Beaton, Mastin, Crawford and Simpson rate their championship chances.
The race for the 2014 Pirelli MXD championship within this year’s MX Nationals has been one of the most entertaining to date, with Jed Beaton, Egan Mastin, Nathan Crawford and Jack Simpson all in a tight race for the title with just two rounds remaining. With four different round winners from six rounds so far, MX Nationals produced this special interview-based edition of The Point featuring all four riders.
Jed Beaton – GYTR Yamaha’s current red plate holder:
Jed, you have held the red plate the most number of times this year, but not by much. Who is your biggest threat in this year’s championship?
I think it would have to be Egan Mastin. He is very consistent and he is the one who is just always with me and right on my back. Last round I wasn’t surprised that Egan did so well, I know he rides that track a lot.
Egan showed some outstanding form at Raymond Terrace; do you think you can hold onto the red plate for the last two rounds?
I definitely think I can do it. The team I am with is awesome. They have helped me out so much and if it weren’t for them I would still be in juniors. They have been a huge part of how I’m going this year and I want to hold onto this championship more than anything.
Egan Mastin – Husqvarna Motocross Racing Team, 2nd overall:
Last round at Raymond Terrace we saw you come out and absolutely dominate the MXD Class. What was different for you at round eight?
I just felt good on the bike. Qualifying went well, so the day started off really good and everything just went to plan. My bike was set up perfectly and that made a big difference too. I have spent a bit of time up there and spent some time with Ando (Craig Anderson) so he’s helped me a bit which has been good.
You’re currently sitting eight points behind Jed with only two rounds remaining. Do you think you can run away with this championship?
Definitely! I think we’re going to be battling right until the end. I think we both have a good chance, but I definitely think I can do it.
Nathan Crawford – Husqvarna, 3rd overall:
You’re the only rider in the top four that hasn’t managed to hold the red plate. Does that knock your confidence at all?
Not really. I’ve won races and got on the podium heaps before so I’d like to hold the red plate, but not holding it isn’t an issue for me. The thing about holding the red plate is that the pressure is always on to keep it, so I’ve just been focusing on results and winning races.
Despite not holding the red plate, you recorded better results last round than the MXD championship leader. Where do you see yourself going into Coolum?
Well I really want to have a good round at Gladstone, so I can get a bit closer to the points lead, and then Coolum is pretty much my home track and I love it there so hopefully I can try and win every race and what happens behind me happens. I am thinking about the championship a little bit, but for me every race counts and I’m just going to race as hard as I can until the end.
Jack Simpson – Tunetech Racing KTM, 4th overall:
Raymond Terrace was tough on you and saw you move back into fourth in the championship standings. Being your second year in MXD, would you have expected to be in this position with two rounds remaining?
Na, definitely not. It’s hard because I’ve had that red plate and I know I can do it, but the thing is I’m working a five-day a week job concreting and racing. People think that I should be number one every weekend and I think I would be if I weren’t working so much. Sometimes I don’t get to ride for two weeks, but then I go out and beat people who are racing factory bikes.
Only 28 points separates you from the championship leader. Do you believe that at this stage the championship is still achievable?
Yeah for sure! I’m going into Gladstone wide-open. I don’t really care what happens, but I’m going to do everything I can possibly do before the end of the year to get this done. It’s been good these past couple of weeks I am having Wednesdays off now so I can get more bike time. When I went to Raymond Terrace I was just burnt out and had no energy by qualifying, so I’m absolutely going into round eight full-bore and flat out!