Motocross and Supercross racing seems to be changing, as it’s becoming harder and harder for even the elite athletes to obtain rides. Dean Wilson is a prime example of the current times, and even today he is still unsure of what his plans are for the 2017 racing season. However, there’s hope for the likable Scotsman, as he was spotted with the Factory Yamaha crew yesterday morning at Milestone’s Supercross track. Does this mean Wilson will be under the Monster Energy Yamaha rig alongside Chad Reed and Cooper Webb? Nobody knows quite yet. Before he hit the SX track for the first time in nearly two months, Swap sat down with Wilson to see if any insight was available as to what all of this means for the number 15.
Dean, what’s going on out here today with the Yamaha crew?
We’re out here at Milestone and I’m riding a bike that Yamaha has given me. They’re being extremely generous and they’ve also offered up some great Supercross suspension. I’m not entirely sure what today will entail, but I’m just happy to be on a bike.
It’s apparent that you’ve had a rough couple of weeks since your contract with Red Bull KTM ended. We’ve seen you riding our two-strokes, Suzukis and now the Yamaha, but there was a reason behind all of that. The two-stroke was just for fun, but you hopped on a Suzuki because you had a lead, right?
Yeah, like you said the two-strokes were just for fun since that was at the beginning of October. I hopped on the Suzuki to get a better feel for the bike since I’ve never ridden them before. Obviously, I didn’t want to give the Suzuki back but that’s how it goes. I felt bad, too because I tend to be a little rough on bikes. And finally, I’m on a Yamaha now. I spoke to Keith McCarthy last week and I told him that I wanted to ride Supercross. Every time I drive to Lake Elsinore or something like that everyone is on the Supercross track while I ride the outdoor track. They’ve been generous enough to bring me some suspension to help me out and to be honest, I am very excited about this. There’s no telling where this could go.
You’ve got the whole Yamaha crew out here today at your disposal. Are you pretty excited for all of this?
Yeah, I’m very excited. The last time I rode Supercross was at the Transworld SLAM, which was roughly a month and a half ago, so I’ve got a little bit of Supercross under my belt. Actually, the last Supercross track I rode was this one here at Milestone, so hopefully I won’t be too rusty.
What are your initial impressions on the Yamahas now that you’ve ridden them?
I really like the bike. There have been some mixed reviews on these bikes but right off the bat I was at home on the Yamaha. I really like the power that the motor puts out, and I believe this bike fits me really well. There is a lot of room in the saddle, which is a plus for a tall guy like myself. Like I said, I feel right at home on this bike.
Since you’re a taller rider, the width of the bike probably doesn’t even phase you, right?
Yeah, exactly. In all honesty, I actually like the width of the Yamaha. When I stand up and grip the bike with my knees it’s a little easier for me, so I actually like that these bikes are a little bigger.
You’re wearing black gear with no logos and no name or number on your jersey. Is this the “for hire” kit?
(Laughs) No, this is just one of the few sets of gear I have without Red Bull KTM logos on it. You can call me “Ghost Rider” today.
So could you give a guess as to what today means for you? Is this a tryout of sorts?
It could be! Like I said, I spoke with Keith last week, and he said for me to get going on Supercross, so the bike I’m riding today is in stock form with Supercross suspension. I really don’t know where this will go, although I would like to say that it’s going in the direction of the factory team, but there’s no way for me to know at the moment. I’m trying to remain optimistic but at the same time I don’t want to get my hopes up before anything even happens. More than anything, though, I’m just happy to be back on a bike and on a Supercross track.
Even though you’ve been having a rough time obtaining a ride, you still maintained your normal training regimen. Was it hard to stay motivated to keep up on that stuff or was it just the opposite knowing that you have something to prove?
I feel that I am more motivated than ever. I feel good, I’m healthy, I’m having a lot of fun on the bike right now and honestly it brings me back to my amateur days out here hustling to get a ride. I’ve been riding sometimes twice a day. I’ll ride somewhere in the morning and then I’ll ride at Perris Raceway or something in the evenings. I’ve really been enjoying myself these last few months.
Now that you’ve gotten a lot more familiar with the local Southern California motocross tracks, which one is your favorite?
The track that has impressed me the most is Lake Elsinore. You wouldn’t think so, but their prep job is usually really good. I don’t know if I would go as far as saying that it’s my favorite track, but the track prep on Monday mornings is what I really enjoy. They might even have the best ruts in Southern California (laughs). Pala has been really good, as well. Typically I’ll ride at Elsinore on Monday, Pala on Tuesday, and on Thursdays I’ve been riding my at my turn track out in the hills. Some have probably seen it before in a social media post or something, but it’s extremely rough and dry, so I go up there to work on throttle control. After that, I’d load up again and hit Perris in the evening. On Fridays I usually come out here to Milestone’s outdoor track, then I’ll take Saturday off and maybe ride Sunday. Yeah, lots of riding for me.
How about your cycling routine? How has that been going?
Yeah, it’s been going great. Saturdays are usually our biggest cycling days, and I’m still working with Tyla Rattray, so I will do my morning cardio every day and then I will go to the gym after that.
Are you still on the Specialized team?
Yeah. I’m still repping Specialized, and they take really good care of me.
It’s good to see that some people are still supporting you. One of them being Toyota of Escondido because you’re still rolling in a nice truck.
Yeah, Toyota of Escondido has been in my corner for a very long time and I am thankful for everything they’ve done for me.
So when you’re given a new truck like this, do you blow through toll roads and park sideways in parking spots?
No way! I still have to pay for that stuff, so no messing around (laughs). Usually I will get a text from Damien to come pay a fine or something like that (laughs).
Your Instagram story on Halloween was pretty comical. How did it go once your camera stop rolling?
My niece and nephew were over that night and at the time they were out trick-or-treating. I got bored waiting for them, so I started scaring all of the trick-or-treaters on my front porch. That’s what Halloween is about; being scared. I really enjoyed myself that night actually.
Did any parents freak out on you for doing that?
No, not once! In fact, they were even laughing. For the most part everyone thought it was funny, but there was one dad that was pretty big and I couldn’t commit to scaring his kid (laughs).
Hypothetically speaking, let’s say that this particular day with Yamaha amounts to something big in the near future. On the outside looking in, one would assume that you would at least ride outdoors for the Monster Energy Yamaha team since Chad Reed is Supercross only. Is that something you would be happy with or would you prefer to race full-time?
Ideally, I would like to race full-time. It makes for a pretty long winter if you’re not racing. Watching supercross would be a little weird for me to be honest, especially if I’m healthy.
What if you had the opportunity to race a few MXGP rounds?
I guess it depends on the schedule of that series. Obviously, my first choice would be to stick to the American motocross and Supercross series, though.
How about the knee? How is it feeling?
Everything feels great! I’m feeling really good and I’m happy to be where I am.
Your basketball game is still pretty strong, right?
Usually before dinner we go to the basketball court to shoot some hoops. Around the world is my game because I can’t play an actual game of basketball.
Is it true that your girlfriend Sarah waxes you every time?
Yeah, she’s really good. She throws the ball in a weird way, but she always seems to make the basket. It’s actually pretty frustrating sometimes; I don’t like it (laughs).
How about that accent? It seems to get stronger even though you’ve lived here in America for years.
Really? When I go back to Scotland everyone tells me I sound like an American. I feel that I am pretty Americanized now.