Cole Seely: “I’ve Worked So Hard For This”

Kit Palmer | January 24, 2011

Cole Seely had a big night at Dodger Stadium. The Corona, California, resident recorded his first Supercross victory in the Lites class and with it, gave his Troy Lee Designs/Lucas Oil/Red Bull Honda its first victory, as well.The team has improved steadily since transition from Supermoto in 2008. Since then, the TLD team has earned many top-10 and top-five finishes. But they got their first taste of gold Saturday night.We chatted with Seely after his wire-to-wire win.

Talk us through the race.I really couldn’t have made it any easier on myself by getting the holeshot, which is what I’ve been searching for the whole year. I just got a good start. I made some mistakes the first five laps, but when I settled into a good pace and kept reading “breathe” on my pit board, it just felt like we were doing laps at the test track again.Did you know what was going on behind you?I could see Eli [Tomac]. Once I started to gap him a little bit, I could see him in some of the 180-turns. I was just keeping him in check, the track was so slippery and so technical, I knew that if I didn’t make any mistakes, that they were going to. I just rode a solid race and put my laps in.As soon as I got the start, [Josh] Hansen tried to take me out, then he stalled it or whatever. I could see him. It was a 180, and through the whoops, I looked over and it was Hansen stopped. I really didn’t think anybody else except for Eli that could run with me, I just kind of got in a good pace, and by lap 10, I was like, “no way I’m going to let this go.” I was so tired, and I couldn’t breathe, but I just didn’t want to let it go.Was there a point in the race that you finally thought you really had the win?I didn’t really think about that I had it, I came around and still had 14 laps to go. You have to think about each lap at a time. Those whoops were tricky, I was kind of sketched out about those things.How does it feel to get your first win?It’s awesome. It’s the first win for me, the team, and I really can’t say enough. We’ve worked so hard for this, I’m so glad to have it finally pay off. I can’t thank my team enough, everybody put so much work into this, I’m so happy for everyone.You seem to really click on the TLD team.I don’t see any other team out there having as much fun as we do, really, that’s what I need. I quit as an amateur, because I wasn’t having fun anymore, my buddy helped me get back into it and the swing of things, and have fun with it. This team is like the funnest team to be on. I think I found a home, and think I will be here for quite a while.I personally have to have fun or I’m going to suck. My mechanic Rich, he knows me better than I know me, he knows when to cut the laps down when we’re doing sprints, how to keep it fun for me, we work really good together.

Tell us a little bit about your racing career.Fun Center Suzuki gave me an opportunity two years ago. I felt like I showed some speed, then [David] Pingree gave me this ride. [He gave me] a huge opportunity last year, put me on a good program, and then I just kind of kept going with that. Now our new team manager TK [Tyler Keefe], what he’s done is like crazy. I think he’s trying to prove something to someone, but he doesn’t need to prove anything to anyone, he’s awesome. Everyone keeps bagging on him because he’s too young, but it’s cool because we can go hang out afterwards, too.We’ve heard you’ve been working a lot with Jeff Ward.I’ve been working with Jeff Ward for probably the last six years, when I was on 80s, [but] in the last two and a half weeks, I’ve worked with him probably more than I have my entire life. He critiques me, whether it’s doing laps, starts or whatever, he tells me whatever I’m doing good, he tells me what I can do better, he puts his touch on everything, he’s Jeff Ward, he’s the man. As long as I listen to him…




Kit Palmer | Off-Road Editor

Kit Palmer started his career at Cycle News in 1984 and he’s been testing dirt and streetbikes every since – plus covering any event that uses some form of a knobby tire. He’s also our resident motorcycle mileage man with a commute of 120 miles a day.