It was supposed to be the year of redemption for Dean Wilson.
It was supposed to be the year he finally won that elusive 250 supercross crown. It was supposed to be the year to get his confidence back after two injury ravaged seasons by winning races again in 250s before he goes back to where he his talent belongs- the 450 class.
But somehow it has all started out wrong again for the popular Scotsman.
After hiring Ryan Hughes to bring some stability and structure as well as better baseline fitness, it seemed Wilson had all the pieces of the puzzle in place.
After a long recovery from his shoulder injury, Wilson began putting the laps in and by all accounts was flying on the Pro Circuit test track. Wilson was the anchor tenant for Mitch Payton, the main rider on the team and the rider most expected to win championships.
But unfortunately for Wilson a big crash, just days before the season opener at Anaheim, left him so sore he wasn’t sure if he could even ride. Bravely, he did ride and salvaged a fourth place. But he lost the momentum he was bringing into the series. From there it was expected Dean would start getting back to his old form and challenge Seeley and Anderson for race wins. But it hasn’t happened yet.
A fourth place at Phoenix, 35 seconds behind the leader, did not do much to give Wilson his confidence back, then at A2 Wilson crashed his way to seventh.
As a result Wilson is now 19 points behind championship leader Seeley in the championship. Both Seeley and Anderson have proven to be the class of the field and have the momentum rolling while young debutant, Cooper Webb, lies third in the series in his first supercross season.
Wilson has to start winning soon if he wants a shot at the championship and having new kids coming in and beating him in their first season isn’t ideal either.
Dropping down to the 250s was an almost no win situation for Wilson. He basically has to win a title or it will be deemed as a failure. By contrast if he was getting a fifth in the 450 class, it would have been seen as a decent learning year after his injuries.
But with Dean’s talent and experience you can see why he would back himself to be able to deliver a title. After all he did win the 250 National title for Mitch Payton in 2011.
However since then Pro Circuit has not enjoyed the success they are used too, with rival teams winning the major championships. PC had a poor year last year and they do not want to repeat the same thing this season, but so far Mitch Payton hasn’t been getting the results he wants or needs. This cranks even more pressure on Dean as Mitch gave him this shot again at the 250 supercross championship.
Wilson could have rode in GPs this year too but turned it down to win a 250 supercross title. Dean needs to turn this around quickly to reignite his career in America. Everyone knows he has the talent and the personality to be a champion, but after two years of injury people are wondering if Wilson can come back to the rider he once was.
His peers are all now in the 450 class and both Barcia and Roczen have won races in that division while Dean is rebuilding his career back in the 250s. It has to be hard to swallow for Wilson to see them all succeeding at the level he wants to be at.
But right now he needs to work hard with Ryan Hughes (the king of digging deep) and figure out a way to get his championship challenge back on track. Dean Wilson needs a win and he needs it very quickly.
Let’s hope he can do it!
Article: Jonathan McCready
Picture: James Lissimore