Interviews 31 Mar 2015

Race Recap: Jed Beaton

Teenage Serco Yamaha MX2 rookie on his Horsham success.

After the disappointment of breaking his leg late in last year’s MX Nationals, Victorian teenager Jed Beaton blindsided everyone by claiming the opening round of the 2015 MX Nationals at Horsham on Sunday. The 17-year-old Serco Yamaha rookie topped qualifying and went 3-1 in the two MX2 races to claim the overall from his teammate Luke Clout. spoke to Beaton last night to find out how he did it.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Jed, claiming the overall at Horsham is a hell of a way to start your pro class nationals career mate. How are you feeling?

I’m pretty pumped about it, really. I kind of expected big things of myself because I’d put in a lot of hard work over the off-season. I just went into Horsham with the intention of seeing where I was at, but I’m in a really good place at the moment. I’m feeling pretty good considering how tough the track was yesterday; today I just went for a quick cycle and then did a few laps of the pool this morning, but I took it pretty easy.

Right from the get-go you seemed like you were on a charge, topping qualifying. Did that qualifying result surprise you?

Definitely. In the first free practice I rode my race bike, but there was a bit of an issue with the ECU, so I switched to my spare bike that had nothing ready on it. The suspension was stock, it wasn’t run in or anything. Time was ticking so I jammed the transponder down my pants and went out there and it nearly ended up in my boot! When I qualified P1 I was pretty happy with that and it gave me confidence for the rest of the day. It felt good to prove a couple of people wrong.

So did you end up racing your spare bike all day then?

Yep. In the first moto I got an average start – somewhere around 10th or 12th – but by the halfway mark I’d made my way to fifth. I struggled in that first race as the ruts were deep and the dirt stuck in the shifters and it was difficult to change gears, but as the track got better I found more speed and ended up moving up to second, only to wash my front-end out and drop to fourth with two laps to go. I was closing in on Jay Wilson and he got taken out by a lapper on the last lap, which gave me third. In the second moto I got a heaps better start and I managed to get past Luke Arbon for the lead on the opening lap. From there on I tried to ride smoothly and focused on just putting in consistent laps for the rest of the race. Afterwards, I didn’t know I had the overall as I hadn’t heard about Clout’s time penalty. It wasn’t until after the race that Gavin [Eales] came up to me and told me I’d won the day. I was pretty surprised!

Going into the day no doubt you would’ve had a bit of a team meeting. What did the Serco boys say to you?

Yeah we had our team meeting on Saturday and basically they just said ‘look, it’s round one, just take it easy. You don’t have to go out and blow the doors off everyone, just focus on getting good starts, putting in a good few, first laps, the just be consistent’. And that’s what I did.

Image: Jeff Crow.

Image: Jeff Crow.

What are your thoughts on the Horsham track?

It was pretty good. They put a heap of mulch into it, so while it looked dry it retained a lot of moisture and that made for some good ruts. Horsham is a technical track and is hard to ride and pass on – you really have to have a lot of patience, keep smooth and try and set your passes up a long way in advance. I didn’t really like the new rhythm section they’d added though. It went table-double-double-table but the up ramps and down ramps were so steep you pretty much landed out on the flat each time.

Well, it’s fair to say the element of surprise has gone with you now carrying the red plate into Appin. Does that change your game-plan at all?

Not at all. I’m just thinking about being consistent and getting as many points as I can at each round. Yeah, the red plate is a bonus, but to be honest, I don’t really care about having it just yet. I only want it at round 10 when it counts.

I like your thinking, mate. Good talk, thanks for that.

No worries at all, mate. Appreciate it.