News 18 Nov 2022

Near-perfect Japanese season complete for Wilson

One race short of IA2 sweep following 1-2 at Sugo's finals.

Image: Supplied.

It was a near-perfect season for Yamaha’s Jay Wilson who won all but one moto in the IA2 class of the 2022 Japanese Motocross Championship, the eight-round series concluding last weekend in Sugo.

Wilson wrapped up the IA2 title with two rounds remaining and dominated the 14 races contested throughout the year in the build-up to Sugo’s final round.

The number 16 clinched the moto one victory at round eight, leaving just one race to complete the clean sweep. A bad start left Wilson with work to do in the second bout at Sugo, and he was ultimately unable to claw back the advantage of New Zealand guest rider Brodie Connolly who won the overall with 2-1 scores.

“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 recalled. “I didn’t get a good start and then by the time I got through the pack, Brodie [Connelly] 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 has 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.”

Wilson embarked on a stint in Japan late last year, making a guest appearance in the national series at Sugo and clean-sweeping the IA2 class at the round.

Following that trip, a factory Yamaha opportunity emerged for Wilson in the country to contest the complete 2022 championship in addition to a testing, coaching and development role with the brand.

With the Sugo marking the end of the Japanese season for 2022, Wilson’s plans for next year have not been officially confirmed.