UPDATE (11/5): Jeff Ward Racing released Dean Wilson from his contract last week, putting the former 250 Class champion back on the free agent market and leaving the future of the race team in doubt. It's hard to imagine Wilson staying without a ride for very long, but it's unknown where he'll end up, though speculation has included a possible return to the Pro Circuit squad. Stay tuned. The original story from October is below.
With Dean Wilson on the verge of his 450 debut, the coveted free agent will be making it in 2013 with Jeff Ward Racing. Wilson was the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross 250 Class champion back in 2011, but this past year's title defense was cut short when he was forced to pull off the track during the first moto of the year at Hangtown, unable to race through a prior shoulder injury.
The deal is for two years and will allow Wilson to continue racing on a Kawasaki. Below is the official press release from JWR announcing the signing.
Jeff Ward Racing is proud to officially announce the signing Dean Wilson for the 2013 and 2014 AMA Supercross and Motocross seasons. The 20-year-old Scotsman will make his debut in the premier 450cc division after a very successful career aboard the smaller 250cc machines, on which he earned the 2011 250cc National Championship, as well as five Supercross Lites main event wins.
“Dean is one of the 450cc class rookies to watch, and I’m excited to help him transition into the premier division,” said Jeff Ward, team co-owner and a seven‐time Motocross and Supercross Champion himself. “He is a great kid, and I’ve admired his talent and work ethic at a distance for years now. I believe that he will be a frontrunner from the start, and we are all expecting great things in 2013.”
Wilson joins the Jeff Ward Racing team in its sophomore season but really, the squad has been working together for years under a different title. “I got into racing because I love motocross,” said team co‐owner Mike Kranyak. “I enjoy the challenge, and I believed that I could build a team that would be the best in the world. We accomplished our goal by winning the Supercross championships with Chad Reed and James Stewart in the past, and now our new challenge is to do the same with Dean Wilson.”
“I’m thrilled to join the Jeff Ward Racing Team,” said Wilson, from his new home in Clermont, Florida. “I had a few offers to choose from but joining JWR was a no brainer. I wanted to stay on Kawasakis, and the chance to work with Jeff Ward was an opportunity that I couldn’t pass up. The guy is a legend!”
Wilson will race a factory supported Kawasaki KX450F, tuned by respected technician Oscar Wirdeman, who helped guide Chad Reed and James Stewart to the 2008 and 2009 Supercross Championships, respectively.
Stay tuned for a complete team announcement regarding team sponsors and personnel. For more information, visit www.jeffwardracing.com.