Its been a rough road over the last few years for Dean Wilson, as he’s been dealt several bad hands. Since his move up to the premier class though, Wilson has shown flashes of brilliance on several occasions, but has yet to log those ever-important results due to injuries. Likely the toughest aspect of his situation though, is the fact that his time with team Red Bull KTM has come to an end. In one final attempt to show the industry what he’s made of before his contract was up, Wilson lined up for the last few nationals and finished strong inside the top five on three consecutive occasions along with good moto finishes at the final rounds of the MXGP of America. We caught up with the likable Scotsman recently to talk about his return to racing along with his plans for the 2017 racing season.
You were off the bike for quite some time due to a knee injury that you sustained during the early part of the 2016 Supercross season. However, you made your return to racing for the last five nationals, and you happened to log some great results. Was that a good way to end the year for you?
Yeah, I think it was important for me to be out there whether I was 100% ready or not. It’s extremely important for me to be out there racing, right now. I got 3 consecutive 5th place finishes, which was decent for the amount of time I had on the bike. I’m still not quite 100% yet, but that really was the best choice for me; to be out there racing.
You’re out here in California, but you obviously spend most of your time in Florida. How long until you head back east?
Yeah, I'm just out here for the GP. Now I’m just trying to figure out the plan for next year. At this point, I am open to race anywhere. Obviously racing in America is ideal for me, however I’m 100% open to racing outside of the States. You never know what could happen. As long as I’m racing my dirt bike for a living, I really don’t need much else. That’s what keeps me happy!
Talk about your time at the MXGP of USA at Glen Helen…
Yeah, the GP went pretty well considering my situation. I finished third in the qualifier, and eighth place in the first moto. During the second Moto, I was running in eighth again, so I was looking at a possible sixth overall. However, I fell at the top of the hill with three laps to go, and I got my leg stuck underneath my bike. By the time I got up, I was really far behind, so that was the end of that. It’s a shame I had that mistake in the second moto because that weekend could have turned out great.
Your contract with Red Bull KTM is now over, which means that you no longer have a bike to ride. Being without a bike, will this pose a problem for you getting back to 100%?
No, not really. Primarily my body just needs to heal; that’s what I mean when I say I’m not quite 100% yet. I feel like I need just a little bit more time. One knee reconstruction is pretty tough to come back from, but two on the same knee is even harder. I just need a little more time to heal, and I’m not worried about having a bike to ride. One way or another I’ll have something to ride.
2016 is officially in the books and 2017 is right around the corner, and you have yet to ink any sort of deal. Many professional motocross racers encounter this situation fairly often, especially more so these days than ever. In a situation like this it has to be a little stressful, but is that something that you put aside?
Yeah, exactly. Whatever happens is going to happen. I feel like I’ve shown the teams out there that I still want do to this, and I’m still all about business. I put forth a lot of effort to make the last couple of nationals, and I think a good off-season will help me tremendously. Come time for Supercross, I’ll definitely be back to my normal self. Those kinds of things I really can’t let myself stress over because at this point it’s out of my control. All I can do is be ready and as healthy.
It’s no secret anymore that a lot of top 450 guys haven’t signed any deal yet. What is your take on this? Do you think the sport is just evolving?
I think a lot of it has to do with the economy. There aren’t nearly as many teams as there were in years past, and the support and the money isn’t there anymore. I think there is just an abundance of fast guys now, as well. With a rule in the 250 class that forces riders to move up to the premier class after accumulating so many points, its left a lot of us without rides. The field is so stacked in the premier class. I think I can absolutely have a good year next year, but the key to that is maintaining good health.