Cole Thompson followed in the footsteps of his four brothers as he rode his motocross dirt bike around the tracks and trails of his family’s 100-acre Brigden farm.
“I was pretty much born into it,” he said.
Now Thompson, 25, is vying to win the Rockstar Energy Triple Crown Series. The 10-month Canada-wide pro tour includes four Arenacross, nine Motocross and four Super cross events.
Riders rush through man-made dirt tracks – with big jumps along the way – that are built in arenas and stadiums in Arenacross and Supercross, with Arenacross being the smaller version. Riders compete in two, 35-minute races around an outdoor course built into the existing terrain in Motocross.
Thompson started competing at age 4. His family ran a motocross school from 2004 to 2015 and Thompson likes to give back now by helping his brother train young racers when he has time.
Thompson went pro in 2012 after success on the amateur tour. He’s competing in the 450 – the largest bike size – pro division after two years on the 250 pro circuit.
“The guys are a little bit stronger and faster.”
Thompson placed first in five of the six Arenacross races to start the 2018 tour.
“Arenacross is really good for me.”
He’s confident going into the three Supercross races that will decide the triple-crown title.
“I like Supercross just as much as Arenacross, so I think I have a little bit of an advantage.”
Thompson said he likes when the tour comes close to home, like at Walton Raceway where he won 10 amateur national championships. He recently placed 3rd in the Aug. 18 Motocross event at Walton.
But, Thompson said the highlight of the year so far was making the short drive from his Brigden home to the Sarnia Arenacross event in April.
“Ninety per cent of the people in there watched me grow up and watched me race from a young kid to a professional,” he said.
Thompson said he led for every lap on route to winning the race.
After finishing outside of the top five in just one of 15 races this year, Thompson has the most overall points going into the last four triple-crown events.
But, just five points back is Thompson’s friend Colton Facciotti.
“We’ve trained together, rode together and this year we’ve basically been battling for championships together.”
The two have finished in the top five together in 11 of 15 races so far this year. Thompson said it’s a weird relationship to be friends and enemies, but it’s good to have Facciotti constantly pushing him.
Thompson will win $100,000 and the triple-crown series championship if he can hold the top spot in the points standings after the Supercross races.