When Dean Wilson clinched the 250cc AMA Outdoor Motocross Championship in 2010, many saw the likeable Scotsman as a prospective titleholder in the premier 450cc class in the years that followed.
Through circumstances out of his control combined with multiple season ending injuries, Wilson’s career was stunted for the best part of four years – years when he was tipped for championship glory.
Despite the adversity, the now 26-year-old holds a stronger perspective on life, and despite losing his ride at the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna Team after his best supercross season to date, Wilson remains upbeat and ready to do battle at this year’s Monster Energy AUS-X Open Sydney and beyond…
Q – Starting with your current situation, from the outside looking in, it really looked as though Bobby (Hewitt, Team Manager of Rockstar Husqvarna) did everything that he could to keep you on the team; it really was just a matter of Husqvarna not wanting to field a three-bike team. Is that kind of how it worked?
A – Yeah, Rockstar and Bobby really did everything they could, but it was just really unfortunate that they didn’t want three 450’s – I think the team already has five riders – and six would’ve been a lot. I mean, it sucked for sure – it really did, but it is what it is now and all I can do is be in the best shape that I can be, and put in the best results I can and that’s it.
Q – You’ve had a pretty crazy career – ever since those early Pro Circuit days, with the Jeff Ward situation, back to Pro Circuit, then Red Bull KTM and the two ACL injuries. Do you think now that, having been through that, you can pretty much face anything and keep moving forward?
A – Yeah pretty much, I think the worst has happened. With those injuries, then not getting picked up and being a privateer – it’s been hard man; it really has been hard. But I still believe that I am one of the top guys, and honestly I would probably quit if I couldn’t be successful in the sport, so that’s why I keep coming back. I definitely think I have a few good years left in me still. It’s definitely been testing at times though.
Q – What I think is cool about you and a few other guys at the moment is that you’re more working towards being personalities within the sport, rather than just the robotic, go to the track, win, leave kind of deal. Is that a conscious decision on your end?
A – I think as of right now, the fact that I’m not on a team, I can kind of do what I want and post what I want – I don’t feel so restricted. I mean, obviously it’s the off-season and I do have a little bit of time but for me, I want to show people more of the behind the scenes aspect of what goes on. Me being a privateer, the struggle, getting things organized, the late nights and all of that – I want to give the fans a real insight as to what’s going on. I think it’s pretty cool to show that, show what we’re going through and how we’re going to make it happen.
Then other than that, I like to have a lot of fun, I’m getting my YouTube happening and just have fun with it – put cool content out, while I focus on my racing as well.
Q – The balance is important. We talk about it all the time, in recent years the ingredients for championships seem like heading down to the Baker Factory, grinding all day everyday to the point where you don’t really enjoy it at all. Do you think it’s now possible to enjoy yourself and have fun, but then also be a championship guy?
A – I believe so, you just definitely have to have a balance and keep it fun. You know, at the end of the day, even the most successful athletes in the world, who have the most money in their bank accounts, still suffer from being depressed and stuff like that. Honestly, for me, at the end of the day I want to be happy. I want to love what I do, I want to enjoy the sport and at the same time put in some good results. Of course there’s ups and downs and stuff like that, but ultimately I want to be a happy person and that for me is what’s important. Enjoying life.
Q – That’s a really cool perspective. Like you said, we’ve seen guys win so much, yet be so miserable. When you look at life from a larger perspective, it’s really about enjoying it, with moto actually being a small portion of life itself…
A – Yeah I completely agree; I’ve seen it so many times. You see so many celebrities – they have absolutely everything yet they’re miserable. So I don’t know, I just want to enjoy what I do and work hard for it as well, but when it’s all said and done, know that I really had a good time during my racing days. What’s important to me is happiness, my family and then racing.
Q – Changing gears to the upcoming AUS-X Open; Sydney in the summertime, the beaches, the event, fans – are you looking forward to it?
A – Oh yeah, I cannot wait. Last year I came to Sydney and just had such a sick time – the weather is amazing and I really loved the people. There’s not a lot that I would say that I don’t like about Australia, I absolutely love it. I’m definitely going to have a cheeky Nando’s whilst I’m down, and really just enjoy my time there. I’m definitely looking to put in some good results against the boys down there and we’ll see how it goes!
Q – There’ll be some heavy hitters there with Reed, Anderson, RV, Brayton and more – do you think if you could potentially beat those guys it’s put you on the international radar?
A – Yeah I mean it could, it could for sure. You really never know, you just never know. The thing is that all the factory teams in the U.S are completely full which obviously I understand, so I’m really in the middle of building up my own program for next year – I’m definitely getting a lot of support from a few great companies who’ve been behind me hugely. I’m seen as a racer primarily, but also now as a good ambassador for their companies so I’m stoked to be apart of brands that really believe in me.
Q – Just lastly on that subject, what does next year’s program look like for the time being – is it you and your dad again in the Sprinter van with a few brands behind you?
A – That’s kind of what it’s looking like, we’ve still got a lot of details to work out. My dad will for sure be helping me out of the Sprinter van, and I really just want to make it pretty small and compact. Kind of keep it low key, but at the same time have it all prepared and ready so we’re good to do battle with good equipment; I think we’ll be good by the time January comes.
Q – Legend, thanks a lot for that, man, we’ll see you down in Aus!
A – Yessir you will! I’ll catch you guys down there, mate.