Rockstar Energy / Husqvarna Factory Racing’s Dean Wilson was a surprise last-minute entry at the 2020 Monster Energy Supercross opener last weekend after breaking and dislocating his hip at the 2019 Monster Energy Cup just eleven short weeks before the 2020 Anaheim 1 SX. Even with an injury that could potentially keep a normal human away from racing for 4-6 months, Deano set a lofty goal for an A1 return to racing and somehow made it happen. The #15 showed up at Anaheim 1 after just a couple of weeks back on the bike and finished 13th in the first 450 main of 2020.
After the racing was done at A1, we caught up with Dean at the team rig to talk about his Anaheim performance, his speedy recovery from a gnarly hip injury and his recent bike giveaway where he made an 8-year olds dreams come true and a moto family very happy.
Dean, nice to see you back racing. 13th in the main event was probably not ideal, but in the grand scheme of things with the injury and coming back as early as you did, you cannot be too bummed on a 13th. Is that about where your expectations for the first race back were?
I don’t know about expectations, ’cause I really didn’t have any expectations. I was just like, let’s just get into the main and see how we do. I only had a couple of weeks of riding before today. I think realistically, I could have gotten a top ten, but I, unfortunately, had someone crash into me on the first lap and started last. I just kind of picked my way through the pack and got a 13th. Not great, but it is what it is. I’m happy to be here. I’ve worked really hard to get to this point so I hope to get better every weekend.
I know you had a gnarly hip injury but what exactly was the injury?
It was dislocated and broken. I broke my hip in three places. It was pretty gnarly and not fun. I definitely never want to do that or experience that again.
Yeah, for us mortal humans that’s a six-month injury. Most would likely still be on the couch healing this soon after, and would definitely not be 13th against the best SX riders on earth just two and a half months later. (laughs) What did you do in your recovery to speed up the process?
I went into the hyperbaric chamber every day for two months. Then I just did physical therapy. I did everything I could. My goal was always to be at Anaheim 1 and we made it happen. I was stoked.
Talk about the A1 track. It looked super sketch by the end of the night and couldn’t have made anything any easier. 20-minutes plus one lap on that track looked gnarly from where I was.
The track broke down—got rutted—and the whoops got sketchy. It got to be a typical main event. It wasn’t too bad.
The triple-triple in the rhythm section before the first whoop section looked scary. I thought I saw you doing it earlier, but I don’t think I saw you do it in the main.
Yeah, I did it in practice, but I never did it in the main because the second one through you up super high. I got all the rhythms down and stuff like that but that’s the thing with my injury right now. I’m not really trying to be that guy that jumps all the big stuff or be the first one to do it. Usually, I don’t have a problem doing that stuff, but I just can’t afford to case something or do something stupid. ‘Cause I’ve gotten this far. I gotta be healthy and smart.
What are your goals as far as when you’re 100%?
When I get to 100%, I want to be in the battle up front with those guys. Obviously, I’m not there yet, but I want to try and win some races. I think I’m capable of it, but I’m going to give myself some time.
Before I let you go, I have to talk to you about the bike giveaway you’ve done for kids the last couple of years. Both have been awesome, and the one you did this year made my eyes leak quite a bit. I’m a father of four and know some out there struggle more than others and it’s awesome the way you find the right family. What made you do the bike giveaway?
Last year we did it and it went really good so I wanted to do it again this year. I don’t know, I like to help people. I like to give back. Honestly, making someone’s day or a family’s year or whatever I did, I just like to see people happy. So we did it and it went good.
I know you’re being humble, but stuff like that can change more than make someone’s day, you are possibly changing a kid’s life.
I hope so. Thank you. I went through 157 video submissions. There were so many good videos and so many good kids. It was such a hard decision to make. I just wanted to find a racing family. What I like are racing families, ’cause that’s what I was like. I know how tough it is so I want to help out a little bit.
Photos by: Simon Cudby