Coming off an inspiring 1-1 win at the final national of the year, Kawasaki Racing Team rider Dean Wilson, the newly crowned AMA Motocross Championship’s Rookie of the Year, took his place in the MX2 class for Great Britain as the Motocross of Nations hit American soil at Thunder Valley MX in Lakewood, Colo.
His 8-6 finishes helped his country finish fourth and earn him second overall in the MX2 class at MXoN. We chatted with him to see how his sophomore appearance at the event compared to his rookie trip to Italy last year.
Q: You have raced the Motocross of Nations before, but this year was in a couple ways. Tell me about that.
Dean Wilson: It was really awesome this year. My team this year made the main and we were actually just off the podium. It was really exciting right up to the last moto. I was down in the mechanic’s area cheering on my teammates and at one point we were tied for third. The rider for Germany made up a few spots, which gave them the extra point for the podium. We only were short one point so that was pretty awesome. I really enjoyed this year. Last year I was more of a spectator.
Q: Did you ever feel like you had to carry your team because you knew the track better than your teammates?
D.W.: Even though I knew the track, I believed in my teammates. I thought I could get the better results, but in the end I felt like I didn’t ride that well considering I knew the track better than anyone on my team. In the first moto, I had really bad arm pump. The second moto, I got a bad start and didn’t get by as many people as I would have liked. It wasn’t bad, but I really thought I would do better.
Q: How did you like the track?
D.W.: Honestly, the track was so much different that I don’t feel like I had that much of an advantage. It felt like a completely different track than it was in June. It’s still really fun to ride. The start is tough because I had the power disadvantage (250cc vs 450cc) during my races, but we managed to pull off two good motos.
Q: How did you put the bad race you had during Saturday’s qualifying out of your mind to come out and do as well as you did on Sunday?
D.W.: I just tried to forget what happened on Saturday. That’s the past and it’s over with. I had an open mind for Sunday. I went into my races wanting to do my best. I feel like I put in two good motos, I just wish the results were better.
Q: Since you rode for Great Britain, you had a different fan base cheering for you. Did you notice a difference in the fans that supported you this year versus last year?
D.W.: The fans from Great Britain were awesome and really supportive of me coming onto the team this year. I met a lot of cool fans that were here from Great Britain. I still have a lot of people that support me from Canada and I really appreciate that.
Q: Now you get to take some time off and go back to Scotland. Are you excited for that?
D.W.: I’m going to Scotland for two weeks. I get to stay with my cousin and see my grandpa, who I haven’t seen in about five years. I am going to try and enjoy myself. I haven’t taken time off in a while. It’s good to get away from everything so you don’t get burnt out. By the time I get back, I’ll be excited to ride.