Dean Wilson’s career as a Monster Energy AMA Supercross rider has been anything but sunshine and rainbows.
Since reaching the professional level in 2010 and graduating to the 450SX class in 2015, Wilson has yet to earn a Supercross championship or a premier class victory. But a majority of the time, it hasn’t been his fault.
The Scottish rider has dealt with torn ACL’s, shoulder issues, a broken hip and an assortment of other season-ending injuries throughout his career. His most recent setback came a year ago in St. Louis, Ill., when his footpeg tore a deep, 10-inch gash in his buttock during a freak crash.
“That put me back farther than what I thought. I went anemic and had to regain all my blood back in my body, I lost a lot of blood, and that was really tough,” Wilson said.
Despite the long road to recovery he’s traveled, the No. 15 Fire Power Honda rider has always refused to give up.
So far this year, Wilson has yet to miss a round due to injury. He is also coming off his two best finishes of the season — a ninth in Glendale, Ariz., and an eighth at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
“I want to keep plugging away,” Wilson said. “I did top-eight today and I’d love to stay there. I’d like to get us into the top 10 in points.”
With four races left, Wilson is 11th in the championship, only four points away from cracking the top 10. While he’s running out of time to climb up the leaderboard, this may literally be the 31-year-old’s last chance to do so.
Before the season began, Wilson announced it would likely be his last year of competition. His contract with Fire Power Honda was for Supercross-only, though, there is an option for him to extend to 2024.
As of round 13 at Atlanta Motor Speedway, Wilson admitted he is still weighing his options in regard to retirement.
“We’ll see. Still got some thinking to do,” Wilson said with a side smile.
Whether he continues on to race next season or hangs up the boots, upon reflection, the No. 15 rider has plenty of which to be proud.
“My results haven’t been amazing. I’ve gotten a few Supercross podiums, a few outdoor podiums and that’s a very hard thing to do,” Wilson said. “I think the thing I’m most proud of is that I didn’t quit when I could have, a lot of times. It’s been a very tough career for me.”
As he goes on 14 years of racing professionally, Wilson has nothing but gratitude for the opportunities he’s been given to “do what I love.” He was a mainstay at Rockstar Energy Husqvarna’s factory team for six years, rode for Red Bull KTM early in his career and chased the inaugural World Supercross Championship across the globe with Fire Power Honda last year.
Wilson is confirmed to race WSX this season as well, but first on the docket for the Scotland native is finishing the AMA Supercross season. With his future in the sport up in the air, the final stretch of races has been bittersweet.
“I know the end is coming, but I’m just trying to enjoy it,” Wilson said. “It’s crazy how fast it went by. I remember 2010 like it was yesterday. It’s not been the easiest route, but it’s made me the person I am.”