Red Bull KTM’s Dean Wilson Exclusive Interview
In October, KTM signed former Kawasaki pilot Dean Wilson to the Red Bull KTM Factory Team for the 2015 and 2016 AMA Supercross and Motocross seasons. The 2011 AMA 250cc MX Champion joins Ryan Dungey in the 450 class, and is ready for his rookie year.
Ultimate MotorCycling’s Andrew Oldar: You spent five years on the Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team. How does it feel to make the transition to the 450 and the Red Bull/KTM team?
Red Bull/KTM’s Dean Wilson: I am really stoked to be on the 450. I pretty much should have been on the 450 a couple of years ago but I have been out for two seasons with shoulder injuries and that held me back. This past year was a bit of a rebuilding year for me.
My results in Supercross were up and down. I would either win or crash out, so I was really inconsistent in that. During the first round of outdoors at Glen Helen, I sustained an injury that was out of my control. I kind of came back from that and struggled through the rest of the outdoor season. I felt like I was a bit too heavy for the 250, so I felt that I was very out powered. It was kind of a struggle, but I am just so happy to be healthy and on a solid team. It is kind of like a fresh start for me, so I am pretty happy to be on the Red Bull/KTM team with a great group of people.
UMC: It seemed like you had some bad luck this year with your bike cutting out on the last lap while you were leading in Oakland and your freak accident at Glen Helen you just mentioned. You must feel that you are due for some better luck and success here in the near future.
DW: Yeah, for sure. I think I am due some. I am really working hard this off-season. I have totally put everything aside. Literally, all I do is ride and do my program. I have been going to the gym, eating clean and healthy, and doing everything possible to make it happen. I am definitely putting in a lot of effort. I have always put in a lot of effort, but I feel that I am doing them in the correct steps and the right way. I have a great group of people helping me. I am staying positive and working hard.
UMC: How is it working with Roger Decoster and the rest of the Red Bull/KTM team?
DW: Working with Roger is really good. He comes to the track once every week or once every two weeks and he will tell you how you look. He sees a lot of things on the bike that he thinks we could change and what we can work on. He will also tell me if he thinks I need to work on something in particular in my riding. He’s been really helpful and is definitely a good asset for me on the team.
UMC: What have you done differently in your training regimen to prepare for your first full season in the 450 class?
DW: First off, I am really just working on my imbalances. I have had a lot of injuries, so I have so many imbalances that I am trying to get those all fixed to be on a level playing field. That’s a very important thing for me right now. Other than that, I have a new trainer and we are working really hard. I have been cycling and heart rate monitoring, which I have not done in the past. Red Bull is also helping me with my training. They have set me up and have done lots of fitness tests, which has been really beneficial for me to see where I am at. I feel like I am definitely doing everything that I possibly can and it is going well.
UMC: You worked with Ryan Hughes last year. Who is your new trainer?
DW: Ryan and I kind of went different directions. He is still a great friend of mine and we still talk every now and then. I have a new trainer whose name is Kevin and we are working well together.
UMC: What will be the most challenging aspect of moving up to the 450 class full-time?
DW: The long season is going to be the most challenging. To race seventeen supercross races, twelve outdoor rounds, Motocross Des Nations, Red Bull Straight Rhythm, the Monster Energy Cup, and if you do any European races. It is pretty insane. It is just a lot on your plate. You have to have a really good schedule, be there every weekend, be healthy, and get through it in one piece.
UMC: Why did you make the decision to wear a neck brace again?
DW: I got an offer to try out a neck brace. I thought about it and did not wear it last year due to my shoulder injuries. I was doing my best to let them completely heal. I tried all of the neck braces and the Atlas fit the best. It feels like you are not actually wearing a neck brace due to all of the movement that I have with my helmet on. If I did not notice it, I figured I will definitely run it. I am pretty stoked on it and it does not affect me when I am riding, which is the the most important thing.
UMC: What is it like having Ryan Dungey as a teammate?
DW: It’s good. I have not really hung out with Ryan too much, but he seems like a pretty cool, professional guy.
UMC: As the series heads east, do you plan to train with Chad Reed down at his property in Florida between the races or will you stay here in California? Also, do you prefer training in California or Florida?
DW: I have a house in Florida, so I will definitely stay there between the east coast rounds. I will probably ride at Chad’s. I am not really sure yet. I have not figured it all out yet. As for California and Florida, it’s a bit of a combination of both. It is so easy to do anything in California. You can go riding, get your bike fixed by your mechanic, and go to the test tracks and stuff like that. Everything is just so convenient.
I love Florida though. The scenery is really nice with the greenery and the trees. I just really like the environment there. However, it is not as convenient. The race shop is not there and there are not very many mountain bike trails. The road biking is good, but there is not much elevation. I like it in Florida, but the combination of both places is good because when I am not enjoying it out there, I can always come back here. It’s a perfect balance.
UMC: Do you have any set goals for 2015?
DW: Yeah, definitely. I just want to be on the podium, lead as many laps as I can, and be healthy.