With the start of the new year here, there’s no better time than now for a rider or brand to announce their last-minute signings. One that unofficially dropped the other day was Dean Wilson’s new deal to wear O’Neal Racing apparel for the 2017 season. This comes at a huge time for Wilson, as the former 250 National champion is about to race the 450 class in the Monster Energy Supercross Series as a privateer, something many did not would happen during the last offseason. Wilson signed a two-year contract with Red Bull KTM and moved up to the premier class in 2015, but serious knee injuries kept him from spinning many competition laps aboard the orange machine.
For O’Neal Racing, this is a huge get. The popular gear brand’s roster dwindled a bit over the offseason when longtime riders Blake Baggett and Kyle Chisholm signed with team’s that mandate a “uniform” of sorts for their riders.
Now with some sort of support from Yamaha and close sponsors, Wilson is slated to hit the close West Coast rounds of the early Supercross season. He’s stated in many interviews that while it’s not an ideal situation in the very competitive class, it’s a necessary step that hopefully helps him return to the attention of factory teams.