News 29 Nov 2016

Wilson announces UK arenacross deal amongst 2017 plans

Motul MX Nationals campaign unlikely for next year.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

2015 Australian MX2 champion Jay Wilson has revealed he will race for the JK Yamaha team in the 2017 ArencrossUK championship aboard a YZ450F.

Wilson recently found out he wouldn’t receive a contract extension with Crankt Protein Honda Racing after completing his MX1 rookie season with the Victorian-based outfit, which led him to explore his overseas options after realising his opportunities in Australia had tightened up.

“It’s all happened pretty quickly to be honest,” Wilson explained. “I only found out at the AUS-X Open in Sydney that I no longer had a position at Honda in Australia, which at the time was disappointing for me. I knew that I hadn’t had the best season, but with the team being brand new and also being my first year in the 450 class, I felt that we had learnt a lot together.

“By the time we all got to Sydney everyone had pretty much signed their riders for 2017, and it didn’t leave me with any time to put anything together, so I began to explore my options overseas and the UK Arenacross deal popped up.

“I’ve had a long and successful history with Yamaha and the brand has been very loyal to me throughout my career, so when the opportunity came up to be back with those guys again I jumped at it. A good friend of mine Kenny Hamer has put the whole UK contract together, and I’m really excited to head over.”

The 22-year-old was vocal about refusing to race without a salary, however he stated he would remain in shape and will continue riding should an opportunity arise that meets his requirements.

“I could have signed on for nothing here in Australia but I didn’t want to do that. I truly believe that we should all be getting paid something – we’re out there risking our lives, and even if it doesn’t help me in my career, me saying no to racing for free may help another rider coming through in the future,” he continued.

“If we all did it for free, then manufacturers wouldn’t need to pay anyone anything, and the cycle gets worse. If the right thing popped up here in Australia for 2017 then I’d definitely consider it, but I’m not going racing for free. The main thing for me next year is to continue training as if I was racing so when the right thing does come up I’m ready to go.”

Wilson, who is currently awaiting the arrival of his first child with partner Misty Walton, also revealed he has been in discussions with Josh Coppins and Mike Ward, two people that played an important role in his 2015 championship-winning season.

“I’ve also been in discussions with Josh Coppins and Mike Ward who are two really key people in my corner about exploring other options in terms of racing once I’m home, so there’s a lot going on, but it’s all really exciting stuff,” he added.

The 2017 ArenacrossUK championship is slated to commence on 7 January in Manchester and will span over six rounds until the middle of February. Wilson spoke openly on a variety of topics in a recently published interview on