Frid’Eh Update #1 | Dylan Wright | Brought to You by Fox Racing Canada
By Billy Rainford
Welcome to Week #1 of the DMX Frid’Eh Update this week presented by Fox Racing Canada. It’s always a pretty big deal to start out the season with last year’s #1 rider. However, it’s not much of a surprise these last few years with Dylan Wright becoming slightly untouchable.
Dylan can look pretty unapproachable on race days when he has his game face on, but he’s always an amazing interview whenever we get the chance to ask him some questions. As you’ll see, he’s very generous with his answers and gives us some good insight.
Oh, except for when I ask him what it is he listens to in his headphones before races. You’ll see.
I’m currently out west in California for the first 4 rounds of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Series at A1, Oakland, San Diego, and then A1.
It’s been raining since I got here a couple days ago but it finally ended Thursday at around noon and it looks like we’ve made it through the worst of it. There were even signs all along the highways saying to cancel travel plans and avoid going anywhere until late Thursday evening. It’s pretty much like when it snows in Vancouver around here. We saw some pretty good fender benders on our drives today.
I’m hanging out with a guy a lot of you will remember from the wild wild west days of MX Forum. Rick Hamer-Jackson AKA Hammertime is down here for his annual trip to A1. We’re calling the driveway of another Canadian legend, Andy Bell, in Newport Beach home for a few days while getting set for Anaheim 1. Without traffic, it’s only 15 minutes from Angel Stadium, so it’s been great! Thank you, Andy!
We watched Team Canada win the World Junior Hockey Championships in overtime Thursday night in a cool little restaurant/pub in the harbour, appropriately called Billy’s on the Beach. They walked us to the back patio and we cranked up the volume and drove anyone and everyone crazy when they tried to sit down for a nice meal beside us.
Anyway, Dylan just got home from a holiday and was cool enough to humour me again for another interview. In case you’ve been living under a rock, Dylan just became the first rider in Canadian history to win every moto of the MX season. It’s kind of a big deal. Here’s what he had to say:
Direct Motocross: Hello, Dylan. Last time we spoke you were just getting back on your feet after your double ACL surgery. Let me start out by asking you how all of that is going these days. How are your knees now?
Dylan Wright: Hey there, Billy, I’m actually doing super well. I have been doing a lot of rehab as you can imagine with it, but the progress is there. The hard part has been holding myself back. I have been in the gym every day trying my best to get back to 100%. The one thing that I don’t want to do is rush back too early and risk injuring it again. So for now I have just been being patient and letting my doctors and trainer guide me in the right direction. As for where I am in the progress, I am now doing weightlifting to build as much strength as I can and have been hard on the bicycle and rower to keep my conditioning up.
OK, so you went undefeated last summer for the first time in the 450 class. I know you always try to downplay that accomplishment but if you look back at it now are you impressed with getting that done? To just go all season without a mechanical is amazing even!
Yeah, and as a racer I am often one to downplay it as well, but it was definitely cool for me to get it done and be the first one to do it! I definitely was impressed, because, like you say, anything can happen! I for one have a lot of trust in the team and my mechanic Justin (Petker) so I don’t think the mechanical part surprised me. I try not to have too many ups and downs with emotions when racing. I was very excited when it happened, but since then the focus has been to try and repeat it again next year!
You got married after the season and just got back from a nice holiday. How was everything?
Yeah getting married was definitely the cherry on top for my summer. Getting to marry my beautiful wife was definitely a dream come true! We had such an amazing day with family and friends! It will be a day I will remember for the rest of my life. My wife did an amazing job getting everything organized and I just did the most I could to help! It was awesome to have it at my parents’ property as well which is where I grew up!
Yeah, as for the holiday, I actually got back late Wednesday and what an amazing time it was. My wife and I went with Tanner (Ward) and his girlfriend as well as Dario (Zecca) and his fiancé. Let’s just say it was awesome to get out of the daily grind, sign off for a bit, and enjoy some amazing time with some friends. The highlight of the trip had to be the day we all spent on the catamaran snorkelling, swimming with dolphins, and the private beach with a few cold beverages!
Obviously, you’ve got a huge target on your back for 2023. How do you prepare yourself for a new season? Will you stick to what you know works or are you trying anything new and different?
Anytime you have that big number 1 on the bike, you always have a target on your back. As for preparation, I will mostly stick to what I have been working on lately, as it seems to be working for me. But every year I try and tweak a few things here and there to make it better and better. For me, it’s more about finding the weakness in my riding or just in everyday life and finding a way, regardless of how hard it might be, and correcting it to always strive for a better ME on and off the bike! And trust this year I have had a lot of time to reflect!
