I was sitting on a plane after just landing in Seattle to do a story on what Ryan Villopoto is up to nowadays when I did what most people do on planes; I checked my Instagram account. In there was a direct message from someone I don’t know who is in the orbit of the Rockstar Energy Husqvarna team telling me that Dean Wilson was going to join the squad. That’s it. No other details and this person was not really anyone who I know well enough to give them the benefit of the doubt that this was going to happen.
To further complicate things; I had just talked to Wilson’s agent, Tony Gardea, about some other stuff, but we touched on Dean going east with some Yamaha team and how he’s got to make that happen. Gardea gave no hint of there being anything else in the works.
Okay, hmmm, I need to see what is up, so I text a person close to Dean. They actually confirmed it and told me that it’s for supercross and motocross, but not to attach them to the report. Okay, no problem there! I ask about what’s happening with Christophe Pourcel, but this person doesn’t really answer that or doesn’t know. I can’t see the team running three riders, so with Pourcel’s sub-par results to start the year (only through four races though) I logically conclude that they are probably going to let him go and pick up the #15. I don’t know that though. I text another person close to the team and they don’t know anything about it. So, feeling confident that my original source is good, I tweet out, “Dean Wilson to Rockstar Husky for SX & MX. Great to hear, he's used to the bike so should hit the ground running #sourcessay."
Then I get off the plane, grab a rental car and head over to a hotel close to Villopoto’s house. The next day I wake up to texts from industry people asking me about Wilson and what’s happening, whether the team is adding a third rider, whether Pourcel is off the team etc. I still have to just hope that my two sources are correct! I stand by what I tweeted (and retweeted on the Racer X Twitter) and, no, I don’t know if it’s a two or three-man team now.
I get a text from someone else who is close to the team saying that they are not happy that I put that out there. Too bad, I reply, I’m just doing my job. At this point there are some spy photos of Wilson on the Husqvarna at a local track to which I always shake my head. The teams in this sport don’t do a great job of keeping things secret, then get upset at the media for breaking things. So, my tweet was a full TWELVE HOURS ahead of Wilson showing up on at a local track in Southern California on a Husky.
It reminds me of when Justin Barcia was riding a factory Honda 450 at a public track, as he was jumping ship out of the 250MX class and off the GEICO bike, but when I tweeted it Honda asked me to pull it down (which I didn’t). C’mon teams! You have got to be smarter than this.
Anyway, back to the story. Someone text me to say that Michel Lindsey of Vital MX said that Wilson will now be staying on blue and that I’m wrong. I can’t be bothered to source any of this out because I’m with Villopoto and James Lissimore making a video, taking photos and driving around the woods of the Pacific Northwest. I’m literally holding this flash-box thing in front of Villopoto, a coffee and my phone that’s buzzing over and over with texts. One of RV’s French Bulldogs is sniffing my flip-flop-equipped feet with his cold nose, no doubt smelling my dogs. This feels weird.
There could be something to this Lindsey report. I do know that when Yamaha gives you bikes and some support, you sign a contract that says they have the right to match any offer you get whilst riding for them. If Rockstar Husky wants to put Dean on the team then there is a possibility that Yamaha could “match" that offer and put Wilson, a rider they had told they wanted for 450MX when Chad Reed’s supercross-only deal is up, in the Monster Energy Yamaha truck. While I didn’t think that was going to happen, there was a possibility that Lindsey was right. Meanwhile I’m sorting out photo shoots with Villopoto, going to his coffee hut and at one point holding one of his babies whilst he shows me his guns. Things were really weird at this point.
Someone who knows Pourcel said that he says he’s still on the team, but that’s strange to me. Wilson, who's phone was no doubt blowing up by now with texts and calls from people who saw my tweet, is posting photos of him on a Yamaha. Was I wrong? Did my two sources make mistakes? Oh, wait, no time to worry about that, because Villopoto and I need to talk about his racing career.
That was all-day Wednesday and I flew home later that night landing at 1am from an eventful outing. Yesterday I got it more sourced out that the deal was done; Wilson to Rockstar Energy Husqvarna and that Pourcel was off the team, but still trying to race something. Endurocross was something that was kicked around, maybe some GNCC rounds and I felt good enough about all of this to talk about it on my Fly Racing Moto:60 show with my guests.
Today [Friday] the official press release has been released. Wilson on the team for supercross and motocross, then Pourcel is off to the Canadian nationals this summer (which was never speculated on) where he’ll go on his "You don’t want me, but you are paying me so I’ll race something" tour of the north.
Things return to normal in the supercross world and I pack up to fly to Oakland today. Wait, one last text this morning from Dean Wilson saying, "God damn you have sources though."
Words: Steve Matthes | Lead Image: Sean Ogden