Yamaha YZ250F takes MX2, MXD and Rookies Cup Titles at Coolum
Yamaha’s YZ250F continued to rack up championship success with another three championships added to its already burgeoning mantle-piece after the final round of the Australian MX Nationals were concluded over the weekend.
The deep, sandy loam of the Coolum Pines circuit on the Sunshine Coast saw Yamaha YZ250F mounted riders Jay Wilson, Wilson Todd and Hunter Lawrence all claim round and championship success, making a huge statement for Yamaha and the ultra-high performance of the YZ250F.
Jay Wilson clinched the 2015 MX2 championship with a dominant performance at the final round on his JCR Yamaha YZ250F. Wilson won both motos on the day to stamp his authority on the championship and make it two round wins in a row to close out the motocross season.
GYTR Yamaha’s Wilson Todd nailed down the MXD championship finishing with 1-2 results at Coolum to take the overall round win. Todd entered the final round with a 22 point lead in the series, but rammed home his advantage at the final round with a top shelf performance in tough conditions.
Championship number three came courtesy of Yamaha Junior Racing’s Hunter Lawrence when he wrapped up the final two motos of the Rookies Cup and completed a clean sweep of the four round series, winning every moto.
Coincidently, the same three riders won round nine of the championship one week earlier making it a big finish for the riders, teams and the Yamaha YZ250F.
MX2 – 1st Jay Wilson- Yamaha YZ250F
MXD – 1st Wilson Todd – Yamaha YZ250F
MXR – 1st Hunter Lawrence – Yamaha YZ250F
The season that was – Jay Wilson
Round 1 Horsham: (4th, 2nd) 4th Overall – 60 points
Coming off a New Zealand MX2 Championship win, Wilson headed to round one in high spirits, looking to put together a solid, consistent motocross season. After qualifying third, Wilson got to impressive starts in both motos. In moto one, Wilson was sitting in second position, before coming together with a lapper resulting in him dropping positions, and having to settle for fourth, while in race two Wilson rode to second. However, the turning point in the day for Wilson came post race, when his brother Dylan Wilson was involved in a critical incident in the MXD class, causing racing to be cancelled and Wilson’s world thrown in to disarray.
“Today was a rough day. My pre season was very good, but we were a bit rushed getting the bike set up for round one.”
“I felt really good in the first race, but I came together with a lapper and ended up finishing fourth, which now that I look at it, cost me the overall for the day.”
Round 2 Appin: (1st, 2nd) 2nd Overall – 67 points
Having spent the two weeks after Horsham in Melbourne with his family, while brother Dylan was in ICU in a coma, Wilson headed to round two of the series, underprepared and going through emotional turmoil. Despite many people being unsure whether Wilson would show at round two at all, Wilson arrived at Appin ready to get his job done. In moto one, Wilson rode to the most emotional race win of the season after battling with former teammate Luke Clout. In moto two, it was Clout’s turn to take the race win, and with a victory each, Clout was awarded the round two win on a count back.
“Heading into Appin, I had only rode on the Saturday before and it had been a complete emotional rollercoaster with my brother having a life threatening accident at round one.”
“To be completely honest, it was one of the hardest days of racing mentally I have ever had.
“Clouty and I had some awesome battles the whole day, and although it was a hard emotionally, the racing itself was awesome.
“I really would have liked to have gotten the win in the second moto to get the overall, but second for the day was good for me considering the circumstances.”
Round 3 Broadford: (2nd, 15th) 6th Overall – 48 points
With things beginning to get back on track on the home front, and confirmation that brother Dylan would make a full recovery, Wilson headed to round three at Broadford, looking to get back into the swing of the championship. In moto one, Wilson chased former teammate Clout for the entire 30 minutes, however was unable to catch him, eventually finishing the race in second. Moto two at Broadford was one Wilson would prefer to put behind him. After getting to an average start Wilson was penalized twice during moto two, costing him 30 seconds, and eventually seeing him finish in a disappointing 15th place. Taking sixth overall for the round, Broadford saw Wilson lose valuable championship points, with Clout collecting the round overall.
