Cole Seely Exclusive Interview

Honda's Cole Seely interviewAfter finishing on the podium in the overall Supercross standings in 2015, Team Honda HRC’s Cole Seely is poised to battle for the championship in the 2016 Monster Energy AMA Supercross series on his factory Honda CRF450R. Five podiums and a win at Houston put Seely ahead of everyone but Eli Tomac (who is moving to Kawasaki for 2016) and series winner Ryan Dungey (who returns on a KTM 450 SX-F), making him the 2015 Supercross Rookie of the Year.

We talked one-on-one with Seely at America Honda’s headquarters in Torrance, Calif. about his expectations for 2016, coming off a season-ending shoulder injury that took him out of the 2015 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross series after five rounds.

Ultimate MotorCycling’s Don Williams: What are your expectations this year?

Cole Seely: I just want to be on the podium. I feel like I learned a lot last year. Since I’ve turned pro, it’s the biggest learning curve I’ve had in one season. I want to take that and apply it to the next season. I feel like I already have a jumpstart into this season, knowing where to put myself and how to approach each race and how to train throughout the week—I learned a lot last year.

UMC: Are you full healed and completely healthy?

Cole Seely: I took my time with it. I was okay to ride November 1, and rode two weeks of outdoors, and then hopped on a supercross track. I feel really good. The main thing was to not rush things and not make it a reoccurring thing. I had pretty extensive surgery to make sure it wasn’t going to come out ever again. I’ve never had a shoulder injury in my career and I don’t want to have another one. So, I really took my time with that and listened to my physical therapist about everything I should be doing. I’m where I want to be with my shoulder. I would have liked to have started riding soon, but, like I said, I didn’t want to rush anything.

UMC: Do you feel like you’re a Supercross Championship contender this year?

Cole Seely: Yeah, for sure. I think last year, once I found my groove and once I got my weekly routing down, I was on the podium or close to it every weekend. I don’t see why I can’t be doing that. If I can start that well this season, the first four or five rounds, I think I’ll be on an upward swing from there on out. I was used to riding six rounds and then taking a break. That’s where I learned most last year.

Honda's Cole Seely in the dirtUMC: Are there any kind of different setups on the 2016 Honda CRF450R that are a challenge this year?

Cole Seely: Not a whole lot. Last year, there was a little bit of engine setup we had to run through because of the header change to the other side, but this year the bike’s pretty much the same. I’m going to be testing quite a bit with suspension and finding my setup with that. Other than that, the bike feels great.

UMC: Switching gears a little bit to social media — how difficult is that as part of your job as a rider?

Cole Seely: [laughs] It’s not that bad for me because I like doing it. I like engaging with the fans and doing as much as I can. At the same time, I am really busy with training and other aspects of my life, but hard to really pay too much attention to it. I think it can almost become a bad habit at some point, so I try to keep a good balance of when to post and when to not read comments, and not get too caught up in the whole thing. I like photography a lot. It’s funny, I could post a blurry picture of my bike and everyone would love that way more than a picture I took a lot of time to set up, like an ocean sunset or something like that that I actually enjoy taking. Nobody cares about that because they’re all gearheads.

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