News 31 Jan 2017

Recovering Long maintains initial targets with CDR Yamaha

Victorian facing a race against time as MX Nationals approach.

Image: Cameron Taylor (DMT Visuals).

Dylan Long will rely on his natural talent and off-the-bike training as he prepares to enter the 2017 Motul MX Nationals series with minimal time aboard his YZ450F due to an off-season injury.

In an unfortunate training incident late last year at Yamaha Park4MX in Victoria, the newly-signed CDR Yamaha rider collided with a downed rider and broke his left scaphoid in the process.

The injury required both surgery and a considerable amount of time off the bike, but Long remains confident in his ability and believes the time away from the track won’t largely affect his 2017 MX1 campaign.

“Honestly, I feel like I have a fair bit of talent in my riding,” Long told “I don’t have to ride as much as most people, obviously getting the most amount of bike time as you can is good, but I don’t think having a lot of time off with affect me as much as it would a lot of people.”

Taking a mature approach to the situation, the 22-year-old is ensuring career longevity and confirms he will not return to riding unless the injury is back to 100 percent despite the urgency ahead of the 2 April season opener in Wonthaggi.

“I’ll only get a little bit of time on the bike before the first round, which sort of sucks, but I would rather have a fully functioning wrist for the the season rather than be in pain for a longer period of time,” Long explained. “I’ve heard a lot about this injury and rushing back is never really a good thing, especially being pretty young and having a bit of a career ahead of me.

“It’s still unclear at the moment when I’ll be back on the bike, it is healing really well and I’ll know more this week, but it still has some healing to go, so I would say another four or five weeks and I might be back on the bike. I would like it to be sooner, but if it’s not feeling good I won’t get back on the bike.”

Given the opportunity to ride for arguably the most revered team in Australian motocross for 2017, Long believes that even with this injury setback he can still reach his goal of a successful and improved season with the CDR Yamaha squad.

“Not only for the team, but for myself this year I really wanted to go really well,” he added. “Coming into this year I see it as a great opportunity to get right up the front, even with this injury I’m not too worried – I still think I can get up the front.

“The first couple of rounds might be a bit of a struggle without the bike time, but being on this team, I’m sure I’ll be pretty happy with my suspension when I first bolt it in and from there it’ll just be fine-tuning. I’ve heard a lot of good things about the team, so I’m sure it’ll be a good year.”

Long will ride alongside defending MX Nationals MX1 champion and returning CDR Yamaha rider, Dean Ferris, who has confirmed a motocross-only deal ahead of the 2017 season.