“It took me a while to find my flow in moto one, and really I was lucky to come away with a second in that first race.”
“In race two, I got a terrible start in race two, and I was penalized twice which dropped me back to 15th – I had to work really hard in that moto to try and fix things.
“If you put yourself in bad positions, bad things happen, so we’ll regroup and look at what we can work on to make sure the same things don’t happen again.”
Round 4 Murray Bridge: (4th, 7th) 6th Overall – 52 points
With a challenging outing at Broadford behind him, Wilson headed to round four at Murray Bridge hoping to make a real charge on the 2015 championship. Despite two poor starts, and going down during qualifying, Wilson recovered to take fourth in moto one, and seventh in moto two (after a first turn pile up, to take sixth overall for the round. Despite less than desirable results, Wilson was able to capitalize on the misfortune of closest rival Clout who crashed hard in qualifying, and narrow down the championship lead at Murray Bridge
“Two bad starts today. I went down in the first turn in the last moto, and made that whole race pretty difficult for myself.”
“I had to come from second last through the pack and being the shorter moto of the day, I ran out of time.
“No excuses though, I’ll be working on my starts over the next couple of weeks, and we’ll look to turn things around at Coolum.”
Round 5 Coolum: (7th, 3rd) 3rd Overall – 54 points
Rumored to have had a nasty crash in the lead up to the fifth round of the MX Nationals, Wilson headed to familiar territory at Coolum unsure of how racing would play out. With Clout booked in for surgery straight after the round, Coolum provided the perfect opportunity for Wilson to close in on Clout’s championship lead. However with injury strapping inhibiting Wilson’s mobility in race one, he raced to a disappointing seventh. In race two, Wilson led for a good portion of the moto, before crossing the line in third, handing him third for the day, and narrowing the points margin after a tough outing for Clout.
“Prior to this round, I’d had a pretty nasty fall during the week while training, and I was in a lot of pain in moto one.”
“I went and saw Racesafe after moto one, and they removed the strapping as I was finding it hard to breathe and stand up, and the result in the second race proved that was the right decision.
“I was leading in race two for a while, but Crawford and Ward passed me with a few laps to go and I ended up third. Third overall for the day is an improvement, but we can do better that’s for sure.”
Round 6 Raymond Terrace: (3rd, 2nd) 2nd Overall – 62 points
Arriving to Raymond Terrace fresh off a month of training in New Zealand with multiple time champ, and team manager Josh Coppins, Wilson was tipped to be a force to be reckoned with when the series recommenced. In moto one, Wilson battled with the likes of Dylan Wills and Caleb Ward ensuring that his title threats remained behind him – a third place being all that was required to secure the championship lead from former teammate Clout. With a second place in race two, and Clout having a round to forget, Wilson emerged from round six the new MX2 championship leader.
“Today I straight up struggled. I got arm pump in moto one, and Willsy and Ward managed to pull a bit of a gap on me – my main goal in moto one was to finish ahead of Taka and Clouty, so I just did what needed to be done and we managed to take the lead in the championship after the first race.”
“I knew I needed to capitalize on Cloutys results this weekend, and we had a solid finish in race two.
“We only have a small lead in the championship, so we’ll just take it race by race, and focus on our program for the rest of the year.”
Round 7 Shepparton: (4th, 2nd) 3rd Overall – 60 points
As the series progressed back to Victoria, Wilson looked to maintain his newly acquired championship lead. With Clout looking to be back to form, and Takeshi Katsuya continuing to pose a real threat on the 2015 MX2 title, Wilson lead for the majority of moto one, before struggling with the track and dropping back to fourth. In moto two, Wilson knew he had a championship fight on his hands. For 20 minutes, Clout and Wilson went head to head – Clout eventually edging out Wilson to take the race win. However, consistency proved to be key at round seven, Wilson finishing the day in third overall, and maintaining his championship lead.
