Features 3 Dec 2013

Race Recap: Jay Wilson

Wilson talks New Zealand Pro Lites Supercross series win.

After a self-confessed horror start to 2013, GYTR Yamaha’s Jay Wilson has ended the year with a hiss and a roar, claiming both the Australian Under 19 Supercross championship and the New Zealand Pro Lites Supercross title in dominant fashion.

MotoOnline.com.au caught up with the 19-year-old from Tweed Heads to find out how he turned the year around and what his plans are for 2014.

Jay Wilson won the New Zealand Pro Lites Supercross series last week. Image: Jeremy McKnight.

Image: Jeremy McKnight.

Mate, 2013 ended up being a pretty big year for you: you finished second in the MXD class at the MX Nationals, and won two supercross championships. You must be pretty pumped on that.

Yeah I’m really happy with how I ended the year. The start of the season was terrible, but I managed to turn it around and I’m really happy to reward my team, friends and family who’ve stuck by me during the tough times.

Winning the two supercross titles was a big highlight, but the biggest thing I’ve learnt this year is how to manage the ups and downs of this sport. I dug myself into a massive hole and I had to work hard to get out if it and prove to people I’ve got what it takes.

So how did you turn it around? Halfway through this year it seemed a switch suddenly flicked and you went from scrambling inside the top 10 to winning races.

I was just down on myself and thinking of all these different things that I thought I was doing wrong, when all I had to do was get back to the simple stuff. I think Conondale was the turning point though. I got a guest ride in the Pro Lites there on the retro-themed bikes and to finish with two top-five results was a real confidence booster.

I did target that event as an opportunity to prove to people what I’m capable of and I worked my butt off leading up to it. From there we had a six-week break and I spent some time at Bourke with Tye Simmonds and Luke Clout and had a lot of fun.

I realised I was taking my racing too seriously and it was sucking the fun out of it. We didn’t change my training schedule with Alter Ego Elite or anything, I was just focusing too much on the little shit that didn’t matter and beating myself up when things went wrong.

You just wrapped up the Pro Lites supercross title over in New Zealand. What did you think of that series, and how does the scene there compare to back home?

I think they did a great job over there. They’ve been struggling with supercross for a few years, but I think they’ve definitely turned it around and there will be some more races there in the future.

The racing isn’t as strong as it is here, but we’re so serious, and we go there and everyone is chilled, relaxed and everyone helps everyone.

The tracks were better than I expected, but they’re a bit more like a stadiumcross track. They build the tracks on the safe side because the guys race with motocross suspension. But all in all, it was an awesome experience and I was pumped to win the title at Winton.

Wilson rode for Josh Coppins' Altherm JCR Yamaha team in NZ. Image: Jeremy McKnight.

Image: Jeremy McKnight.

Cool. So, you’re stepping out of the Under 19s next year. Do you feel as if there’s some unfinished business, with not winning the MX Nationals title?

Not really. I think I’ve proved to everyone what I’m capable of without that. Yeah, it would’ve been awesome to win the MXD title, but my time’s up and I’m looking forward to the future and stepping up to the Pro Lites.

There were people hating on me for staying down in MXD until I hit the age limit, but I’m not worried – it’s called the Under 19 class for a reason.

[Laughs] good call. Let’s talk Pro Lites then. Have you got everything squared away for next year?

I can’t say anything yet as nothing is confirmed, but I’ll keep you in the loop in the next couple of weeks. I am looking forward to the Pro Lites though. I’m going to enjoy going in as an underdog, playing it cool and doing what I’ve got to do to fulfill my goals for the season.

Awesome, thanks for the chat. Looking forward to hearing your news in a couple weeks’ time.

Thanks mate. Speak soon.