Dean Wilson updates us on his injury recovery, what he thinks of the current MX season, and much more in this candid interview.
Unfortunately in our beloved sport of motocross, injuries are just part of the deal and they happen to the best of the best. For Rockstar Energy Racing Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson, he was faced with the worst luck you could have this preseason when he was taken out by another slower rider at Glen Helen on a public Thursday practice. With a torn ACL on the mend, he’s remained in good spirits and even recently gave away a bike to a lucky kid! We rang his phone this morning to catch up with him and see how everything is coming along…
You've been on recovery mode for a little while now rehabbing that knee. This sport can be a little brutal with the "out of sight out of mind" mentality, but maybe it's a good thing to be off the radar? You guys don't often get to lay low...
Yeah, I guess so. I think it's kind of a good thing to go off the radar a little bit when you're injured just because it's a good time for you to hit the reset button and make a plan of attack on what you want to accomplish. You want to heal up and stuff like that. So I've been pretty quiet lately, and focusing on my healing and therapy -stuff like that.
It's gotta kill you to watch the races from the couch right?
Yeah, it's really hard right now because obviously I really want to be out there. I feel like I would have had a good outdoor season after finishing 4th last year and I also got a bunch of podiums. This year I was really looking forward to it, and it was just unfortunate that I got injured and it wasn't even my own fault. That's probably the toughest pill to swallow, the fact that everything was going good and then that happened. It's ok though, everything happens for a reason and it is what it is. I'll just heal up and move on.
It's insane that Jason Anderson got injured at Glen Helen with too in a similar way. Like, what are the chances?
Yeah, you know it's tough. It's everyone's track too, and it's just unfortunate how it all happened. It's crazy though how we both got injured kind of the same way at Glen Helen.
How is the recovery coming?
It's going really good. I actually just had my Dr. appointment with Dr. Greenbaum and he said I'm killing it right now and I'm really far ahead of schedule. My range of motion is really good, and really I've just been doing what I'm supposed to do with icing and resting it. I'm doing all my therapy three days a week and I'm cycling as well. I am just doing as much as I can but I also don't want to do too much either and cause inflammation. I feel like I've been doing the right amount and my healing has gone really, really well. When I went in for my checkup he was really stoked, and said to just keep doing what I am doing so that's good. I've never really felt this good after surgery before and I'm really happy with how it's been going.
Is it the same knee you had all the other surgeries on?
Yeah, it's the same knee but it's all fixed up and the Dr. did a six-hour operation on it. I've been feeling really good but I just have to keep it steady and keep training hard to get it really strong again.
You don't have any plans to get back to any outdoor races, right?
No, I mean obviously I'd love to but I won't be back until mid October. I probably could come back earlier, but there's really just no point in rushing back and I want to be 100% ready and fit. I don't want to ride when my knee is not completely ready; it's just not worth it.
It's so common to rush back unprepared in our sport -do you think that's a common mistake?
Yeah, but the reason people do that is because we all have contracts on the line and we have to put in the results to get signed for the next year and that's what is tough. You know, for me I got a podium in Supercross and I injured my shoulder at the beginning of the season, so I missed two races. So, I've more or less missed three races and obviously I didn't have the greatest Supercross season. It had its ups and downs, and I got seventh in points, but I was really looking forward to the fresh outdoor start. I just think that is why people rush back, because they have a job that they are trying to get for the next year. For me, I'm already going to miss the outdoors so I'd rather be completely 100% coming into Anaheim One fresh, fit, and healthy.
You just gave away a bike! That was really rad, and you mentioned it was actually hard to pick the lucky kid?
Yea, it was. I was actually trying to do this last year but I was really busy with riding and training. So then I saw Malcolm Stewart did a little giveaway and said, "Man that's cool, and it's so cool to give back." I just remember when I was a little kid, and know that I would be so ecstatic if a pro rider knocked on my door and gave me a bike and took me riding. So I was like, "Why not do it?" So I went out to Malcolm Smith and bought the bike, and I wanted to find a good candidate for it. It was really hard because I feel like a lot of kids in SoCal kind of have newer 50's, and obviously I didn't get to go back east or anything. But the tracks I was going to there were a lot of newer bikes. It was tough to find someone, but I feel like I really found a good little kid that was polite, shy, and really appreciated it. I think it was cool, and it was a good feeling to give back.
It's a great example to set, and very cool to see. And you racers are busy during the season when you're racing, so this downtime was the perfect time to do it for you.
Yeah, exactly. It's a lot easier when you're injured and have a little bit of time on your hands. It was cool and it would be sweet to see other riders try to help out as well.
Are you following the outdoors? Watching the races?
Yeah I watch them, and it's frustrating but at the same time all I can do is watch and I love this sport so I enjoy it.
What are your thoughts on the current season?
I think the 250 class is really good, and there are just like ten of them that could win motos and they are all going really fast. The 450 class is just kind of disappointing because there have been so many injuries. There are like 7 factory riders that are out, but at least two got added back in at Southwick. But yeah, it's frustrating not to be out there but as a fan it's been cool to watch. I thought Marvin and Eli put on a crazy show in the first moto of Southwick -they were ripping! That was cool to watch and they were pushing hard. I just watch it, try and learn things, and I just enjoy it because I love the sport.
You've won titles, so do you see that mental edge that I'm sure you had in Eli right now?
Yeah, I think when you're always putting in those good results like firsts and seconds it just makes it easier to keep the momentum going. It's actually crazy how far out front Eli and Marvin were in front of third and fourth too, those guys are hauling right now and you can tell that they are pushing and giving it everything they've got. It's really cool to watch.
What else is new, man?
Deano merch! Everybody go buy stuff at www.deanwilson15.com now! [Laughs] That's just been one of my projects while I'm hurt and really it's just been me and my girlfriend doing it. It's been a lot of learning, and fun to do. Like I said, I've got time now while I'm recovering from injury, so it's just a little project and it's fun.
Your lady is the real MVP here. She takes care of you while your hurt and probably aren't the best person to be around sometimes. Am I right?
Yup, when I had my knee done I was stuck in bed and I'd pee into a jug and she would empty it out. [Laughs]
That's when you know she's a ride or die.
[Laughs] Yep, yep.
I'm gong to Redbud this weekend, and then heading back to Florida. The team wants me to be at some races, so now that I'm feeling good enough I'm gonna go. Seeing fans is always fun, so I'm excited.
Thanks Dean, heal up!