No offence, but I have to say that a lot of us were almost disappointed to learn you were coming back to Canada next year. How close were you to finding a ride elsewhere?
Yeah, no offence taken here! I am happy to be back racing here in Canada with the same team I have been racing for the past 6 years. As for deals from elsewhere, yeah, I had some offers from some places all over the world, but I have to take a lot into consideration when I am making a decision. And for me right now this was the best decision for me. The one thing I can say is that I love Canadian moto and my country.
If not Canada, was your preference to go to the MXGP or the AMA?
That’s a great question. I would consider racing either series if the right deal for the right team came to the table. The easiest transition for me would be going to MXGP as they only race motocross and that is more of my background at the moment. I love the grittiness of the racing over there and the different cultures and countries would be cool to see. As for AMA, I always grew up racing AMA, so for the right opportunity I would train my ass off for Supercross and get good at it to perform where I need to!
What was the main reason for coming back to GDR for the next few seasons?
I don’t think there is a main reason. I had a lot of great offers from teams within our country as well as outside our country. Like I said before, there are a lot of factors to consider when signing a deal for me. There is always the question of the bike and program, the monetary compensation, the happiness and family aspect, living where and what country. There are a lot of factors and for the GDR squad we have become almost like family and I have a lot of trust in the guys I work with over there. Colton (Facciotti) has always been an amazing mentor for me and, well, my mechanic Justin has had an amazing track record to say the least! The one thing I know is that on both sides we hold each other to a high standard. I am very happy to be there working with these guys and we have some pretty cool projects for this upcoming season as well!
Last year, can you tell us how the lack of a good ACL played out? Was it a case of them being fine until they weren’t or how was it for you?
The most important thing with that injury was my lack of preparation for the season, as I definitely did not have the amount of prep that I would have liked! And yeah, exactly, I mean, it was okay until it wasn’t. I was having to be extra careful putting my one leg out because if I put it out the wrong way in a corner or landed too straight-legged my knee would dislocate and while riding I would have to give it a little jolt to put it back in. Not the funnest thing, but I got pretty dang good at riding through it! Sometimes you just gotta say F it and do what you gotta do!
Hammertime question: With all your wins and championships, what do you like to spend your money on away from the track. Do you have any vices – food, electronics, cars?
Hammer, what a question! I would love to say I spend tons of money on something super cool, but, luckily, I grew up living a pretty humble lifestyle and am happy with the smaller things in life than some fancy car or really fancy anything, to be honest. I am just very fortunate to be living comfortably with my wife doing what I love in life; riding my dirt bike! The only thing that I would say I spend a little bit of money on is traveling with my wife. We love traveling and learning new places and cultures and that’s something that I want to continue to do. The only other thing I guess that I could say I spend some money on is my house renovations, but I really enjoy doing them and learning how to do everything myself.
What does the rest of your winter look like? Where will you be training and will you do any pre-season races?
It’s a little hard to tell at this point, as I am waiting to get the green light to get riding again. My timeframe if everything goes as planned would be to get back on the bike mid-February and get down south riding. I am really looking forward to getting back on the bike and grinding day in and day out. I’m really missing that in my life right now! Need that grind away from the gym. My workouts have been lengthy lately and need to just ride my dang dirt bike again!
Will you give AMA Supercross a shot at some point?
Haha not this year. But I can say that eventually I will race one. It’s on my bucket list of things to do. I can’t tell you when or where or how many, but I will race one eventually.
Some more personal stuff:
What are you bingeing on a streaming service?
I just got into Yellowstone recently and have been enjoying that.
What music do you listen to in your headphones at the races?
AHHHH that’s a secret! I have a song I listen to before every race, but that’s for me and, well, maybe my mechanic to know!
I’m going to sneak right up on you next time and listen carefully. What’s the go-to meal when it’s your turn to cook?
Chicken Parm, hands down! Love that meal! Might have that tonight, actually, you just got me thinking about it.
Let’s end it with your top 5 MX racers you’ve looked up to over the years.
1. Ricky Carmichael
2. James Stewart
3. Kevin Windham
4. Colton Facciotti
5. Tyler Medaglia
OK, congrats on another first interview of the year! Good luck with the rest of your preparation. Who would you like to thank?
Thanks a lot, Billy! And just my amazing fans for sticking with me through this injury. I will be back in no time! My whole team, Honda Canada, GDR, Fox Racing, and everyone that supports us. Looking forward to another great year in 2023!
2023 Supercross Preview with Hammertime
I sat down with Rick Hamer-Jackson (AKA Hammertime) to talk about what we can expect from the racing in the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross season.
