Dylan Woodock on returning, AMA Supercross, injuries and the future…
Our Feature Motocross and Supercross racer Dylan Woodcock’s American dream came to an agonizing halt after suffering from a training injury while over in the states. So we caught up with him while he recovers at back home in the UK to look back at his adventure and talk the future…
Dirt Hub: So looking back on the last six months or so are you glad you went to America and raced in the AMA Supercross series?
Dylan: Its everyone’s dream to go and race in America. If you ask anyone their dream would be to go to America and ride supercross, but there have only been 3 or 4 guys from the UK who have had the bottle to go there and do it. I didn’t qualify for a main, which is very upsetting, as there were a lot of people saying “you went all of the way there and didn’t qualify” but it’s like a whole other world, the way they qualify and the way they race. You can see Hunter Lawrence and Thomas Covington went there this year, and they are GP guys. Hunter never made one race with injuries and things. It’s so hard, it’s a different type of skill. You turn up there with a Euro riding style and you are presented with whoops that are four foot tall, and you can’t even roll them, so to just put in a decent lap time is just ridiculous.
But I am really glad I did it. I have done it now and I know what it’s about, so it wasn’t a loss or a win it was all about the experience.
DH: Yeah right it was a great experience and no one can take that away from you…
Dylan: No you can’t but I was gutted that I got injured and didn’t get to experience more of it. I went back to do Denver and Vegas then there were two weeks and it was Hangtown and Pala for the Outdoors. I was riding outdoors a bit and was feeling really good. Because I hadn’t ridden outdoors for so long I was really enjoying it and I felt like it was the best I have ever ridden. I didn’t have any special set up’s or anything but I was riding with some really fast boys and you know what it’s like everyone has to hatch on. But I was pretty upset that I missed the first outdoors. Everyone says you Jump and your good at Jumping and Supercross but I would say I am just as good outdoors.
When you returned you did a round of the Arenacross tour in the UK. What was that like after being in the States?
Dylan: It was weird, to be honest. I have never been that guy, like the French and the Germans, who just turn up with their gears bags, jump on a bike and ride, and I have never done that in my life, so it was so strange to do it like that. I literally flew in on a Wednesday night, woke up at 3 o clock on Thursday, didn’t really sleep that night, then on Friday I went to my mate Alfie Collett’s track, and I rode my mates Yamaha 250. When we got to the race on Friday, Ryan from Shocktech Kawasaki had the bike there I was going to ride, which was just a stock bike with a pipe and I literally just rocked up, and set the suspension up a little bit. I wasn’t really worried about the times or where I was, and that was it I just turned up and raced. I didn’t really have targets, but I made both Main events without going into the Head to Heads or LCQ’s so that was pretty good as there were guys there who were doing the whole series and were on bikes they had ridden all winter, and I just rocked up and made both main events which I thought was pretty cool.
DH: It was job done in that respect then?
Dylan: Yeah it was really good fun. I like Matt Bates he puts on a really good event and it was so good to come back and see some old faces and have some fun.
DH: Before you went back to the US who took I saw you took in a round of the MX Nationals…
Dylan: Yeah in that gap I raced the Arenacross and I was feeling so good on a bike, so one of my friends, Alfie Best, he had a 450 Yamaha just sitting there, and I have never ridden a 450 before and we went to Mildenhall and he says “you look really good on that bike do you want to race it at the weekend?” So we I just changed the handlebars and left the suspension so it was pretty much a stock bike so I just turned up at the MX Nationals and raced on my own. It was just me and my mate Aaran and that was it.
DH: So just old school out of the back of a van type thing?
Dylan: Yeah I just went there as a bit of fun, and I thought I did pretty good, finishing in the top 10 out of everyone on a stock 450, with stock suspension, so I didn’t think it was too bad.
DH: Do you think as the pressure was off you a bit you rode better, as you are just riding for yourself?
