Catching Up with…Dylan Wright
By Billy Rainford
In case you missed it in last week’s Frid’Eh Update…
Dylan Wright from Richmond, Ontario, finished 6th in the competitive MX2 class in 2015 and will look to improve on his #17 this summer. He actually missed the Moncton, NB round at Riverglade or maybe he could have chased down Blake Savage for 5th overall.
Did you know that it was Dylan’s dad, Bill Wright, who actually pulled the trigger on the first ‘Pirate Radio’ broadcast over at Sand Del Lee in 2008? Yep, we did it from the roof of their old school bus in the pits. It proved that it was easily possible and we spent the day getting guest riders to climb onto the roof and chat with us as the races went on that day. It was a lot of fun and it opened the door for my summer or travel in the old 1989 Buick Electra Estate Wagon doing live audiocasts from each round of the Canadian Nationals the following summer. Thanks, Billy…I think. LOL
Dylan will front the young, all-Canadian MX101 FXR Yamaha team. The riders: Dylan Wright, Jess Pettis, Hayden Halstead. To be honest, it will be an interesting year as all 3 riders look to establish themselves as ‘the next Canadian standout.’ Jess and Dylan came up through the ranks together and have both turned a corner in their speed this past year. Dylan has always had that flashy, incredible pace while Jess has grown in stature and now looks much more comfortable and in control on the 250. And with the unpredictable and entertaining antics of Hayden thrown in the mix, the balance should be there to have this team making waves, getting results, and having a great time doing it. It’s going to be fun to watch.
We got in touch with Dylan as he was driving home from California. I’m actually sitting in a truck stop just west of Rochester, NY typing this. There are a lot of people gathered around a TV as the newscasters make as big a deal about a presidential candidate’s protest. Anyway, here’s how our conversation with Dylan went:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dylan. We haven’t spoken to you in a while. To start off, would you mind summing up how your summer of racing went in 2015? You finished 6th overall but missed a round and were still close to 5th.
Hello Billy, yeah it’s been a while. It’s been a long off-season. My summer went pretty good. I had a lot of fun and definitely learned a lot again, that’s for sure. Yeah, I ended up 6th overall in the series and will be running the big number 17 this summer. Yeah, I did end up missing Moncton because of a practice crash during the week, and without missing that round I feel like my chances of being in the top five overall would’ve definitely been better. But what can I say, our sport is a crazy one. Other than that, I am pretty happy with how my year went, I had a few podium finishes and I felt like my speed was pretty good.
What did you do at the end of the season after Walton?
After the season, I’m not even sure if I took a weekend off! I kept racing as much as I could until the snow hit! I ended up doing some races in Ontario and south of the border in New York, as well as the first two rounds of the AXTour Arenacross.
Then you spent some time out in California. Who did you train with?
Yeah, at the end of January my dad and I packed up and left for California. It was an amazing trip! I got a lot of riding in and I feel great on the bike heading into the season. It was great to train on hard pack dirt and tracks like we will have out west for the beginning of the series. I think that will be an advantage for me. Also, I got a lot more testing done thanks to Allan Brown from Allan Brown Motorsports who helped me get the bike exactly the way I like it!
For the majority of my stay I was training with Matt Georke which I think was great for my riding as I can learn a lot from him and we pushed each other to get better. I also did some training with (Shawn) Maffenbeier. During my stay in California I also fit in some training with Billy Laninovich, which I think helped me improve my riding even more.
Was there anything specific that you worked on?
There was nothing specific, I worked on mostly smoothing my riding out to suit the more hard packed dirt and keeping my momentum up as well. I can tell you that we did a lot of motos to make sure conditioning wouldn’t be an issue and sprints for speed! One other thing I focused on more than ever were my starts. I have struggled with starts in the past and I know that if I want to have a shot at the championship, my starts will need to be better. So, that is one thing that I have really been focusing on!
You raced out there also. Can you tell us how that went?
Yeah, I did a few races while I was out west. I didn’t do as many as I would’ve liked, but I did do a couple. They went pretty good, they were only small local stuff. My starts seemed to be pretty good and I feel that my sprint speed at the beginning of the moto has gotten better as well.
What have you been doing lately?
Honestly, I have mostly been riding and training my butt off getting ready for the season. There was never a day off, every day the goal is to better myself in any way possible. Last week, my girlfriend flew in for a few days and on Tuesday we started the long drive back home. Trust me, it’s a long way (Laughs)! [You don’t have to tell us, Dylan.]
I always like asking you about school because I know you excel at it. What are your current and future school plans?
Yeah, you’re right I do excel in school, and I promised myself and my parents that I would finish high school. Last year, I completed that and for now I’ve just been focusing of my racing and my riding, trying to better myself as much as I can and get ready for the nationals this summer! So for now I have put the academic side down, but when I am done racing I do plan on going back to school to study something.
You have an all-Canadian team full of young up and comers this year. What are your thoughts and predictions for the team?
Yeah, your right we are a true full Canadian team, and I think that is awesome to see and we need more of that! I think it is a great thing for us and I think we will do great this year and the vibe under the tent should be great. I don’t really have any predictions for the team, but I hope that I can bring the championship home as I and everyone around me has put the effort in. I think it would great to do that with MX101 FXR Yamaha because, honestly, they want it just as much as I do. The crew and I pretty much treat each other like family!
Will you race before round 1 out in Kamloops?
Yeah, I will for sure be racing before round 1 in Kamloops! I plan on trying to race every weekend until the start of the season to keep myself sharp and ready to go so that I know that come round one I will be ready! I think that racing is one of the best things for training, so yeah, you will definitely see me out there.
I know you have future Supercross plans. When will you start pointing your career in that direction?
Yeah, it is one thing I have definitely looked at doing for sure. I’m not sure if or when that will happen. I only have my eyes set on the upcoming season for now.
Any predictions/hopes for yourself this summer?
I feel like I have learned a lot the last 2 years and I know what it takes to run up front. With the few podiums I have under my belt I am hungrier than ever to get an overall. I am hoping that during the season I can consistently run up front and that at the end of the summer I can come out on top with the championship.
OK, we’ll let you get back to the highway miles now (and I have to do the same!), but first, who would you like to thank?
I would like to thank: MX101, FXR Yamaha Canada, 6D helmets, 100% goggles, Atlas Braces, Forma boots, R&R Automation, FMF racing, TM design works, Matrix concepts, GYTR, DeCal Works, Brown Motorsports, Renthal, SSS Suspension, Dunlop, Cl brakes, Motorex, Twin Air, Ride Engineering,VP fuels, RK chains, Excel Rims, Evans Cooling, Mechanix Wear, Nihilo, Cosmetic gaskets. I’d also like to send out a huge thanks to my family and my girlfriend for supporting me and all the help as well as all my fans out there – 2016 is going to be a great year, I cant wait to get it underway!
Thanks for taking the time to do that, Dylan. We can’t wait for this season to get rolling. It should be one for the record books, for sure. Good luck!