“Shepparton didn’t look like it was going to be a technical track, but they way it formed up through out the day, it ended up being one of the toughest tracks we have all rode this year.”
“With a fourth in moto one and second in moto two, we managed to finish on the podium again, and maintain that championship lead.
“The goal for us at the moment is to keep things consistent, and finish every race. I’m not thinking too much about the championship, just putting together some good races.”
Round 8 Nowra: (3rd, 2nd) 2nd Overall – 62 points
As the MX Nationals continued in New South Wales, the Clout and Wilson battle for the MX2 title continued. On a track where starts were absolutely crucial, Wilson felt the blow of a first turn pile up, that saw the red plate holder forced to have to race to a podium from dead last. With Clout out in front, Wilson put the foot down, and recorded the ride of his season, crossing the line in third and narrowly holding on to his championship lead by a single point. In moto two, the result would determine who would leave round eight with the red plate. With that in mind, Wilson got to work, blowing past Clout to finish in second behind Wills – maintaining his red plate status, and gracing the podium for the third time since Raymond Terrace.
“Today was one of the best days I’ve ever had racing. On paper it could have been better, but I felt really comfortable on the bike, and my speed was where it needs to be.”
“I knew lining up for that second moto that I had to beat Clouty to keep the lead in the championship, so I got to work and did what needed to be done.
“A good day for me in the books, and I’m feeling good about heading over to new Zealand for some more testing, and then back to my home state in Queensland now for the final two rounds.”
Round 9 Toowoomba: (3rd, 1st) 1st Overall – 65 points
When the MX Nationals arrived at round nine of the series at Echo Valley in Toowoomba, Wilson entered the round with only a slim three-point lead on Clout. Determined to take control of the championship and head to the final round at Coolum in a comfortable position, Wilson raced to third in moto one, behind Ward and Katsuya, and secured the race win in moto two, handing him a career first MX2 round win, and a 21 point lead on Clout as the series moved on to Coolum for the grand finale.
“It’s good to get the monkey off my back and get this overall that’s for sure – now I can focus on trying to win this championship.”
“I’m pumped, I’ve always done quite well at Toowoomba – I’ve actually won every senior race I’ve done here so far so I’m stoked.
“I can’t say enough about the JCR Yamaha team. We’ve been working hard this season and it’s showing, our bikes are running awesome, I’m really enjoying myself and I just can’t wait to get to Coolum.”
Round 10 Coolum:(1st, 1st) 1st Overall – 70 points
When JCR Yamaha’s Jay Wilson arrived for the final round of racing on the Sunshine Coast in Coolum, the well supported privateer effort looked to wrap up a 2015 MX2 title. With a healthy 21 point lead on Serco Yamaha’s Luke Clout, Wilson lined up for moto one, determined to take race wins at round ten. And win he did. Wilson raced to his best finish for 2015, taking both race wins and collecting the 2015 Motul MX2 Championship, undefeated at Coolum.
“This feels unbelievable, we have worked so hard to get this win, and a lot of people didn’t believe in me at the end of last year,” he said.
“I have had Josh Coppins, my family, Mike Ward, Ray Howard and the top guys at Yamaha in my corner this year – they believed in me when no one else did.
“It has been a tough year, with my brother having that big crash at the start of the season, and honestly I was shattered, so to get this done for him too is pretty special.
“We’ve worked so hard, and to see it all pay off today is an absolute dream come true.”
The season that was – Wilson Todd
Round 1 Horsham: (4th) 4th Overall – 28 points
GYTR Yamaha’s Wilson Todd headed into round one of the 2015 MX Nationals series, carrying a number of niggling injuries. Despite uncertain expectations, Wilson fought hard at round one, leading moto one for a period of time, before having a small crash, forcing him to drop back to fourth. With the MXD outing cut short at round one due to the red flagging of race two, Todd concluded the opening round of the year in fourth overall.
“Fourth doesn’t sound too good but just a few days ago I wasn’t sure if I would even be able to ride.”
