Photos and Interview by: Chase Yocom – Written by: Dan Lamb

In the sport of supercross and motocross, your window for success is a very small one compared to other sports. While your talent is young and you’re considered an up and comer, that window is wide open for amateur prodigies like it was for Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna’s Dean Wilson in the beginning, but after a few injuries and bad seasons, the window can slam shut. That’s exactly what happened to Deano after the 2016 season.

Heading into the 2017 season, the former 250 AMA National Champion was left on the outside looking in with no ride. When that window slams shut on guys that have been a factory riders their whole careers, they generally sit home and wait for that phone to ring, but the #15 went a different route: the privateer route. Deano and his pops Andy got a bike and headed to A1 in a pickup truck.

Dean did not crush it as a privateer, but what he did do was show the paddock that he still had that burning desire to succeed. With guys like Deano, talent and speed are never a question mark, but work ethic and desire are, and him showing up on that privateer Yamaha seemed to erase those questions. Four weeks later, the Scotsman was back under a factory team tent, and what most are calling his second career had begun.

Deano on his pops tuned privateer Yamaha in 2017.

So far in Deano’s second career, he found the 450 podium in the 2017 Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Championship, and last weekend he finally climbed onto a 450SX podium in Monster Energy Supercross. The SX podium likely would have come quicker, but Deano crashed and injured his shoulder at A1. Despite still dealing with that injury, he managed to seal the deal with a 2nd place finish at round 12 in Indy. It was one of those career moments for Dean that could possibly open the flood gates for many more podiums and possible wins down the road.

After his first ever 450SX podium, Chase Yocom was there to talk to Dean about it.

Dean, what got into you today, second place on the night?

I know, it was awesome. I’m super happy. I’ve been working hard since November. I’ve been trying to heal up with my shoulder, and I feel like I still am healing; it still bugs me. I don’t know, I finally got a good start and I’ve been riding well. My timed qualifying has gone well, but my starts haven’t been where I want them to be. I got a good start, pushed from the beginning, and it was an amazing night to get a 2nd on that tough track—my first podium, it’s awesome.


With that shoulder injury, you probably haven’t been able to ride much during the week? Has that changed recently?

I’ve been riding three days a week now probably for the last four or five weeks, but there was a time where I wasn’t riding for three weeks or so. It was tough. It feels like it never heals. When I’m sleeping I really struggle ’cause I wake up in pain. It’s been a crappy injury, but I’m glad I keep going, not giving up and be here ’cause this is where I want to be.


Does an injury like that almost take some of the pressure off of you ’cause you’re like “Ah, my shoulder, I don’t really know how I’m going to do.” Then you go out there and do this.

No, not really. I feel like sometimes that’s my biggest enemy ’cause I put so much pressure on my myself. I just want to do well. You just gotta do your best, keep it positive and that’s what works good for me. I really just focused on the start. I knew it was going to be important ’cause I got a bad start in the heat race and I got 8th. It’s so sketchy being in the back with all those guys. I was like, “I need to get a start,” and I got a good start. I tried to have a decent flow and push at the beginning and maintain it, which was tough, but I did it.

Deano with his mechanic, Mo (far left), and the man that thought he deserved a second career, Rockstar / Husqvarna team owner Bobby Hewitt (middle).

It seemed like you and Luke Renzland [in the 250 class] almost had identical nights. You got 8th in the heat and he got 9th, and in the main you got 2nd and he got 3rd—both with your first podiums.

The start is important. It’s a tough class. You lose sight of the guys up front or even the top five if you’re back in 12th. You can push all you want and it’s tough to catch back up. You just make it easier on yourself with a start in the beginning.


Were there any changes with the bike from the heat race to the main, or was it just the start?

No, no changes at all. I was actually just super frustrated with myself. You just get down on yourself and disappointed when you know you can do better than how the heat race went. I told nobody to talk to me so I could just focus on the main event.


[Jim Holley chimes in] You know what the difference was? We had breakfast this morning.

(laughs) Yeah, we did have breakfast. It brought that good juju on me.


Being a tall guy with the track that rough—you guys went 27 laps which is kind of crazy—did that play an advantage for you?

I guess when things get hairy maybe I have a little bit of strength to pull it back, but I don’t know if that’s an advantage or not.


How beat up did the track get? I saw you get kind of out of sorts over right before the mechanics area.

Yeah, that rut was gnarly and it hooked left at the top and then hooked me right, but I was lucky to save. It was just the way the rut was and it threw me off guard. I was like, “Come on,” trying to talk to myself and convince myself to push through. We had a few moments, but I think a lot of other people did too.

A big hug came from Dean’s long time girlfriend, Sarah.

It’s been since outdoors last year since you’ve been on the 450 podium, but this is your first-career SX 450 podium.

There was Monster Cup, but other than that.


I forgot about that, but your first regular season 450 SX podium, I guess. What was it like coming around the corner seeing Mo [Daniel Castloo,mechanic], Sarah [girlfriend], Bobby Hewitt [team owner] and all those guys?

It was great. They all know how hard I’ve worked and that’s where we always want to be. They’ve seen my down times, but they’ve seen that I never gave up. It’s just cool. That’s my circle, my crew, and it’s cool to celebrate it with them. It was awesome!


What a story, though. When you first crashed at A1, it could have potentially been a season ender and here we are at round 12 and you’re on the podium.

It’s great! It was the original goal from the beginning, but I’ll take it now and keep trying to get better.


We’re stoked for you. It was an awesome ride. Now go and enjoy it with your crew.

Thank you, I appreciate it.


Dan Lamb is a 12+ year journalist and the owner of MotoXAddicts.