Find it wherever you get your podcasts
zMAX Dragway and Chicagoland Speedway Set to Host First-Ever SuperMotocross World ChampionshipTM Playoff Rounds
31-Event Series to Conclude at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on October 14
ANAHEIM, Calif. (January 6, 2023) – During a press event for the opening round of the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and subsequently, the SuperMotocross World Championship, the SuperMotocross League announced that zMAX Dragway and Chicagoland Speedway will host the first-ever SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff Rounds in September after the Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and AMA Pro Motocross Championship both conclude.
SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff 1 will take place on Saturday, September 9 at zMAX Dragway in Concord, North Carolina and Playoff 2 will take place on Saturday, September 23 at Chicagoland Speedway in Joliet, Illinois As previously announced, the SuperMotocross World Championship Final will take place on Saturday, October 14, in Los Angeles at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
“The design from the get-go was to make sure that each part of the country was represented so fans would have an opportunity to experience SuperMotocross first-hand,” said Dave Prater, Vice President of Supercross, Feld Motor Sports. “It was important to have one playoff in the East, a second in the Midwest, and then the final on the West Coast making each round easily accessible to each region. zMAX Dragway, Chicagoland Speedway and the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum all provide the perfect footprint to create world-class SuperMotocross tracks and a one-of-a-kind fan experience that will blend elements from both Supercross and Pro Motocross.”
zMAX Dragway is situated adjacent to Charlotte Motor Speedway in Concord and is the world’s first four-lane dragway. Built in 2008, zMAX is considered the “Bellagio of Dragstrips” for its expansive layout, large capacity grandstands and 40 luxury suites. zMAX is going to provide a layout where our track builders can create lanes suited for grandstand and suite viewing while also allowing fans to “line the fence” as they typically would at an outdoor Pro Motocross event.
“Innovation and entertainment are at the core of everything we do, so adding a SuperMotocross event to our portfolio at zMAX Dragway just makes sense,” said Charlotte Motor Speedway Executive Vice President and General Manager Greg Walter. “Fans who visit us expect big action and big fun, and that’s exactly what SuperMotocross provides. We couldn’t be more excited to make some Playoff history in September.”
Chicagoland Speedway sits right outside of Chicago in Joliet and will be easily accessible for fans traveling by car or plane with its central location and multiple airports. The 1.5 Mile D-shaped tri-oval Speedway sits on over 900 acres of land which will provide enough room for the track builders to get creative with the layout. Being a world-class facility, Chicagoland provides all the modern amenities motorsports fans expect when purchasing an event ticket. Chicagoland Speedway is no stranger to marquee events as they hosted Indy Car Series races for more than 10 years and NASCAR Cup Series races for nearly 20 years.
“As a proud partner of Supercross at Daytona International Speedway for over 50 years, we look forward to welcoming the first-ever SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs to the Midwest at Chicagoland Speedway,” said Chip Wile, senior vice president and chief track properties officer, NASCAR. “With a thrilling season of motorsports ahead, we are excited to see riders return to Daytona and Chicagoland for intense two-wheel action this season.”
The best of both worlds, the SuperMotocross World Championship is going to boast first of its kind track designs that will utilize a unique combination of both Supercross and Motocross obstacles. Each track layout will be unique unto itself but include five fundamental, yet essential elements of both disciplines – big air, long rhythm sections, rollers, fast straightaways, and elevation.
The SuperMotocross World Championship playoff races and final will operate under a two-moto format for both the 450cc class and 250cc class. Each moto will be 20 minutes, plus one lap, in which Olympic Scoring will determine an overall finishing position for which SuperMotocross Championship points will be awarded.
The SuperMotocross World Championship series will boast the sport’s largest payout of $10 million over the course of the full 31-event season. Prize money is being added to both the Supercross and Pro Motocross Championships, leaving $5.5 million up for grabs for the playoffs and final. A guaranteed $1 million will go to the 450cc champion and $500,000 to the 250cc champion.
All 17 rounds of the 2023 Monster Energy AMA Supercross Championship and 11 rounds of the Pro Motocross Championship are on sale. Tickets for the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoff Rounds and Final will go on pre-sale, Tuesday, January 31, followed by public on-sale Tuesday, February 7. Sign up here to become a priority customer and learn more about these events as they go on sale – SuperMotocross Priority Sign-up. To purchase tickets and stay up to date on the latest news and highlights, visit SuperMotocross.com, SupercrossLIVE.com or ProMotocross.com.
It’s time to go racing! Thanks for reading. See you at the races.
Oh wait, I should clarify that that is not me in the New Brunswick commercial they kept showing during the World Junior Hockey tournament.
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