Despite the hype around the visiting American riders Aussie Jay Wilson continues to keep their hands off the red plate.
Wilson won the previous two rounds but the experienced campaigner knows while it’s important to win races, it’s just as important to be consistent and his third place finish on the weekend proves he is capable of both and now holds an 11 point lead with two rounds remaining.
Faced with the triple final format at Geelong on a tight track that saw the top 12 riders qualifying within .8 of a second, it had the potential of being a season defining night. But Wilson kept his cool despite facing some challenges and finished on the podium for the third time in as many rounds and heads to round four confident of continued success.
Race one proved a real challenge for Wilson as he didn’t get the start he needed and was desperate to claw his way to the front. In doing so he hit the back of another rider and went down, dropping all the way to the back of the field. He scrambled to get back in the race and despite it only being a 10 lap race, he managed to climb his way back to 11th to score some valuable points.
Races two and three fared much better with Wilson returning to the front of the pack. He led race two from the early stages and then was able to break clear to take a vital race win. Then in race three, it was again Wilson at the front of the pack and charging. In hot pursuit was Hayden Mellross who was able to sneak by in the last two laps and deny Wilson his second race win of the night which also would have secured him the round overall victory as well.
But his 11-1-2 were good enough for third on the night in a very intense night of racing and keep his red plate in the series.
“Tonight was a tough one but I’m glad I was able to turn things around pretty quickly after that first final,” Wilson stated. “With not much separating the riders, not getting a good start is costly and as I found out, you risk going down in all the mayhem that happens in the pack.
“So, it’s good to still get on the podium despite the 11th in race one and proud I was able to mentally be strong enough to rebound from it. The team did a great job again tonight as this format puts everyone under pressure and they stood up as they always do,” Wilson said.
Unfortunately, the night didn’t go as well for team mate, Richie Evans. Evans again showed good speed throughout the day and raced well in his heat to comfortably qualify for the 20 rider final.
But things went down-hill in the finals as his starts deserted him and he was involved in crashed and rider carnage in all three races. He battled his way to ninth in race one, then a fall on lap one of race two left him well behind the field and a clear last but he managed to claw back a few positions by the end.
Then when back inside the top 10 in the final moto and moving forward quickly, he collided with another rider resulting in his leg being caught in his rear wheel and both riders had to take care as they untangled themselves from the mess. He finished up 16th for the night and disappointed with the result.
“Things just didn’t go my way tonight and the harder I tried, the worse them got,” Evans lamented. “My speed was good and I felt like I could have run inside the top six but I didn’t get a good start in any of the mains and then it was chaos in the pack with bikes and riders going everywhere.
“I will put this one behind me pretty quickly, get back on top of my starts and then hit round four ready to go,” Evans enthused.
Round four now moves to Adelaide this coming weekend.
1st Jay Wilson – 70
2nd Wilson Todd – 59
3rd Jacob Hayes – 53
4th Hayden Mellross – 52
5th Brad Taft – 50
6th Dakota Alix – 46
7th Jackson Richardson – 38
8th Aaron Tanti – 36
9th Kyle Webster – 35
10th Josh Osby – 34