Round two of the MX Nationals proved to a day of missed opportunities for the Yamalube Yamaha Racing Team with both team riders, Jay Wilson and Richie Evans, having to deal with issues that hampered their final results on the day.With overnight rain and then another down pour just prior to racing, the soft and loamy Wonthaggi track took on another dimension as the sand was deep, thick and heavy with the added moisture making bikes, riders and teams work extra hard to keep things on track.
Jay Wilson came home a very respectable fourth place in the highly competitive MX2 (250cc) field. Jay finished with 4-12-3 results in the three motos ran on the day and just missed the podium for the round. In fact, another two points and Wilson would have finished in second place but the three moto format demands consistency and the second race let Wilson down in the final standings.
Races one and three were solid efforts from the 2018 Australian Supercross champ, but a first turn crash in race two as he rode blindly through the mud set him back and with only eight laps to move forward, getting a good finish was always going to be difficult.
Still, he charged forward in the time he had and moved into 12th place at race end and his combined scores for the round left him shy of a podium finish.
“The Wonthaggi track is tough and the last couple of years we have raced here, it has been wet and very demanding on the bikes,’ Wilson explains. “The first moto was ok, and so was the third, but the second of the back to back races, I just missed the jump from the start, got filled-in down the straight and tried to charge my way through in the wet and sloppy conditions but fell and was covered in mud.
“It was frustrating and probably a bit inpatient of me considering the lack of vision I had as well as those around me.
“After the weekend, I’m sitting third in the championship and 14 points away from the lead so even though it wasn’t the great round for me, I’m still well in contention and we have plenty of racing still to come,” Wilson said.
Richie Evans again flew the flag for the team in the MX1 division (450cc) and is starting to show the riding capabilities he has. He just missed the top 5 Superpole event in qualifying when his fastest lap was just overshadowed in the final moments of qualifying.
But with the confidence boost from his sprint speed, Evans needed to put that to use in race one after he was caught in the quagmire of turn one and copped a fearful roosting of mud and sand as the capacity 40 rider field charged through the opening turns.
Evans was a way back in 15th place as the first lap was completed but with 30 minutes of racing in front of him, there was plenty of time to move forward. And that’s exactly what he did as he began to climb his way up the leader board. By the time the finish flag flew, Evans had moved all the way to sixth in a good performance and posting some impressive laps along the way.
But his second race left him without a good reward for his efforts. After falling in turn two and starting a considerable distance behind the pack, he was determined to get back inside the top 10. On lap one, he was 31st, by lap six he was in 11th and showing no signs of slowing down until a chain issued caused him to withdraw from the race.
“I’m disappointed in the result but happy with how I rode today,” Evans suggested. “In both races I was able to keep moving forward and find ways to pass other riders on a track that was difficult to pass on.
“I know I’m on the right track and the chain issue was just one of those things as it could have been damaged in the crash, or just the load on it from the sand and mud in each race.
“My fitness is getting to where it needs to be for these 30 minute motos and my next goal is to put a race day together of consistently good results and I reckon I can make that happen at the next round at Broadford,” he said.