Jay Wilson comes within one race of "the perfect season".
Jay Wilson came within one race of completing the perfect season in the 2022 Japanese Motocross Championship after finishing second at the final round of the series, at Sugo, in Japan.
Wilson had dominated all 14 races contested so far in the IA2 division (250cc) and was staring down the barrel of an undefeated season in his first year of racing in Japan for the Yamaha factory team. Just two race wins separated him and the ultimate goal in racing, but he was up against it at Sugo in the form of some imported competition as well as an ankle injury sustained late least week.
That soon become one race as Wilson took victory in the first moto of the day at Sugo, ahead of New Zealand guest rider, Brodie Connelly. Wilson started well and built a gap over his rivals that he held until the finish, so the perfect season all hinged on the final moto of the year.
It didn’t start well for the already crowned 2022 Japanese IA2 champion. He got a bad out of the gate and just outside the top five in the opening stages, while Connelly pulled the holeshot and began to clear out. Wilson made quick work of the riders in front of him and moved into second place with 15 minutes left to go in the race but by this stage, Connelly was 10 seconds up the track and in no mood to gift a race to his Yamaha and ANZAC partner.
Wilson couldn’t eat into the Connelly lead and finished some seven second behind him at the finish. Both riders finished the day with 2-1 / 1-2 results with Connelly taking the round win due to his better finish in the final moto.
The wash up of the points saw Yamaha and the YZ250F win every moto contested in the 2022 Japanese IA2 championship. 15 race wins belonged to Jay Wilson and one to Brodie Connelly.
“I wanted desperately to win that final moto and give the Yamaha Factory Racing team the perfect season, but it wasn’t to be,” Wilson laments. “I didn’t get a good start and then by the time I got through the pack, Brodie had cleared out and was riding well. Full credit to him, he deserved the race win and was simply better than me in that final moto.”
“I also will have some scans on my foot and ankle as something isn’t right down there.”
“This round wrapped up my racing commitments in Japan for 2022 and it’s been an amazing year. Yamaha have been so good to me, and I owe them for giving me this opportunity to work and race with such an awesome company and the great people in it.”
“We moved over here as a whole family and have had such a good time and embraced so much of Japan and its lifestyle. We enjoyed every second of it and have made some life-long friends here. I would love to come back again and continue my role here at YMC for 2023 and hopefully we can make that happen, as 2022 has given myself and my family so much.”
“And a thank you to all the people that come out to the racing. The Japanese crowds and other riders have been so supportive of me and that makes racing so much fun,” Jay finishes.
Watch Jay’s take on life in Japan.