The therapy session continues with today’s youth on the rise. It’s been fun chatting with these kids with balls to the wall attitudes towards racing. The gentleman this week in therapy is MX101 Yamaha’s Dylan Wright. I’m going to say he could be one of the most likable kids on the rise in Canada. He WOWED us in 2013 aboard a 250 two-stroke as an intermediate. Who can’t forget his all heart ride hitting the box at Gopher Dunes? Then the amazing heated battles at the TransCan with Westen Wrozyna? This past year he became a rookie in the Mx2 class and put in a rookies type of season. Some ups, some downs, but mostly a positive look into the future of what this kid is made of. He works hard, knows what to work on for 2015, and has his goals set. Being on the same bike and with the same team will no doubt make it easy for him to achieve his goals if the cards go his way. If they don’t he’ll still deliver an effort that would rival Rocky at every gate drop. I sit down with the friendly 17 year old and talk shop.
Gauldy – Hey Dylan thanks for taking the time to chat. What are you up to today?
Wright – Hey Gauldy no problem. I just finished my first semester of school and starting the second. I’m also getting ready to head south on the 2nd so I’m excited for that.
Gauldy – Well I guess I’m glad I called before you left. Who you rolling with?
Wright – I’m going with Cale (his mechanic) and my GF who has a house not far from Daytona.
Gauldy – Oh sweet you’re going down with your WCW (Woman Crush Wednesday). I always see your Instagram posts. You’re a sweetie eh?
Wright – Ya, I’m a lucky guy. She’s a keeper, and she loves moto as well rides herself. I’m a little softy for sure (laughs)
Gauldy – (Laughing) well good on ya buds. A good woman is always hard to find so cool for you. Ok, let’s take a step back and chat last year. It went well. You finished 9th in the series and had a decent year by my standards. How would you describe it?
Wright – The season went fairly good. It started out really good at Nanaimo and I felt I would just get better as I got used to the new scene. I had issues with the bike at the few rounds and I struggled at times battling with guys I didn’t know. In amateurs it’s always the same guys so you get comfortable. These guys I didn’t know change the way I rode sometimes. I learned a lot in year one. I know all the tracks now and learned the race craft of the pros. In Am’s the moto is only 15 minutes max so you go hard the whole time. In pros I needed to learn to pace myself sometimes. I know what to work on for this year and will be even better, but I’m happy with the way last year went.
Gauldy – If there was anything that stuck out that was frustrating from last year that you struggled with?
Wright – Well the timed qualifying was always a struggle for some reason. I don’t know if it was just so new to me, or I just couldn’t put down a hot lap out west. On the east it was easier for me. I also struggled as I said above about learning to pace myself better. I was just wide open all the time and that’s not the way to roll in the pros (laughs)
Gauldy – So you will run #20 this year. Does that matter to you?
Wright – Nope. It’s just a number. No meaning really unless it’s the #1.
Gauldy – I like that. I always wanted to ask you why you switch your first amateur number which was #117 to #539. What was the reason behind that?
Wright – Well #117 was because for Tyler Medaglia. He wore that and he was my hero growing up as an amateur so I wore that. When he turned pro I asked him if I could wear that number. I made the switch to #539 because it represented the birth date of my Grandfather who passed a few years back. We thought that was a good representation and preserve the memory of him.
Gauldy – That’s awesome dude. Way to represent the memory of family. Let’s talk about the positives from last year. The stuff that always made you smile knowing you have reached your dream of becoming a pro?
Wright – For me it was meeting fans. I didn’t really know I would have some being a rookie. The trailer was always full of people wanting autographs and wishing me luck and stuff. I thought that was really cool. The other was Calgary where I got 5th. I didn’t really know the track and never really felt good, but managed to have my best day there. It was a pleasant surprise. Hope I can do it again this year there (laughs). Moncton also is a good memory. I got 7th being known more of a sand guy. I realized I can ride hard pack as well after that day.
Gauldy – Well that shows you got some talent buds. You’re not just a sand dude anymore. Talk to me about the switch from two-stroke to four-stroke. You were so good the year prior on the two-stroke. Was it hard to make the change last year?
