Yamaha Factory Racing’s Jay Wilson remains unbeaten in the 2022 IA2 (250cc) division, after two rounds of the Japanese Motocross Championship, after dominating round two with a perfect 1-1 score.Contested at the Kanto circuit, just north of Tokyo, the tight layout of the track with its clay based surface gave the riders plenty to think about as the weekend started off wet and muddy before drying on race day to a rut infested track that allowed Wilson to show case the handling and performance of the Yamaha YZ250F.
The Australian rider qualified fastest in the wet and sloppy conditions but come Sunday, the track had dried considerably and the racing was fast and furious at the head of the IA2 field.
Race one and Wilson didn’t get the jump out of the gate and was mired mid pack as the full field of riders charged out of the first turn. He was pinballed around on the opening lap and went down as he tried to move forward. He remounted quickly and again started to move forward but the passes weren’t coming easy on the tight circuit and Wilson could see the leaders getting away.
With a burst of speed, he moved his way to third at the halfway point and then with some clear track, quickly caught the rider in second place. As he positioned himself to make a pass in one of the tight turns, he clipped the back wheel of the rider in front and again went down.
Now at boiling point inside his helmet, he was in no mood for messing around and had to get his skates on if he was any chances of catching the leader with under 10 minutes remaining. He wasted no time moving into second place, then set off after the leader. With two laps remaining, he made his move and grabbed the race lead. The pair battled for the next lap in some tight racing before Wilson was able to break clear with a lap remaining and take a hard-fought victory in race one.
The second race start was just as bad as the first one and again he was deep in the pack as the field rounded the first lap. Learning from his first race adventures, Wilson was far more conservative on the opening lap and despite no crashes, was still outside the top ten in the early stages.
As the race settled in, he began to pick off riders one at a time. He moved inside the top five at the halfway point and had while they were in sight, he still needed to make up more than a straight to catch and pass the front runners.
But that’s what he did as he meticulously worked his way to the front with a few laps to spare and got the one lap to go board with a handy three second buffer over his nearest rival.
Wilson crossed the finish line with his first in the air to complete a dominating day and keep his win streak, now at five races, alive.
“I had to work for that today,” Wilson said post-race. “My starts were terrible and as a result I got caught in the chaos of the racing in the early laps. In race one after the crash, I panicked a bit as I knew I had a lot of time to make up but all that did was make me ride tight and with no flow. I was able to win, but it wasn’t pretty, and the local riders did a great job.
“Although I got another awful start in race two, at least I was able to use what I had learned in the first race and be a little more patient working my way through the field. I had 30 minutes to get to the front and as a result, I rode much better and was able to get there with some time to spare.
“Thank you to Yamaha, our team sponsors and everyone for turning up today. It wasn’t looking good on Friday when we arrived but the did a great job with the track to get it as good as it was and also well done to the local Japanese riders. They stepped it up this round and made me earn this one.” Wilson ends.
Wilson now has small break in racing before the next round of the championship but will continue to work not only with his team but also in a testing role with Yamaha as well as mentor the younger Japanese riders in a very busy schedule.