Catching up with Dean Porter

Author: Mat Cox

Author: Mat Cox


While at Pala Raceway for the final round of the AMA MX Championship, I caught up with 2008 Australian MX Championship Wanneroo round winner Dean Porter who packed his bags and set off to race in the USA earlier this year.

One of Australia's top MX privateers who is known to most as the sand specialist in Western Australia had a smile from ear to ear at each of the rounds I saw him.

Dean travelled and lived out of a small truck with bunk beds inside right next to his bikes. But got to see more of the American country side than most Americans have seen.

Close friend and downhill Mountain bike champ Sam Hill had told Dean of his dad Merv's intentions to travel, next thing Dean knew a few mates wanted to join and he was entered for the 2011 Lucas Oils AMA MX Championship.

Fullnoise: Congratulations on your first season in the AMA MX championship, what did you think of the experience?

Dean: yeah cheers, Awesome, Awesome experience, it's a long way and a lot of travelling, I think we did 25000 miles in the truck and it was hard living out of this truck in the bunks but it was awesome, I will never forget it.

Fullnoise: What made you make the move from Australia to the USA?

Dean: Basically I was spending the same amount of money to race the Aussie nationals and because of the strong Aussie dollar it worked out in my favour if I came to America. I worked really hard back home, saved up, came over with thirty grand and I am glad I did!
Home away from home for Dean
Fullnoise: What did you expect when you came over to the USA?

Dean: I really just wanted to ride the tracks, I just came over basically for a holiday, then after the first couple of rounds I sort of knew where I was at and I was doing better than I thought. Actually the hardest bit is the qualifying, just trying to get into the main but in the races I felt good and the tracks are just awesome.

Fullnoise: How did this compare to racing in Australia?

Dean: The level in Australia is good, there is five to ten guys in each class who are really fast but over here it's like nearly everybody, like everybody who makes that main event is really fast. I like the tracks here a lot better, they are more open and flowing, tracks at home are a bit tight. Its better racing and it's good to be on the track with guys like Dungey and Villopoto, it's awesome.

Fullnoise: How much different is your bike set up here compared to back home?

Dean: I didn't change a whole lot, I went a bit harder with my forks and my shock because the tracks are that much faster, but it differs from round to round. I think the race fuel makes a big difference. I went to Pro Circuit as soon as I got here, took my bike in and got the engine done, just because I wanted to say I got the engine done by Pro Circuit (laughs). The bike is fast man, it's crazy.

Fullnoise: Did you get any support over here?

Dean: Yeah Lucas Murdle from LM action sports management, he sorted everything out with my FOX deal, also SPY and TAG. I had a few good mates and sponsors back home who helped by chipping in a bit of money to get me over here.

Fullnoise: Who have you been travelling around with?

Dean: It's mainly just been me and Merv the whole series, I had a mate who came over at the start of the season for four weeks and another mate of mine has come over for the last two rounds. Merv retired and basically we have been travelling around together. That's basically how this came about, I was talking to Sam and he told me his Dad had retired and wanted to travel around the USA so I was like how about we throw a couple bikes in and I will travel with you.

Fullnoise: At Freestone you got three points, that was your best result of the year, How did that round go down for you?

Dean: Texas was sort of sandy, I had a good qualifier, I was in the first session which meant I had the track in better condition. It was really hot down there and I just kept riding around really, a lot of people were pulling out and I ended up eighteenth, so I was really happy, I mean I struggled everywhere else in the heat so I don't really know why I went good there (laughs). At Millville I was running thirteenth for the first twenty minutes of the race then I just faded and got heat stroke bad, needed to get on the drip after.
No transporters in the privateer section
Fullnoise: Southwick didn't go to well for you, considering you are known as the sand specialist back in Australia, What happened?

Dean: Not at all (laughs) The main thing with me is I always take a while to learn a new track and Southwick has a lot of twists and turns. By the time we got out there the B group had already been and it was a little bit rough and I just didn't get a real clean lap in. I felt good but yeah it wasn't good enough! I mean there's a lot of fast riders and locals who come out at each round who can pin it so you have to get that clean lap in.

Fullnoise: So what was your favourite track from the series?

Dean:: Well at the moment just after riding 15 minutes of practice, Pala, this place is sic! I loved Thunder Valley in Colorado, it was awesome. Just my bike, because of the altitude, felt like a… 80.

Fullnoise: What's planned for the rest of the year?

Dean: Pretty much after this round I am here for another three weeks and I have got to try sell my bikes after I fix my practice bike which has a cracked case. Then I will fly home, get back to work, start saving and try do it again! Fullnoise: So you won't race Super X?

Dean: Na I have blown my money I came here with, it's all gone!

Fullnoise: So just back to work then back to USA next year?

Dean: That's the plan, I mean I don't want to come back if I don't have enough money to do it. This year I did it tough, I go to state rounds back home in better conditions, like with bikes and stuff, my bikes haven't been the best because they get worn out and whatever but it's been a good experience. I don't have enough money to do Super X properly and you have to practice a lot to get good at that, so I think I will just be laying bricks all summer!

Fullnoise: Do you have any deals lined up for next year?

Dean: Not at the moment, I have spoken to a few people and support teams where I might be able to get my bike to each round, so I will just keep talking to them but yeah nothing to much.

Fullnoise: Hopefully something will work out for you, thanks for your time Dean.

Dean: No worries!
The trusty transporter

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