Wright – I loved the 250 two-stroke. I knew I was good on that bike but knowing I was eventually going to have to go four-stroke I figured I would do it right away…. (I cut him off).
Gauldy – Did you have the option of the two-stroke?
Wright – Oh ya I had the choice. It was always an option for me. It was more of a going forward plan that the four-stoke which was eventually going to happen. I figured do it now and learn right away then do it later.
Gauldy – That’s a very mature decision. Going into a season knowing how confident you were on the 250 two-stroke, but rather making that switch to learn now says a lot about your character and that you really believe in yourself. Would you agree?
Wright – Yeah for sure. It wasn’t the easiest switch for me. I think we saw that in some pressure situations which didn’t end well. It took me awhile to get used to it. I got one in the fall to get going and it took me awhile. Even now some would say I still am not 100% switch over (giggling) but I’m working on it and excited to get going.
Gauldy – Are you excited the series starts in Kamloops instead of Nanaimo?
Wright – OH MAN THAT’S AWESOME (both laughing). That place (Nanaimo) is a hell hole for sure. I don’t think anybody likes it. I find the layout is not bad, but once the top soil is gone it’s scary.
Gauldy – How did it feel being part of such a big rookie class last year? You had Jess Pettis, Brock Leitner, Danny Mathe, Westen Wrozyna and yourself. You came out on top, but did you keep tabs on the others throughout the year?
Wright – No, not really. I just stayed focused on my stuff. I’m happy I was the top rookie I guess. I’m happy being inside the top 10. I did get to know Jess Pettis quite well. He’s a great dude. It’s cool he’s on Yamaha’s now.
Gauldy – You know in any other sport you would have gotten rookie of the year trophy and a big check. You bummed you got nothing?
Wright – No, I’m good with what I have for the effort I put in.
Gauldy – So what are your goals coming into this season?
Wright – Well I would love to be the champion for sure. I mean, what are we going racing for if you don’t want to win? Realistically, I would love to be in the hunt for top three come Walton time. I know I was a little off the pace last year and I know what to work on to change that. My heart and desire is there to make it happen. I have the best equipment out there so I should be able to reach my goals.
Gauldy – Good answer. What’s with this new column over at MX101.ca?
Wright – Ya it something fun to do. Everybody should go check that out by the way (laughs). It’s something me and Johnny Grant came up with. We all have our social media and stuff, but this is another way to give back to MX101 fans and people that want to follow me.
Gauldy – I like the sound of that. Pros have more of an obligation to give back and that’s another way to do it. Ok let’s switch it up a bit again. You have a great girlfriend that supports you. Tell me about a date night with Dylan Wright is like?
Wright – Well it is Supercross season so Saturdays are spent with some snacks watching that together. Other nights are pretty normal I think. I’m a softy so a movie night or a nice dinner is cool. Just keep it chill and classy ya know. (Laughs)
Gauldy – Well Dylan this has been a great chat. I have always been a fan and this just gives me more reason to. You got any people you want to give some love to before I forget?
Wright – Well Mom and dad to kick it off as well as my family, my girlfriend for being awesome. Cale for twisting the wrenches and behind us at MX101 we have a big list: Yamaha Canada, Yamalube, GYTR, mx101, Dunlop, Renthal, Atlas braces, Guts Seats, Decal Works, SSS suspension, and a big one is in the making! 😉
Gauldy – One big one eh? I guess we’re not sharing?
Wright – I’ve been sworn to secrecy. (Laughs)
Gauldy – I won’t dig deeper then. Where do you see yourself in five years?
Wright – Well I would love to be an Mx2 champion. As a young pro I hope to be racing in the US as well. That’s always been a dream. But who knows what the future holds.
Gauldy – Good answer. How are your folks doing? They always have a smile on their face which is always nice to see.
Wright – They’re doing great. Oh ya, that reminds me. My grandpa Bud says to say hi.
Gauldy – Oh sweet thanks Bud. Your gramps is a great guy. He’s always following what I do so that makes me feel good. I appreciate that and give him my best.
Wright – Oh I will for sure. Thanks again Gauldy and good luck with the fam jam. (Laughing)