KTM-mounted SXD contender speaks to MotoOnline.com.au.
After being MIA for a huge portion of the season, 18-year-old KTM Newcastle rider Dylan Wills has made all sorts of waves in the SXD class of the 2014 Australian Supercross Championship. Heading into the final round he sits just four points behind leader Jack Simpson, so we caught up with the Como, NSW-based bloke and threw him some tricky questions starting with ‘Why’.
Why did you miss most of the MX Nationals this year?
I had a really bad string of injuries that started just before last year’s supercross when I crashed and shattered my heel. Then on my fourth ride back from that, at one of my local tracks, I crashed again and broke my tibia and fibula. That took another four months to come back from and by then the championship was well under way. I chose to play it safe and get fit instead. I came back for round eight at Raymond Terrace, and even though I got half-decent results, I wasn’t fit enough yet. I missed Gladstone because it was too far to travel, then at Coolum I got taken out in the first turn in two of the motos. I don’t know where I ended up for the day.
Why did you choose to come back after such a frustrating series of crashes and injuries?
I just love racing. Even with all my injuries, not once has quitting come to mind. All racers will say the same thing: we just love going to the track and hitting corners. The feeling of riding a bike hard is awesome. I’ve had a taste of winning at junior level and I wasn’t ready to quit. I felt myself getting stronger after each injury and Dad and I have come so far in 12 years that I didn’t want to throw all our hard work away.
Why are you going so well in the 2014 Australian Supercross Championship?
I put it down to my level of training at the moment. I have an elite cyclist, who’s dad’s best mate, building me a program week by week that covers eating, working out and training. I guess I’m doing things the right way now and have learnt a lot about making sure my training is more quality, not quantity. I’ve also been riding a lot with Jay Marmont and Matt Moss at the McLeary farm, and when you ride with them, it obviously helps out a lot. Both of those guys are champions and know how to win, and I’ve learnt so much from riding with them.
Why are you planning to ride a two-stroke in the MX2 class next year?
KTM Newcastle does a good deal for me on bikes and I have a great relationship with the KTM factory team; I know they’ll always help me out if I need anything. I’m a bit nervous about racing the MX2 class, but I think it’ll suit my riding style. In races I like to settle in, then build the pace as the race progresses. In MXD everyone is flat-out right out of the gate! If I have a good off-season with no injuries, I think I’ll be okay. I want to start strong and get on my A-Game right from round one. I know I have the speed from when I train with Luke Clout, so it’s a matter of making it happen in the race environment.
Why have you teamed up with MotoOnline as a test-rider?
I’m good mates with Adam Spence and he spoke to Alex Gobert about bringing me on board and Alex was cool with the idea. While I was injured I got into a bit of photography and filming, so to have both me and Adam able to ride and shoot makes the job that much easier. It’s been so much fun and I’ve learnt a lot about setting up bike suspension and thinking about the way a bike feels and handles while I’m riding. It’s a good little gig and my sponsors such as Alpinestars love the media exposure they get from it.