Hello everyone and welcome to this week's Monday Kickstart. No doubt you're likely recovering from over-indulgence in numerous baked goods, turkey, and assorted holiday candy during the long holiday weekend, and what better way to do that then sitting down in front of your computer to get caught up on all the latest and greatest news in motocross. This week's edition of Kickstart is a multi-pager, so be sure to click through all the pages.
While we are still in the midst of the holidays, everyone in the motocross world is currently in countdown mode for the start of the 2010 Monster Energy Supercross Series that takes place in just under two weeks at Anaheim's Angels Stadium. From there, the series takes off and doesn't stop until May. Over the past few weeks, we've been bringing you quite a bit of news about the upcoming season, so below are some links to get you caught up if you've happened to miss anything.

Catching Up With…James Stewart

First Look: MotoConcepts/Yamaha

Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki Factory Bikes

Monster Energy/Kawasaki Factory Bikes

Catching Up With…Larry Brooks

First Look: Team Troy Lee Desgins/Lucas Oils/Honda

Riding With Jake Weimer

Catching Up With…Ryan Villopoto

Catching Up With…Chad Reed

Riding With Chad Reed And Ryan Villopoto

First Look: Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki Team Photos

But before you start thinking that we're just recycling stuff that has already been posted, check out below and in the following pages for interviews with Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki's Tyla Rattray and Dean Wilson, as well as a full interview with their team manager Mitch Payton. Payton always brings an in-depth look into what goes on behind the scenes of the powerhouse team—needless to say, you're going to want to watch the video.
It's also worth mentioning that this Thursday night—New Years Eve—Travis Pastrana will be jumping his rally car over 200 feet to a floating barge in the Long Beach harbor. It's all going to be broadcast live on ESPN in HD at 11:00 pm Eastern time and you aren’t going to want to miss it. For more information on the event, CLICK HERE. Below is a quick video teaser to get you hyped on attending, or just watching the record-breaking feat go down.

This past weekend, the Christian Craig Ride Day took place to help raise money for Christian’s medical bills. It was a huge success with countless riders and friends turning out to help support the friendly teenager. Click the link below for a gallery from the event.

Christian Craig Ride Day

Catching Up With…Dean Wilson

By Bayo Olukotun

There were a few big names to graduate from the amateur ranks after Loretta Lynn’s this summer, and near the top of that list was Dean Wilson. Born in Ireland, and raised in Canada and the U.S., Deano opened a lot of eyes recently went up to Canada and absolutely waxed the field a few of their Nationals, then did the same at the first ever TransWorld SLAM.  Then just two months ago, he had his first big pro endeavour at the Motocross of Nations in Italy, racing for Team Canada.  While the team was unable to qualify, Wilson had some of the top qualifying times in MX2, and laid waste to the field in the B Final.  With all of these credentials, it should come as no surprise that Dean was picked up by the mighty Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki squad for 2010. Unfortunately, an untimely crash set Deano back for a little bit, but it won’t be long until you see this kid tearing around a stadium near you.

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How are preparations coming along for Supercross?

Everything was going along pretty well.  I started to get the hang of things and get into the flow, just learning a lot.  Then about two and a half weeks ago, while it was raining, we couldn't ride Supercross so we went out in the hills and rode this turn track out there and I…kind of had a little accident.  I broke my shoulder and my thumb but I've just been healing up from that and I'm hoping to get back on the bike soon.

What happened that made you go down?

On that track there is a little step down and I just made a mistake and it just sucked.  I couldn't believe that it happened, I was like, "No way! How could this happen?" I was just starting to feel really good with riding Supercross and things were going really well. But I will heal up. I've just been training really hard with my trainer, Mark, and that's all I have been up to lately.

This is your first time riding Supercross, correct? Or do you have any previous SX experience?

No I don't have any experience with it.  But when younger and on 80s, I used to race a lot of arenacrosses up in Canada during the winters when it was snowing outside.  So I have the feel of indoor racing but never on a full blown Supercross track.  Ihave just been getting used to it and learning, with new techniques and ways to approach the track, going through whoops and stuff like that.

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How did you feel things were progressing?

I didn't feel like I had too much of a problem. One of the biggest challenges was just breathing.  Your heart rate gets up so high in Supercross and learning how and where to breath was a big thing.  But my riding was okay.  I had a lot to learn but also plenty of time to get ready for racing.  Right now though, I am not sure when I will get back on the bike.  Hopefully it is not too long from now.  I really would've loved to have done West Coast just because I grew up going to Anaheim and watching everybody so it would be cool to finally race there.  But if I can't do that, I am cool with doing East Coast too.  Whatever I end up doing I will be happy.

You are on a new team for this year and obviously working with some new people.  How has that been for you so far?

Yeah, the team is awesome and I couldn't be any happier.  Everyone gets along well, and I feel very fortunate to be on such a great team.  My mechanic Paul Perebijnos is great and its nice working with someone who wants to win just as badly as you do.  The bike so far is really good and its definitely the best practice bike I've ever had (laughs)!  I haven't been able to ride the race bike yet but hopefully we will shortly.

Backing up, how did the Motocross of Nations go for you?  You are probably one of, if not, the only riders to use the MXoN as their first pro race.

The Motocross des Nations was one of the coolest events I have ever been too.  The whole time I was there I was really lost.  I didn't know anybody and it was just a whole different crowd of people and completely different surroundings than what I was used to. It didn't go too great.  In my qualifier I had a really good start and then hit neutral halfway up the start straight so I ended up being about third or fourth last going into the first turn.  So I was way back but was able to work my way back up to eleventh.  That wasn't very good.  Then one of my teammates got hurt and the other had problems at the gate.  So we didn't even have a full team because one guy got hurt so we didn't make it, which was unfortunate.  If both of us had done well in the B Main then we would have made the main.

Off the start in the B Main, I came out maybe around tenth place and got around the leader by the fifth lap and kind of just checked out.  But then I saw my teammate's bike laying on the ground halfway through the moto so that was a bummer. Overall though, it was a great experience and completely new to me.  Now next time I go overseas I will have a better idea of what to expect.

Many guys from North America often say the same thing when they first go to Europe, that the racing and format are very different. But it is still good to get the experience.

Yeah, even how they do the hot lap and how you pick your gate is so weird and confusing.  People will start packing a gate but it is not guaranteed that they will even have that gate for the race.  It's really weird.

So have you been able to work with Mitch Payton much yet?

No I haven't.  I did get to have a day testing with Bones and that was cool working with him just because he knows so much.  Its great getting the bike better to suit my style.  We tried so many different things and I enjoyed it.

Thanks for speaking with us Dean.  We can expect to see you at Houston then?

Yeah, it will be one or the other. I still could do West, but I really don't know.  I will be at Anaheim I whether I am racing or not.

Catching Up With…Mitch Payton

Catching Up With…Tyla Rattray