News 30 Jan 2017

Wilson makes progress past Arenacross UK halfway mark

Belfast double-header results in best performances yet.

Source: Supplied.

Australia’s Jay Wilson rode to his first top five result of the 2017 Arenacross UK series during Belfast’s double-header over the weekend, in a marked improvement with his i-Fly JK Yamaha Racing Team.

The 22-year-old Wilson is contesting his first season in the high-profile Arenacross UK series prior to turning his attention to the upcoming MX2 World Championship season with the Yamaha Motor Europe-supported organisation.

In Belfast Wilson battled to seventh on Friday and improved to fifth on Saturday, as he settles into the aggressive nature of arenacross competition, while maintaining his vital outdoor preparation at the same time.

“I’m really enjoying the Arenacross in the UK,” Wilson told overnight. “The guys I’m racing have a cool little group and have been doing this for years, so it’s been nice to sort of become a part of that. And after a bit of a difficult season last year, I’m actually just enjoying having fun on the bike again.

“When I first got here I was mostly shocked by how quick everything happens. The gate drops and it’s just guys going everywhere for however many laps and you just have to do what you have to do to get to the front – it’s as simple as that. There’s plenty of take-outs, but no hard feelings, which is definitely different.”

After missing the main event at Manchester’s opener, a dislocated shoulder sustained at the Glasgow round forced him out of the night show. He made it back in time for Birmingham’s third round, but made his first major headway in Belfast’s fourth and fifth rounds of seven – just one week after confirming his MX2 GP deal for this season.

“I’ve had to learn really quickly how everything works and dislocating my shoulder at Glasgow was a bit of a bummer because it put me a round down, but I got on top of that straight away with a physio over here and I’m just enjoying being in the moment,” he continued.

“On the weekend at Belfast we had a double-header and things started clicking for me. I’ve had the time to learn the ropes now, so I’m starting to show my speed. I just need to put myself in better positions earlier in the night and I’m confident we can get some more positive results over the next two rounds.”

With two rounds of Arenacross UK remaining – Sheffield on 11 February and London on 18 February – Wilson has the opportunity to make further advancements from his current ranking in 11th in the standings, while Qatar’s opening round of MXGP looms ever-closer on 25 February.

“I’ve obviously just signed with the team for the GPs, so that’s a big priority of mine, but I’m a racer and every time I’m on the track I want to win,” Wilson stated. “We are juggling both the AX and GPs as a team, which has made the whole process as easy as possible. I’m loving the Arenacross and at the same time I’m working harder than ever to be as prepared as possible for Qatar.”