Following a career best for Dylan Wright last weekend at Ulverton, Quebec, we thought it would be a good time to catch up with Dylan to talk about his season, his team, whose helped him along the way and where he’s headed.
FXR: First off, congratulations on your big win this weekend. How did it feel pulling off your first overall?
DW: Thank you. It felt pretty awesome! There just doesn’t seem to be the right words to accurately describe the feeling. Winning your first pro race is something most racers grow up dreaming about and it’s pretty amazing that it finally happened for me. You want to fist pump, scream at the top of your lungs, high five everyone you see. It’s addictive. Once you win, you just want to win more.
FXR: You kept getting closer and closer to the top of the box all summer and Ulverton is one for the books. What has made this difference for you this year?
DW: Winning the first moto at the beginning of the year got things off to an amazing start. What a confidence booster. I’ve been trying to hit the top of the box every race, and it’s been great to be doing it a little more consistently these past couple of weeks. Practicing down south this year with Maffy and Matt definitely improved my speed. I think my riding is smoother and I am more strategic. The work paid off. Ulverton is a track I’ve done well at. Great starts didn’t hurt. Gnarly downhills also worked in my favour and suited my riding style.
Andy White photo
FXR: The team dynamic over at MX101 seems to be pretty solid. How do you feel now that you are the captain of the team (so-to-speak)?
The team dynamic under the tent is light and fun. We are all serious about the racing but try to stay cool and calm between motos. The team consists of a great bunch of guys. We all get along very well which makes it possible for us to deal with the ups and downs of racing. Kevin has expectations for us to do well but doesn’t put too much pressure on all of us. He believes in us and in our ability to do well. As for being the captain of the team, I don’t feel that way. Kevin makes us all feel important. We all have a job to do, so I mostly work with my mechanic and Allan Brown throughout the day trying to get the bike just perfect.
FXR: You are the holeshot guy this year too. Tell us a little bit about your winter training in California.
It feels awesome to finally get a couple of hole shots. I’ve been working really hard on my starts all winter and during the spring. And for that hard work to pay off feels great. In California, I had the privilege of staying with Allan Brown and his wife. Allan and I did a bunch of testing to get the bike and suspension tuned perfectly for the season. Almost every day, I would travel to different tracks with Goerke and Maff where we would push one another in order to reach the next level. Training with experienced guys like that was a privilege and huge benefit. They provided me with tips and it gave all 3 of us someone to chase or someone to push us to do better. I was also working out at the gym to get stronger for the season. Allan introduced me to riding the hills and trails which was very different for me but very fun. It actually helped me to develop some techniques that have proven to be useful in motocross.
FXR: We saw “Wright 17” t-shirts all over the track at Ulverton. It looks like your fan base followed you again this weekend.
Yeah! I had a lot of family and friends come out to Ulverton because it’s now the closest track to home now that they’ve removed Sand Del Lee from the circuit. I must admit that speaking French may have helped broaden my fan base in Quebec. I couldn’t help but smile when the crowd erupted with cheers when I started to speak. That was pretty cool for sure. A few more people were wearing my T-shirts at the end of the day. I did this in order to raise funds to support my off-season training. I thought it could be an affordable souvenir. $20 will get you one!
FXR: Well sign me up for one then! Your family and girlfriend play a big role in your program. Does this help keep you on an even keel on race day?
It’s nice to see familiar faces at the races. People you see in the stands and along the fences cheering you on gives you that extra little bit of confidence on the track. Krista not only provides moral support. She does a lot to help me prepare for the races. She makes sure I eat, drink enough water and she gets my goggles and gear ready for the races. Because she does these things, I have a lot more time to go watch the MX1 races to see the line choices and check out where the track is getting rough and challenging. It’s nice to have friends and family in your corner to celebrate the successes and be there for you when things go sideways.
FXR: That was a crazy battle with Thompson in your final moto at Ulverton. You seemed pretty calm and collected. What was going through your mind the last few laps of that race?
I didn’t exactly know Cole was behind me until he showed me a wheel. I thought to myself oh boy! But I didn’t panic. I focused on hitting my lines, staying smooth and riding as relaxed as possible. I and focused on what was ahead of me, not behind me. Sadly, on the last lap I tried to protect the inside line and hit a hay bale that had drifted onto the rut I was in. It was a costly mistake. It was so frustrating when Cole passed me. You keep the #1 guy behind you throughout the whole race and he gets you on the last lap. That really sucks! I had mixed feelings. I was happy with how I rode and felt I got a really good start, but I was so angry to get passed.
FXR: I guess finding out Thompson was docked came as a surprise or were you aware he had cut the track?
It came as a surprise for sure. I got the news from Mark Stallybrass before I got back to the rig after the podium celebrations. When I came under the tent, I didn’t think anyone knew but clearly they did as they greeted me with cheers and high fives.
FXR: You and Cole Thompson have been battling back and forth all season. You clearly beat him in Regina and unfortunately the whole red cross flag scenario changed the outcome. That must have been heartbreaking for you.
That should have been my first second overall finish. Getting docked 10 positions for jumping on a flag I didn’t see was a real bummer. Penalties like those handed out at round 1 and 2, paired with some bad luck, have had a serious impact on my championship run as well as on the earnings a racer counts on to help support the training in between races and during the off-season. I really feel that I have stepped up my riding this year. I went from leading the second pack last year, to being part of the lead pack this year. I am proud of the progress.
FXR: With you winning the overall and also a round that all of the MX101 racing team hit the top ten, we should see some renewed confidence for all the guys.
This year the MX101 team has hired three young Canadians riders from three different areas of the country they believed had the potential to achieve great results. With great bikes, gear, sponsors, competent mechanics and a friendly rivalry between team members, it has led to great results for us and has helped us deal with the bad luck we’ve all had to contend with. We’ve all been in the top 10 at a few rounds now. We believe we can do it and we line up with that goal in mind every race.
FXR: Heading into round seven, what’s your game plan?
Get 2 great starts. #triplecrown I want to have 2 smooth and consistent rides and finish on top of the box. There is no fancy answer to this question. The goal is to win! That’s it. That’s all. Anything less is disappointing.
FXR: We certainly are proud of your accomplishments and we are excited to see where the next few weekends takes you. Thanks for taking some time to chat with us Dylan. Is there anyone you want to throw a shout out to?
So much time, effort and money goes into racing. Thanks to my team, family, friends, girlfriend and fans for cheering me on. Thanks to my sponsors for supporting me and the team. It wouldn’t be possible without the amazing support of: MX101, FXR, Yamaha, Rockstar Energy, Jonas Construction, R and R automation, SSS suspenssion, Allan Brown motorsports, GYTR, Dunlop, 6D helmets, Decal Works, Forma Boots, Atlas Braces, Matrix Concepts, FMF, Twin Air, TM Designworks, Cycra, RK.Excel, Mechanics Wear, Ride Engeneering, 100%, Works Connection, CL Brakes, Motorex, VP Fuels, Renthal, Nihilo, Evans coolant, and all my fans put there who are supporting me.