An official announcement has been made stating that Dean Wilson, a winner this season in the 250SX Class West Region, will race in the premier 450SX Class for Chad Reed’s Discount Tire/TwoTwo Motorsports team in select East Region rounds during his midseason break from competition. Reed suffered three broken bones in a last-lap crash in San Diego on February 8 and after attempting to give it a go last weekend in Dallas, was forced to sit out at least for the remainder of the Monster Energy Supercross season.
“For me I’m ready to heal up and get back into training and focus my time and energy on getting ready for outdoors,” said Reed in the release. “I’m excited for Dean because it is the team’s long term goal to have multiple riders on the team and Dean’s name has been kicked around the semi for a long time. This is our first chance to see how it goes with another rider in the mix. Not only is Dean a good friend, but is also somebody who I respect for his talent. I’m excited for the chance to work with him and not dwell on the fact that I’m out of the championship. I’m excited to put a headset on and go to the races as team owner and try to see what we can do and have fun with Deano.”
Wilson, who currently sits fourth in the 250SX West Region, will likely make his debut on the TwoTwo Kawasaki next weekend in Indianapolis. Wilson and Reed’s relationship began during the 2011 AMA Pro Motocross season when Wilson trained with Reed down in Florida and went on to win the 250 Class National Championship that season. Since then, rumors have swirled about Wilson possibly becoming Reed’s first hired rider at TwoTwo Motorsports. With this announcement, that possibility could be that much closer to becoming a reality.
Reed tried to make similar move during the 2012 season after suffering multiple injuries, including a torn ACL, following a crash in Dallas. He enlisted the services of Ben Townley to compete aboard the TwoTwo bike for the AMA Pro Motocross Championship, but those plans came to an end when Townley suffered a season-ending injury of his own.
For Wilson, the opportunity is a highly anticipated one. The Scottish-born rider has had a tough go of it since winning his national title, but has continued to endure. He made his official 450 debut last summer only to suffer a season-ending injury. He then made the decision to move back down into the 250s for the 2014 season. This will mark the first time Wilson has competed in the premier class in Monster Energy Supercross.
“Joining Discount Tire Racing/TwoTwo Motorsports is going to be an awesome experience for me,” said Wilson in the announcement. “Obviously I know Chad pretty well and I got the phone call last Saturday after he decided that he wasn’t going to be racing. It was a pretty cool phone call to get, that he wants me to race his bike! I’ve wanted to do the 450 rounds on the east coast just to keep racing because I feel like I’m riding pretty well at the moment. Mitch (Payton) and Reid (Nordin, Kawasaki race team manager) were really supportive of this move, as well as the other team sponsors. I just want to mix it up with the boys and have fun. There is no pressure so it should just be some good racing and some good experience for me.”
Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki team owner Mitch Payton, who has mentored Wilson since he turned pro back in 2010, was supportive of the move as it allows Wilson continued seat time and competition while the 250SX West Region sits idle until April 5th. Payton and Reed also have a long-term relationship with Payton playing an integral role in the beginnings of TwoTwo Motorsports by supplying Pro Circuit suspension, exhausts, and engine support.
“We’re very happy that Chad has reached out to Dean to fill in for him while he is recovering,” said Payton in the announcement. “Both Chad and Pro Circuit are really good friends, as Dean and Chad are also. We believe Chad’s team is organized and ready to do battle and we think this will be good for Dean to get experience in the 450 class. Coming off the west coast, it is good to keep him out there racing and getting seat time.”