TLD/Lucas Oil Honda’s Cole Seely led the majority of the 250cc main at Anaheim only for Jason Anderson to steal the win away two turns before the finish. Here’s what Seeley had to say about it on the night…
DBR: You were fast all day. How much confidence were you carrying into the main event?
CS: “Um, quite a bit. We were trying, kind of tinkering with the bike there last practice and then going into the heat race just making little changes that we thought would help. And they would have but they changed the track and back-dragged all the ruts out and all that stuff. So, I kind of went into the heat race and was feeling a little rusty. It took me a couple laps to get going and then I almost got Wilson there at the end of the heat race.
“I ended up going back to our original setting that we’ve been running all year. It’s just nice to have that comfort in our settings and know what to do when the track changes. So we just knew exactly what to do, what calls to make. Our engine guy, Brian, has putting in a lot of hours and the bike’s been really strong, so I have a ton of confidence in the bike. And my mechanic, Rich, this is our fifth season together, so we were working really hard in the pre-season. We had a really successful and productive pre-season and I’ve had a ton of confidence and really big urgency to win this year.
I thought I had it in the bag there and a few lappers just got in my way the last couple laps. Just those few seconds that I needed and that little cushion I needed for Jason to not throw it in on me… But I can’t blame him for that. It’s racing and I would have done the same exact thing. I just think the lappers need to respect that blue flag when it comes out and get the heck out of the way.”
DBR: I think you put the pressure on really early. You wanted to be out front and going for it.
CS: “Yeah, I did apply a lot of pressure right away. I don’t know who was behind me but I wanted to get away from hi and if Anderson was going to stop me from doing that I just wanted to get out of that situation. Looking back now, I wish I would have been a little more patient and made the pass a little later in the race – kind of let him wind himself out a little bit and not let him learn my lines – because I had some good lines where I knew I was faster and knew I could make passes. I think I just wasn’t patient enough but second is still good and I’m still set up for a good season.”
DBR: That sounds like exactly what he was saying. Once you got by him he was able to hang right with you because he was able to just latch on to you.
CS: “Yeah, it reminds me of cycling. I’ve been doing a ton this pre-season. It’s a game – it’s a chess match out there. There’s so much thinking involved and so much calculation involved, just in the racing aspect of everything, it’s just I guess a bad move on my part and he capitalized on it. That’s racing. We’ll just learn from it and go into next weekend in Phoenix strong and stay consistent all year.”
DBR: You seemed really bummed on the podium.
CS: “I was. I was pissed. You know, to have that, I was already going through the whoops thinking, ‘I deserve this. I worked so hard this pre-season. This is such a great feeling’ And then all of a sudden there’s a wheel and I almost went down and I’m like, ‘Noooo…’. What are you going to do? It’s racing.”
DBR: It could have been worse if you’d gone down.
CS: “Yeah, actually he caught my front wheel and kind of took it out from under me and moved it over a couple inches. I was just so pissed in that moment that I got on it again and actually ran it into the back of him again.”
DBR: So that’s what almost made you nearly fall?
CS: Yeah, well he moved me and then I hit him again and I’m like, ‘Ah, one more turn. I need to throw it in on him’ and it just didn’t work out. I want to say it’s a tough night because it sucks but you can’t complain with second.”
DBR: Well, you can if you expect to win.
CS: “Yeah, I do hate losing. Especially like that.”