Dylan: I didn’t ever feel the pressure as I am not riding for a team, I have a bit of pressure from my Dad and that kind of thing, but I don’t tend to listen to many people and do my own thing. A guy called Jamie Ellis from Twisted Development said to me probably the best thing I have ever heard relating to Motocross, he said there will be all of these people telling you different things, but he said to pick one person to listen too. Because all of these people have irrelevant comments and it was so true as I had so many people trying to tell me this and that, it just gets confusing.
After that, I had another guy I know from a team over here who said there is a 250 here for you for when you get back from America and that was great as I had nothing planned. If I hadn’t done my Knee I was just going to race a few Maxxis rounds and other events and just have a bit of fun for myself, so that was a shame really.
Doing my knee was strange, It was out of the blue. The doctors said I must have done my ACL a year or two ago, and I didn’t even know about it, I just carried on. I didn’t even crash when I done it, I came off of a jump and spun a bit and cased a jump and when I cased the jump I came off the next jump and ghostied my bike and just laid on the floor and was like wow, what just happened.
It’s a strange feeling when something like that happens when you have put so much money and effort into it.
DH So you had your operation done in America then?
Dylan: Yes I had the same guy do my operation that did Austin Forkner’s.
DH: So was that paid for by your insurance?
Dylan: Yeah my insurance paid for it all, though we had to pay for it up front first and then get the money back. Because I couldn’t bend my knee I had to fly home first class which was pretty cool.
DH: Since you have been home what’s been going on? Are you in full recovery mode?
Dylan: Yeah nothing really, just being a normal kid. I have been seeing my mates and doing normal things. There is not a lot I can do. I have just started cycling and stuff like that, but that’s all I can really do.
DH: It must be hard being fit, young and normally so busy then having to stop?
Dylan: Yeah it’s so hard. It’s weird from coming from the 85’s and you do the Amateur stuff and you think you’re the boy; then you do MX2 and have a bad year, then I have been to America and no one thought I would come back, and now everyone has kind of written me off.
DH: Sometimes that type of thing can work in your favour though, it can give you an edge don’t you think?
Dylan: Yeah it does work in my favour. But’s weird now though.
DH: So hows the recuperation going then? When are you looking to get back on a bike?
Dylan: Like I said I haven’t got anything to rush back for, so as soon as the knee feels ready, and the Doc says you are ready I will ride. I have no bikes at the moment so I haven’t got a plan of any sort. I would like to race in Germany and do the German and European Supercross, as I don’t think I will be fully ready for the AMA Supercross next year. Where I have done my whole knee I want it to be completely right not semi right.
DH: Is the plan to go back to America to race Supercross again after a year in Europe?
Dylan: I am not sure. Everyone is different. If I can race here and do well I will race here. It doesn’t matter where I race, I just love riding bikes and having fun. When I did the Europeans, I was so upset with myself when things didn’t go right that I just thought, I have lost the fun factor. If you look at the Maxxis now a lot of riders are sucked so far into it, and they are not having fun. They want to do well, but it’s catch 22. When you are having fun you ride good, when you look good you feel good.
It does seem weird going from riding every week, to having almost a year off and doing just 8 meetings in a year.
So we will see what happens but hopefully, I can pick up some sponsors and get a ride doing something but I am keen to do anything really.
I would like to thank everyone who made my American trip possible as it wouldn’t have happened without my great sponsors and all of the great people backing me. I would like to say a huge thank you to Micky and Megan Carter, my Old Man, Nan, Mum and all of my family and friends, and to these great sponsors; Stunt Flying, CMH MX Holidays, Thor, 6D Helmets, ODI Grips, FMF, Ride 100%, Pod Active, Jody Whitmore, Danny Whitmore, No Toil, Motoseat, Moto Shack, Couture Cars, Lainer Suspension, Temecula Motorsports, Californa Motocross Holidays, ASG UK and Gareth Swanepoel.
Dirt Hub would like to thank Dylan for letting us follow him through his stateside adventure and we look forward to keeping up to date with his race career when he is back on a bike and fully recovered.