JAY WILSON: HAT-TRICK OF WINS IN JAPAN
Australia’s Jay Wilson kept his Japanese race-winning streak alive, with another victory at Round 3 of the All-Japanese Motocross Championship, held at a wet and soggy Sugo circuit.
The Australian Yamaha rider had won the first two rounds, the first in convincing fashion and the second with some pressure from the local riders, but an enormous amount of lead-up rain in the Sendai area meant the form guide went out the window and it was every man for himself in the boggy conditions.
Mud is the great equaliser in motocross, or so the saying goes, and there was plenty of mud on day one of the third round of the Japanese Motocross Championships. The track was hit with 100mm of rain in the days prior to the event, but with no rain on either Saturday or Sunday the round went ahead and conditions improved as the weekend went on.
Wilson continued his winning ways, taking the winning in his qualifying race on Saturday in horrendous conditions, reminiscent of the opening round of the 2019 MX Nationals in Australia at Appin. The qualifying victory was important as it gave him first pick of the gate for the two 25-minute races in the IA2 class (250cc) on Sunday.
Race one and Wilson rolled the dice with a gate on the far outside as it looked to be the driest entry to the first turn, but it was also by far the furthest and it was a high-risk, high-reward move that could go either way. Wilson charged from the gate, moved across on the 40-rider field and elbowed his way to the front as they exited turn one. From there, he was never headed and took a comfortable race victory.
Race two and the track had dried considerably. Wilson elected for a more conventional gate and took one on the inside but didn’t get the greatest of jumps and was inside the top five on the opening lap. He moved into the top three and the by the halfway stage, worked his way to the front and rode off into the distance.
The double race victory at Sugo now means he was won all three rounds contested and all seven motos in an impressive start to the season.
“I don’t mind riding the mud, but it looked pretty ugly on Friday here when we first rolled into the track,” the Aussie said. “It was nearly knee-deep in spots and with some more rain forecast, I wasn’t sure if we could even go ahead with racing. But the rain stopped, and the track team did a great job of getting as much of the slop from the surface as they could. It was still wet and slippery but at least it was rideable and by race two, it was actually a tough and challenging track to race with long ruts and different levels of grip.
“Thanks to the Yamaha Racing Factory team for their efforts today. I know it’s tough on the bike and the mechanics in conditions like this and they all did an amazing job. My goal today was to get top five starts in each race and I was able to do that so that was good.
“Things have been going well since landing in Japan and as a family we have all adapted to our new life. Working with Yamaha is a dream come true, while my family have enjoyed the Japanese lifestyle. There are still plenty of rounds to go, and I love my testing and mentoring role with Yamaha,” a clearly contented Wilson went on to say.