For Dean Wilson of Fire Power Honda, it has been a consistent start to the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season. '15' is not quite where he wants to be though – there is no doubt that the former national champion does not belong in fourteenth place. The good news is that he seemingly knows what it will take for him to break into the top ten for the first time as a CRF450R athlete. What steps will he make in order to be a better rider in the coming weeks? Wilson reveals all in this exclusive interview on Vital MX.
Vital MX: This was very similar to Anaheim 1. The result was similar, as was the race. Where are we at? Are you leaving here encouraged? Do you know which direction you are heading in?
Dean Wilson: Yeah, so… I am leaving disappointed. I know what I need to fix though. I have just been struggling with arm pump so bad, so I am just holding on for dear life from midway to the end of the race. I feel like tonight was a twelfth-place ride for me. That was where I was at, but I went back to fourteenth due to my arm pump. You are just holding on for dear life when your arms are that bad – you go into survival mode. It is pretty disappointing because I work really hard. I always work really hard! To be out there in fourteenth is tough. I just need to be better, end of story. I am going to work on a few things to fix it this week. I just want to be in the top ten, that is all. I think that Joey [Savatgy], Colt [Nichols], Justin [Hill] and I… There is a group of us who are hovering from eighth to twelfth. I just need to be in there. I can totally do that, but I cannot be pumping up like this.
I guarantee that there is no answer to this question, but do you know where the arm pump is coming from? Is it nerves or bike set-up?
I think that it is a combo of both. I think that it is nerves, but then I think that… I almost feel like I need to detune my bike and that is actually what I am going to do this week. I want to slow it down, so that the bike is not so explosive when I get midway through the main and tight. I want to give that a try and tinker with the bike a bit. I need to just pounds laps in practice, instead of going for one lap and then I won't be so pumped up when I get to the night show. We have a plan and we are going to stick with it. We have a lot of races to go. I knew that I was not going to completely ready for the first five or six rounds, just due to the crazy off-season that I had, but we will keep plugging away and be in the top ten.
This is different to how I thought that this would go. I thought that you would say that you are lost with the bike and throwing everything at it, so are you comfortable?
Yeah, definitely. I tested with Showa all week and got the bike better. I was good in the first qualifier – I was P11 and P10 until the last ten seconds. I know that does not sound great, but you know how close we all are. My speed is there for a top ten. It is just about doing it for the whole damn main event. That is what I am working on and, yeah, the bike is good. I am happy with it.
A difficult question for you to answer, I guess, but you are used to being a factory rider. What has been the hardest thing to get adjusted to on a satellite team?
The hardest thing is that the team is based out of MTF in Georgia. I have been based out of California, so it is a little bit tricky when it comes to that. I would have no issues if I was in Georgia the whole time. There are sometimes delays with shipping and stuff, when I am in California and I run into a problem. That has definitely been tough, but that is my fault. I want to be in California, because of the baby and all of these west coast rounds. I do not want to be flying back and forth. That is that! It is not a California-based team and that makes it a little bit tough. It has been good, other than that, and I have really enjoyed it.
Finally, what do you need to work on with your technique? Are you repeatedly making the same little mistake and beating your head against a brick wall?
Yeah, it is just corners for me. I just struggle so bad with left-hand turns because I have a really bad left knee. I do not lean the bike and muck up the corners. If I just roll my turns better then it will help me a bunch, so we are going to work on that this week.