Catching Up with…Dylan Wright | Presented by Fox Head Canada
By Billy Rainford
In case you missed it in the Frid’Eh Update:
Dylan Wright has been touted as a future champion for many years and is inching closer and closer to that dream. He finished 2016 in a close 3rd spot in the Rockstar Energy MX Nationals MX2 class.
Dylan grew up and lives a mere 5 minutes from the Sand Del Lee track and the MX101 team near Ottawa he’s called family for the past many years, so the decision to make a team change going forward couldn’t have been easy.
Always a rider to keep an eye on when he’s on the track, Dylan’s aggressive and ultra-stylish riding have spectators on the edge of their seats the entire time. Here’s a look at his 2016 season:
He’s definitely got the speed to win, all he has to do is work on the little things that will all add up to consistently good finishes and he should be chasing this championship all the way to RJ’s in August.
We caught up with the former straight A student out in California to talk about last season and 2017. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dylan. You’re #14 for 2017. My first question has to be about why you’re not #13. Whose decision was this and why?
Dylan Wright: You know what, honestly, it was a pretty hard decision for me to make. I am not a very superstitious person so the #13 really doesn’t bother me as I don’t think of it as a bad number or anything. Basically, the only reason I didn’t end up choosing the #13 is because of the horrible incident that occurred with Jessy Nelson. When the number came up it was the first thing I thought about. I just didn’t want to have to ride with that in the back of my head so I opted to run #14 instead. Also, Honda has had a lot of success with the #14 lately with Kevin Windham and Cole Seely, so why not keep the trend going!
Let’s talk about 2016 to start off. You always have high expectations and you got your first overall at the Ulverton round (3-1). How did your summer start out?
Yeah, I mean, I do always have high expectations for myself and my racing. Every time I line up at the gate, I want to cross the finish line first, that is for sure. I never line up at the gate without setting my goal to win. Yes, I finally put two good motos together and got that first win to check off my list.
Honestly, the first moto of the season went great, I got the moto win and everything was shaping up great that day. That is until my bonehead move in the second moto where I jumped the gate. I do have to admit the west coast wasn’t the greatest after that. I was penalized a few times, I hurt my foot at the second round in Nanaimo, and also had a first turn pile up incident that took me out of the race. That definitely wasn’t the way I had planned on starting off the season, but it did get better for me as the series moved east.
Did you feel you were ready for the big win in Quebec? What happened that made it happen for you?
Yeah, I definitely felt like it was time to get that first overall win under my belt. I had some great rides before getting the win, but could never really seem to put it together before that weekend. I felt great on that track all day and knew I had the speed to do it. With two great starts, I was finally able to seal the deal and get the win. The first win was cool, but it just motivated me that much more to win another one. Now that I have that crossed off the list I am hoping to cross a championship off the list next!
What was your favourite track on the circuit?
I would have to say that my favourite track on the circuit would have to be Gopher Dunes or Deschambault. I love riding in the sand, I like when the tracks get gnarly and rough. I have also had some success at both these tracks in the past so I am always exited pulling in to race at those two events.
You signed with a new team for 2017 and beyond. Can you take us through how that came about and if it was difficult to leave your old friends at MX101?
Yeah, I have signed with the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team for the 2017 and 2018 season, and I couldn’t be happier to be working with such a great and determined group of people. The guys over at the Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing team approached me not too long after the 2016 season had ended, and wanted to talk about possibly working together in the future. Obviously, I was interested in what they had to say, I mean they have had a really good and reputable team for quite a few years now, and I think have the program and tools to win us a championship this coming season. I honestly couldn’t have been more honoured that they approached me.
I went back and forth with both teams quite a bit before settling this deal. I do have to admit it was probably the hardest racing decision I have ever had to make because of my friendship and being so close to the guys over at MX101. I honestly wouldn’t call them old friends because we are still friends, and we on both ends I believe handled the situation as professionally as we could as well as wishing each other the best in the future.
