Dean Wilson | Take Two
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Dean Wilson has had a couple seasons filled with bad luck since winning the 250 National Championship in 2011, but the likable Scot is ready to turn things around on January 3 at Anaheim 1. The new Red Bull KTM rider has dabbled with the switch to the 450 class before – two seasons ago with the ill-fated Jeff Ward Racing team – and he feels that he is more than ready for his return to the premier division. We caught up with Wilson at the KTM test track last week, where he was doing early morning motos…
You’re on a totally different bike now. You raced the Monster Energy Cup and Red Bull Straight Rhythm aboard a standard 450 SX-F, but now you’re on the exciting new Factory Edition bike…
Yeah, it’s a totally different bike so it took me a little while to get used to it. I’m really gelling with it now and I’m really happy with the new team and everybody. It’s all about building for me and being consistent all year. I can’t believe how great the Factory Edition bike works. It’s crazy that even at this level, there can be this much improvement.
Which is tougher: getting used to a bigger bike or getting used to a new brand?
It’s not that tough getting on a 450, but adapting to a different brand takes some time. This obviously isn’t a Japanese bike so the whole feel of it is just so much different then what I’m used to, but it’s good. I’m really enjoying the transition and the change. I’m really happy with everything about my new program.
You’re coming from Mitch Payton who is known for molding young riders into champions, to Roger DeCoster who’s resume doesn’t need review. What’s it like to go from one great mentor to another?
It’s been pretty awesome, I’m glad to leave Pro Circuit on good terms and I still talk to Mitch every once in a while but with Roger it’s been awesome as well. He’s really good at telling me what I need to work on and he also likes to try things with the bike, but he’s pretty serious.
Everything about your program for 2015 is all-new. New bike, new gear…
Yeah it’s really exciting, everything is new and fresh, I’ve been on Kawasaki since 2006 when I joined the Team Green program, so it’s definitely a huge change for me but everybody seems to be cool so I’m enjoying it. I’m also excited to be with Answer Racing, Shoei, and 100%.
I notice that you’re back in a neck brace…
Yeah I started wearing the Atlas brace. Atlas came to me and I tried it on and I actually didn’t really notice anything. If it bothered me on the track or if I couldn’t lift my head up then I wouldn’t have agreed to wear it, but it didn’t bother my shoulder either so I figured that I would wear it and it feels awesome.
You used to wear a neck brace but you took it off a couple years ago.
Yeah, it started bothering me when I would come into whoop sections and I couldn’t lift my head because the back of my helmet would hit the brace. But the Atlas brace is new and it doesn’t bother me as much and it feels pretty good.
Have you spent time with your teammate Dungey yet?
Not really, he’s been here a few days here and there to do testing and then he goes back to Florida so I haven’t really seen him too much. Everyone on the team is pretty cool, though.
What is going to take for you to be successful in the 450 class?
I think consistency, not get too down on my self if things don’t work out how they’re supposed to, and just keep building. I want to be running up front, I know how gnarly the 450 class is and it’s a super long season so I just need to be consistent and just put in 20 solid laps and some good starts and that’s what’s going to get me up front.