Anaheim 1 is just a couple of days away at this point and a majority of the riders have wrapped up their off-season programme. For some that is easy, because they have the support of a full-factory team, whilst others have to piece everything together themselves and try to get all of the moving parts to align before the gate drops on Saturday night. Dean Wilson is one of those riders and breaks down the hoops that he has had to jump through in recent weeks in this exclusive MX Vice interview. '15' hits on all of the hot topics.
MX Vice: First off, just talk about how your off-season is going. You obviously went over to Australia and New Zealand, so just talk about what you have been up to and how it is all going.
Dean Wilson: My off-season’s been going pretty well… Just been working really hard. I did the AUS-X Open. I got about a week and a half of supercross before that. I went and raced AUS-X Open in Sydney and then stayed in Australia for like a week, then raced in New Zealand in Auckland. That was really cool. Then, ever since I came back, it was honestly, like, I didn’t even have practice bikes to practice on. I missed a week of riding just because I was scrambling to get bikes and parts. It was crazy, honestly. It was so stressful. We were just trying to figure everything out and then I got a practice bike, so really worked hard on getting everything together.
It has been all learning for me, because this is something that I don’t generally do. When I was a privateer two years ago, it was a lot simpler whereas now I have some really good bike sponsors and I have to do my part and have a little presence for them and stuff like that at the supercross. There is definitely a lot more that goes into it, but I think it is good for me as a person to learn all this stuff. It is not just my training and riding. I’m also doing a lot of that, which I don’t think is a bad thing, because it keeps my mind off of the racing and everything because I have got to get stuff organized.
Where sometimes when you are just riding and training, you are sitting on the couch and all you’re thinking about is overthinking your riding and everything. I’ve worked hard. I got off social media for a month and that’s, I think, when I got most of my stuff done. It was good. I’m feeling good.
Compared to the last time you were a privateer, this programme is obviously a lot more finished. You have got a factory service engine, WP forks and all of that. Talk about how those things help you out.
Yeah. I was pretty much prepared to race a stock bike and then Rockstar were really pushing hard for me, really hard, and supporting me so much. Rockstar were pushing Husqvarna to help me out more. They ended up helping me more. Firstly, I was only supposed to get a factory engine for my race bike and practice on a stock bike, but then I ended up getting one for my practice and race bike, which is awesome. The support has been really good. My bike is more or less close to a factory bike.
I’ve got a factory engine. DocWob got me all of the bolt kits. I’ve had to really gather everything up to build this bike, but I’ve got great people helping me. I’ve got WP 48 mil forks and shock. A lot of people ask me why I’m using 48. It’s because they never had enough 52’s but, to be honest, I think the 48’s could be better. It’s actually going to be interesting how they are racing, but on the practice track they feel really good. Everything is coming together. I have really good support. It’s going to be a good season.
Compared to the last time you were a privateer, has anything been harder to put together this time or has anything been much easier? Is there anything that stands out?
Like I said before, compared to last time being a privateer, it’s just I’ve got more on my plate, I feel like, with bigger sponsors. So last time it was honestly like we showed up in my dad’s old sprinter that barely makes it to his little Cahuilla Creek riding on Wednesdays. We went to Anaheim and all we had was a pop-up tent and that was it., but we learned a lot from then. We didn’t have any barricades or anything a couple years ago, so fans would literally be sitting on my bike, twisting the throttle, while my dad’s trying to work on it and he’s going crazy. We have learned a lot from then.
We’ve got a really good little pit presence. We’ve got AGL grass on the floors. We’ve got really good tents from Covered, little flags, and Grandpa Earl. There’s going to be a little cut-out of Grandpa Earl there, so you can get a picture with Grandpa Earl. It’s going to be fun. It’s going to be good. It’s been a lot more work this way, but I guess where there’s a will there’s way. If there’s not a space on a factory team, I’ll just make my own little team. I think it will be good.
A lot of people wanted to see you get the Benny Bloss ride, based on social media. I guess it’s just harder to move around now with Rockstar and sponsors like that?
Yeah. Really it is unfortunate that Benny got injured, but I had my own contract with Rockstar. So, more or less, the only team I’ll ever go on is the Husky team. So, with that being said, Rockstar have been a great support and I gladly stick by them. Kind of when a lot of crazy stuff happened during the off-season, Rockstar had my back. I’m going to stick with them and keep representing them.
Can you talk about expectations for A1? Do you have anything in mind?
Expectations… I think just go in with low expectations. Let’s just go in with a top ten. Last year I went in opposite with a different mindset. I went in feeling really good and I was just ready to go guns blazing and second lap in the heat race I had such a hard crash. To this day my shoulder still hurts. It clicks and pops. I hit so hard there. It felt like my arm was paralyzed for three weeks. It was hard to come back from, so top ten… We’ll just go with that. That will be fine.
Interview: Lewis Phillips | Lead Image: ConwayMX