Last month we all sat back and cheered as Dylan Wright and his Canada teammates battled hard against the best riders on the planet at the 2021 Monster Energy MXoN’s in Italy. All three riders rode incredibly hard and even though their final results were a little disappointing, our entire country was proud of their effort. Well, fast forward a few weeks and Dylan is now getting ready to head back to Italy to compete in the final five rounds of the 2021 MXGP Series. Thanks to the speed and grit he demonstrated at the MXoN’s, Dylan was offered some support to once again battle the MXGP riders in these upcoming final rounds. We caught up with Dylan as he was packing up and getting ready to head to Ontario and jump on the long flight over the Atlantic Ocean to Milan, Italy.
MXP: Good Morning Dylan, what are you up to today?
DW: I’m just packing up and getting ready to leave my house in Quebec. It’s raining today so I won’t be able to ride. Tomorrow (Monday) I head to Ottawa to see my doctor and then to Gopher Dunes. Then on Wednesday evening I get on a place and head over to Italy.
You’ve been at home in Quebec since you returned from the MXoN a few weeks ago, how has the riding been going?
Everything has been great and my training has been going really well. We’ve had some good weather in Quebec so the tracks have been good. Thankfully, I have a few tracks close by so it’s been good to ride different stuff and also work on a few parts of my riding.
I guess normally this time of the year you’d be more in relax mode with no racing in the near future. However, with this MXGP deal, it’s forced you to not only keep training hard but also maybe pick things up a bit?
Exactly, normally I’d just be doing a little training right now but nothing too serious. To be honest I’ve enjoyed this last month because I’ve been able to keep training hard and I’ve been able to work on my speed while practicing. During the summer when there was a championship on the line I didn’t want to practice too hard and have something happen. Right now I’m strong and healthy and probably feel better than I have in months. I guess you could say I’m as ready as I’ll even be to head back to Italy.
I know everyone is tired and somewhat burnt out at the end of the summer but I always found that if you can find a way to make one more big push with riding before shutting things down for the long off-season, it really helps when you get back riding in February or March.
I guess we’ll see next year when I start training for the 2022 season but I would agree with that. As I said, this MXGP deal has given me a reason to not only keep working hard but also work on a few new things. So that’s only going to help me moving forward into next year. Even though I won the 450 title again this summer I still think there’s room for improvement with regards to my riding and I feel like I can still get faster.
Well, everything happens for a reason and regardless of how these next five races go for you, it sounds as though this latest block of training has been really beneficial for you. Okay, so you’re heading over to Italy on Wednesday evening and arriving there on Thursday morning. What is the plan once you arrive?
Good question! (laughs). Right now I don’t even know who is picking me up at the airport or what we’re doing after that. We have to be at the track on Friday so that I know. The race this weekend is the MXGP of Trentino so it should be fun racing on that famous track. I haven’t checked the weather yet but I’m thinking it might be a little cool there since the track is at the base of the mountains. We’ll see I guess.
I would think for certain riders at your level that it would concern them if they didn’t know every little detail before racing in their first even MXGP. But you seem like you’re perfectly suited to how things have worked out. I mean, you’ve proven time and time again so far in your career that everything doesn’t have to be perfect to find success.
I’ve always been like that and I think I learned it while growing up. My family didn’t have a lot of money to go racing so we just made the best of what we had. Maybe it wasn’t always perfect but really what it perfect mean? Back then I was happy to be racing dirt bikes and that is how I feel heading over to Italy. If you’re waiting for things to be perfect in life or motocross you’re going to be waiting a long time. I have a great opportunity in front of me and I’m going to make the most of it. As long as I’m at the track on time for practice on Saturday that is all I care about.
Having raced these riders a few weeks ago at the MXoN how is your comfort level heading into this weekend?
I feel as confident as I can right now. I’m going to be racing my GDR Honda which is very important I think. I know the bike and the set-up so it’s not like I have to get used to a new bike or anything. I definitely learned a few things at the MXoN that I will bring to these next five races. Also, I don’t feel any pressure to go over there and force things. I have five rounds to try and get some great results and figure things out so that is what I’m going to do. It’s going to be fun!
Can you go into more detail regarding what you learned at the MXoN?
The first thing I learned is that pretty much anything goes on the race track as far as being aggressive. As long as you don’t t-bone anyone or injure them then it’s all cool and even after the race, the riders will be cool with you. It’s very old school over there and the riders are quite ruthless. If you give an inch they will take a mile. I made that mistake a couple of times at the MXoN and now I know what to expect.
Wow! I never would have thought that about the MXGP riders. As you said, the first thing is knowing that they ride like that so now you can adjust. You know how to ride like that (laughs).
I sure do! Another thing I noticed over there is that they don’t really groom the tracks that well. At the MXoN I remember during practice on Sunday morning coming over a jump and the same braking bumps were there from the day before. I was like okay so they missed a few spots last night during their track prep. The tracks there are obviously different than they are in North America so you really have to ride them with an open mind.
So you the next three rounds are in Trentino and then the final two are in Mantova, a track you know very well from the MXoN. Also, the schedule is kind of unique with a few Sunday races as well as some mid-week events. With this schedule, you won’t have to worry about being bored during the week?
I think the schedule is going to be great as once I’m there I’ll be able to keep busy. Having multiple races at each track will also allow me to learn them and get comfortable.
It sounds as though you’re ready to go and you’re heading over there with a great attitude Dylan. I’m sure I speak for the entire country when I say good luck and I hope you have a safe and fun adventure in Italy.
Thanks Palms! I feel good so now all I have to do is fly over there and try and do my best. I’m really looking forward to it and I think it’s going to be fun!