How do you like the new ride?
I honestly could not be happier with the new ride! The team has been super good to work with and I love the new bikes, that’s for sure! Being part of such great organizations with Honda and Fox is honourable, they pretty much treat you like family and I mean what more can you really ask for as an athlete? I have gotten to meet so many great people from both companies, and couldn’t be more ecstatic to represent them on the track, that’s for sure.
What did you get up to after the season ended last year?
Actually, after the season ended last year I did the one US national at Ironman which was really fun, and I feel like it was a great experience for me. Then, not too long after that, I ended up breaking my leg. I kept it pretty hush hush, but I was off the bike until early December when I got to try the new bikes! Since getting back on the bike, I headed out to California to train for the winter, and get ready for the upcoming season.
You’re out west training now. What have you been doing? Where are you based?
Yeah, I’m out here training in California right now. I have been doing a lot of riding at some of the local tracks as well as enjoying some off-road riding which I have really taken a liking to. I have also been attending the gym and doing some cycling on my great Marin bike. I am based just outside Riverside, which is a great central location to many tracks in the area!
What’s been your routine out there? Who are you riding with?
My routine is normally to ride moto 4 days a week. I like to get my motos in and time on the bike at different tracks. I always save one day a week to go off-road riding in the desert. Then, when I am done riding, normally I will get my bike work done, and make sure the bike is ready to go for the following day. After all that is done, normally it’s off to the gym or out to cycle before dinner. It is a pretty tight schedule sometimes, but I know the hard work will pay off when the season starts! I have been doing quite a bit of riding with Shawn (Maffenbeier) and Keylan (Meston), as it’s always nice to have some company at the track and some guys to do some motos with.
Which Canadians have you been seeing a lot of? How is everyone looking?
Like I said, I have been hanging out with Shawn and Keylan the most, but I do see Jess (Pettis) and Hayden (Halstead) as well. Over March break there was a bunch of Canadians down here riding. It was pretty cool to see that!
Hey, can you take us through what happened last summer at the Deschambault round? It seemed like that was an emotional MX2 round for a few of you guys.
Yes, the Deschambault round was a pretty good one for me, coming away with the second moto win. Yes, when we are out racing our emotions and adrenaline run pretty high, there was a little bit of a confrontation that happened. It was nothing I think that was too out of the ordinary, but I do think that we have been able to put that behind us and move on as riders.
I have to ask this dumb question. What are you goals for this coming season?
My goals for this coming season are to stay healthy, and have fun. That’s the goal we all have when entering the series. At the end of the ten rounds, my goal is to be standing at the top of the podium with the big number one plate. The team and I have been working really hard this offseason to prepare ourselves for the championship that lies ahead, and I believe that we have all the tools necessary to get the job done this year!
Will you race some Arenacross and/or Supercross?
That is all to be determined. I would definitely like to race some Supercross in the near future, so we will see what the future has in store for some indoor racing.
Will you race anything before the Nationals start in Kamloops?
Yes, my plan is to race a few local Ontario races before the season starts back up again. I am not too sure which races I will attend as that is yet to be determined, but you will definitely see me line up for a couple, that’s for sure.
When are you coming home?
I am heading home Easter weekend because we have some testing and stuff to do. My girlfriend was able to come out here and help me make that long drive home. That should definitely make the drive home easier!
OK, thanks for the chat today. Good luck this year, and who would you like to thank?
Not a problem, thank you for the chat! I would first of all like to thank my amazing team Honda Canada GDR Fox Racing for everything they do for me as well as all of the team sponsors, without them we wouldn’t have the great program we have! I would also like to thank Allan and Jen Brown for letting me stay at their house out here in California so that I can get my training in before the season.
As well I can’t thank my amazing girlfriend for all of her support and my parents for their continuous support, my friends and family that always have my back, and my amazing fans that I can’t wait to see again this season!
Thanks for the chat today, Dylan. It’s going to be fun watching the MX2 series this year!