; racing a 250F…
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