Dean Wilson interview
It’s amazing how fast a few back-to-back injuries can derail a career in Monster Energy Supercross and completely adjust goals and expectations for a rider. If you asked us in 2011 what future expectations for Rockstar / Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson would have been then, we would have told you the sky is the limit. Deano was winning 250SX main events and even locked down the 2011 AMA 250 Motocross Championship and looked to be on his way to becoming a future superstar in the 450 class. Then the Scottish-born rider’s career turned into one injury update after the next for the next five seasons.
Fast forward to today and coming into the 2017 Monster Energy Supercross season we were just hoping the #15 could stay healthy and make it to every race on a privateer Yamaha. Well, Deano suited up on his own dime, made it to every race and quickly reminded everyone that when healthy he is a world class talent no matter who he has backing him or what color bike he has underneath him.
After four rounds on a privateer Yamaha, the Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna team took Andy Wilson [Dean’s dad] off of wrenching duties, signed Dean to ride Christophe Pourcel’s bike and it took Deano just two rounds to put his factory Husky into the top five of a 450SX main event for the first time in his career. While a top five is a huge milestone, it had to feel even better when he realized he had #1, Ryan Dungey, breathing down his neck for 20 of the 26-lap main event. It was a huge confidence booster for Dean and one that could very well get his career pointed back in the direction it was heading five years ago. Chase Yocom caught up with Deano. Dan Lamb wrote the intro.
Dean, finally off privateer island and putting the Rockstar / Husqvarna inside the top five in just your second race on it. You have to be stoked on your night.
Yeah, really, really happy. It was crazy. I got a pretty decent start, and I just tried to ride as smooth and consistent as I could. I knew there was going to be a lot of laps, but someone was on my tail the whole time and I didn’t want to look back and see who it was. I just wanted to keep focusing forward, but sure enough with four laps to go I got passed and it was Dunge [Ryan Dungey]. It was a little bit emotional for me, because it’s been a rough couple of years. That one feels like a win almost.
You held him off for quite a while. It was definitely one of the better battles in the main event. You’re on the new team and now you have more time on the bike. More time on the bike is obviously helping.
For sure, I had a good week with the team. My practice times today were okay. I really want to be on that board [top 5 track leaderboard] in practice but I was 7th. The heat races have been terrible for me, so I need to work on that. The semi was good for me, because I learned the track a little bit more. In the main event I got a little bit lucky, though. I was the last person to get a gate on the inside and that was a huge advantage I feel. It was awesome! I’m just so happy. It was a long time and a rough couple of years, but it’s nights like tonight that keeps me doing what I do.
It was a weird first turn today. It was kind of a double turn. How was that for you? You haven’t gotten the best starts this year, but you got up front tonight.
My start wasn’t amazing, but I kind of hugged the inside. I was like second or third, but in the second corner I kind of got pushed and I was somewhere in the top ten.
Now that you’ve gotten into the top five is the new goal a podium? Is that something you think is possible now?
Being on the podium would be great, but I’m still just taking baby steps. I’m still just wanting to get into the top ten. Even, though, I got a top five—that’s awesome—for me it’s just about building. It’s all about being in the mix every race. Sure, a podium and a win would be nice, but I don’t want to set any goals that would be too wild. I want to still stick to the plan.
What did the team have to say after you came off the track with a fifth?
Ah, they’re so happy for me. Everyone’s just happy. It was good
What’s it like working with those guys? It seems like a really laid back crew with Bobby Hewitt and those guys.
It’s been really good and a really good transition. The team has been awesome. I used to ride with Bobby when I was an amateur. It’s really good. I just gelled right in there.
Congrats on a good night and welcome into the top five of the 450SX class.