The breaking news yesterday of Chad Reed not racing in Atlanta was disappointing but no surprise – as was Chad looking for a replacement rider.
Seeing Dean Wilson step into the seat perhaps caught some off guard. But it shouldn’t have.
It wasn’t that long ago that Reedy tried to hook the talented Canadian/British/Scottish – dependent on whether he was winning or not – pilot. And the number of quality riders available to step into a 450 seat are rarer than rocking horse sh*t.
In 2011 Wilson had a golden year after becoming the first AMA champion to hail from Briton with some impressive stats to go with the title, including three overall wins and 11 podium results in 12 rounds. Then in AMA Supercross, Wilson bagged three wins on his way to finishing runner up in the 250 SX East Region.
The West Region AMA Supercross Lites in 2012 brought more success for Wilson with a second consecutive runner-up finish in the championship. Not the win Wilson would have wanted but it showed his previous year’s success in supercross was no fluke and kept the pilot on the industry radar.
But since then Deano’s had a difficult time of it and in the cut-throat moto industry he was – undeservingly – in danger of slipping into obscurity.
At the Seattle supercross round Wilson sustained a shoulder injury after an off that involved title rival, Eli Tomac. It would be this shoulder injury that would force Deano to retire from defending his AMA Motocross title mid-moto at the opening round at Hangtown.
Wilson and his fans were hoping that the 2013 supercross season would be the year he took the AMA Lites Championship – at Daytona he was holding down second in the standings and looking in good form but Wilson had a spectacular crash at Indy that ended his titles hopes.
This year hasn’t been the perfect start for the popular racer with a 4-4-7 on the board in the first three Mains but a return to form came at Oakland with a second, followed by his first win of the year at Anaheim 3.
It didn’t take long for bad luck to come calling again – when at San Diego Wilson went down while leading the race. Wilson’s luckless streak continued when he discovered his machine had mechanical problems leaving him to finish near the back of the field.
So although the move to step into Speedy Reedy’s team will give Wilson the chance to show what we know he’s capable of and will perhaps guard against losing a top ride if he performs well, maybe he would he have been better served keeping away from racing and getting himself into prime shape for the US outdoors? Time will tell…