Australia’s Jay Wilson continued his 2022 Japanese win streak with another dominant performance at round four of the All-Japanese Motocross Championships, held at the Meihan Sportsland circuit, over the weekend.
With four rounds now complete, Wilson’s perfect season remains intact. He has four round wins and all nine motos wins in the IA2 (250cc) class so far in 2022 but round four wasn’t without its challenges.
There had been a big break in racing in Japan as the summer break allowed everyone some time off, but Wilson remained busy as part of his testing role with Yamaha and continued to ride and work with the product development team on a regular basis. But racing is his passion, and he was excited to get back on track and keep the good form flowing for 2022.
Like every other round so far this year in Japan, heavy lead up rain made the practice and qualifying sessions on Saturday muddy and difficult for all riders. The track crew did what they could but conditions were less than ideal and it was a good old fashion mud race on Saturday. But again, the skies cleared for Sunday and the track crew worked through the night to present a good track that rutted up and become very technical as the day progressed.
Wilson also was dealing with some stomach issues and spent Friday and Saturday under the weather and battling to keep any food day and his energy levels up. It was a case of doing as little as possible to conserve energy for the two, 30-minute races on Sunday in warm and humid conditions.
And in what has been a rarity this season, Wilson charged into the first turn ahead of the pack but ultimately ran wide allowing a rider to sneak underneath him and snatch the lead away. He quickly repassed back into the lead and then set about putting in some hot laps to create some breathing space between himself and the rest of the chasing pack. He cleared out to a comfortable lead and was able to maintain it to the end.
Race two and he spun up on the start gate and left outside the top five on the opening lap. The track had now dried considerably and was in great shape, so he had to work hard to move forward. He sliced into the top three by lap three, then had a rider fall that moved him into second, then the following lap he took control of the race. He took the race win by just over 10 seconds.
“I’m pretty happy to get this one out of the way and get the win again,” Wilson said. “I had one good start and one average start, and the good start certainly makes life easier than having to come through the riders early in the race as it gets chaotic in there.
“This track was also slow and tight in sections so passing wasn’t easy and, it’s a different dirt to the other tracks we race. It’s not sand, but it is softer and not the hard-based clay a lot of the Japanese circuits are, so I enjoyed the change of terrain.
“Overall, it was a good day all things considered. I still don’t feel great and yesterday was a real struggle, so I’m glad to get through and get another win and keep the victories coming for the Factory Yamaha Racing Team. I feel like I had some food poisoning or something like that as I couldn’t keep much down and felt really dehydrated as a result. Then, it was hot and humid, so I was pretty drained at the end of that second race.
“But awesome to get another win and thanks to everyone at Yamaha for making it happen. We still have a few more rounds to go, so nothing changes for myself and the team, we will stick at it and work hard right to the end.
“Also, a quick shoutout to everyone back home in Australia who keep in touch and offer support, its nice to know they follow what I do,” Wilson ends.
Round five is at Kyushu, Kamamoto on October 8 and 9.