“I was able to get through the day and get some points which was important and with a two week break before the next round, hopefully I will be feeling better and be able to race properly.”
Round 2 Appin: (3rd, 1st) 1st Overall – 65 points
As the series moved on to Appin, Todd capitalized on the two week break in between round one and two, in order to recover from his injuries. With top results put on the board at the challenging New South Wales circuit, it was proof that the additional healing time was just what was required. Todd raced to an outstanding third in moto one, and secured the race win in moto two, to take the round overall and the MXD championship lead after round two.
“It has been a hectic couple of months so it was good to just be able to get a race win and take the round victory.”
“I still haven’t been able to do a lot of riding but at least now I’m in a position to be able to ride and train again so I hope to continue to improve from here.
“The track was tough today as the ruts were long and deep. I tried to not over ride them and just be as safe and consistent as I could and that was enough to get the job done.”
Round 3 Broadford: (1st, 3rd) 1st Overall – 65 points
When the series progressed to historic Broadford, GYTR’s Todd looked to further increase his MXD championship lead. Fresh off his first round overall win for the year at Appin, Todd headed to the State Motorcycling Complex in Victoria quietly confident that he could get the job done once again. Todd got to a flying start in moto one, and secured his second moto win for the season, however in moto two Todd came together with another rider and had to fight from close to dead last to third position. At the conclusion of the round, Todd did enough to take the round win, and further extend his championship lead.
“I thought I jumped ok in moto two but I locked bars with the rider alongside me and got off balance forcing me to shut it off. I’m not sure if I was last around the first turn but I wasn’t far away from it. I was too scared to turn around and find out.”
“But I was able to pass a lot of guys in the first couple of laps and when I got to third, Cory let me know the situation on the pit board, so I just maintained my position and finished the race safely.”
“I was able to gain a few more points in the championship today which was cool but it’s only round three and we still have a seven rounds to go and a lot of racing to do.”
Round 4 Murray Bridge: (1st, 27th) 11th Overall – 39 points
As the series moved on to the red loam of Murray Bridge, Todd once again looked to be in top form to secure another round win. Following tradition, Todd once again took the race win in moto one, before disaster struck in race number two. With Murray Bridge proving to be one of the most challenging tracks so far in 2015, a rough section caught Todd out, leaving him with a wrist injury and forced to circulate for the remainder of the moto.
“I’m not too sure what happened in those whoops. It’s like I hit something just under the dirt and it skipped sideways pretty fast.”
“I had been going through them pretty well all day with no real dramas, so that is hard to explain. I’m looking forward to the day that I turn up at one of these rounds 100% fit and ready to go.”
“Each round I have had to manage some injury or niggle and it’s starting to get frustrating. I just want to be able to race and ride the way I know I can and not just get through.
After the next round we have a month break so hopefully in that time I can heal up a bit and hit the last half of the season full fit and ready to go.”
Round 5 Coolum: (3rd, 1st) 2nd Overall – 65 points
With Coolum marking the half waypoint in the 2015 MX Nationals season, Todd headed to familiar ground in Coolum, determined to survive round five and maintain his MXD championship lead. After a round to forget at Murray Bridge, Todd raced to third in moto one, and then took an outstanding race win in moto two, to hand the GYTR Yamaha team with second overall for round five.
“The first moto was terrible, it’s not that it was a third but I didn’t ride well, my arms pumped up and it was uncompetitive and that’s not how I want to race.”
“The second race was better and with a good start it made things a lot easier. It wasn’t great and still not at the level I think I should ride at, but it was a step in the right direction and now with a month break before round six, I can get to work and get my season back on track.”
Round 6 Raymond Terrace: (1st, 2nd) 1st Overall – 67 points
When the MX Nationals resumed from the mid-season break at Raymond Terrace in New South Wales, Todd showed the MXD field that with a month of training, testing and healing up his sleeve, that he had all the right ingredients to take a firm grip on the MXD championship. In moto one at MX Central, Todd once again crossed the line in first position, while in moto two Todd raced to second handing the young gun and the team yet another round win, and a healthy championship lead.
“Today I started to feel and ride the way I know I should. During the break in the championship, I worked hard on my riding and then just last week I did plenty of testing with the team and we made some good improvements to the bike so it was nice to get a good result here and reassure that we are headed in the right direction.”
“The next round is at Shepparton which is a track I have never raced at before, so I’m looking forward to racing somewhere new and hopefully continue to build on our last couple of weeks.”
Round 7 Shepparton: (5th, 2nd) 3rd Overall – 58 points
When the MX Nationals headed to Shepparton in country Victoria, no one could have expected the technical ability that would be required in order to be competitive at the brand new circuit. With most riders finding moto one nothing short of a challenge, Todd found himself buried mid-pack and battled to a disappointing fifth position. However in moto two, Todd looked to redeem himself, and charged to a much healthier second, securing another podium result from round seven in third overall.
“I wasn’t really happy after that first moto as the opening laps were so frustrating with bikes and riders going everywhere. I had riders get cross rutted in front of me, others fell of and hit me and I was just losing positions just trying to stay upright and out of the way.”
“My start was better in race two and I was inside the top five pretty quickly. I moved into second and saw that Jayden had a good gap so I put my head down and tried to make up the time. I managed to reel him in but he was able to pick up where I was faster and he stayed right with me until I fell with just over a lap to go.”
Round 8 Nowra: (2nd, 2nd) 2nd Overall – 64 points
With the series reaching the business end of the 2015 motocross season, Todd headed to round eight of the MX Nationals at Nowra looking to put yet another consistent result on the board. With KTM’s Jayden Rykers beginning to become a threat, Todd knew a podium position was the only option at the tight and technical Nowra circuit. In moto one and moto two, Todd raced to second position, and wrapped up yet another round on the MXD podium in second overall behind Rykers.
“The last two rounds I was in position to win the final motos but I have made a mistake will just a couple of laps to go, so I’m not real happy about that. I felt I rode the last moto pretty well but I need to stay focused right until the very end.”
“We have a two week break now before we go to Toowoomba so there is time to get things sorted and ensure I come out swinging at the final two rounds.”
Round 9 Toowoomba: (1st, 2nd) 1st Overall – 67 points
With only two rounds remaining until the final showdown for 2015 in Coolum, Todd headed to round nine determined to get back onto the MXD top step. And return he did. After taking the opening race win at Echo Valley, Todd raced to second place in moto two, handing him his fourth round win for 2015.
“The goal this weekend was to keep that points lead and that’s what we did. I got a good start in that first moto, and I was able to ride my own race. In the second moto I got stuck behind a rider for a while and had to push a bit harder to get that result.”
“I’ve got a nice lead on the championship heading in to Coolum, and I have rode well there in the past so I’m glad we could set ourselves up for a solid last round there.”
Round 10 Coolum: (1st, 2nd) 1st Overall – 67 points
When the MX Nationals arrived at Coolum, Todd entered the round with a 22 point lead on Jayden Rykers, and looked to wrap up his 2015 Pirelli MXD title. After getting to a solid start in moto one, Todd battled with Rykers who was putting it all on the line, eventually edging out the KTM mounted youngster to take the opening race win. Armed with the knowledge that he would only need to finish in 20th position in order to wrap up the championship, Todd raced the wheels off his bike in moto two, charging from a rough start to second position, doing far more than what was required to wrap up the 2015 MXD Championship.
“I’m super pumped to get this championship win. I came into the season with a lot of injuries and I just stepped it up as we went on.”
“I have to thank the Beaton family so much, without them this really wouldn’t have been possible, so it’s nice to reward them with this title after everything they have done.
“The whole GYTR Yamaha team have put in so much effort this year, so to finish up today with a championship is pretty special.
“I go in for knee surgery tomorrow morning, so I won’t be able to race Supercross, but to finish up the MX Nationals with the MXD title is awesome – I’m pumped.”