News 27 Aug 2016

MX2 game plan unchanged for Beaton and Ward

With Crawford out, championship now comes down to two.

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Image: Jeremy Hammer (Foremost Media).

Motul MX Nationals MX2 title challengers Jed Beaton and Caleb Ward are maintaining the same mindset into tomorrow’s final round at Coolum despite current points leader Nathan Crawford bowing out of the chase.

Internal injuries sustained by Crawford this week see his title chances end, placing Beaton and Ward in the box seat to battle for the crown across two motos on Sunday.

Beaton leads Ward by eight points at this stage and qualified third in today’s lone 30-minute qualifying session despite a major crash on the second lap. Ward meanwhile will start from sixth.

“It doesn’t change my plan at all,” Beaton told “I’m just here to race and whatever happens, happens. If I ride my best then it’s the best outcome, if not it’s not the end of the world – I’ve got Nations to go to.

“I’m looking forward to challenging with Caleb tomorrow. It’s a bummer that Nato is out, I actually know what position he’s in from two years ago I pretty much had the same thing happen.

“I wanted to battle it out to the end, but I guess that’s the sport we’re in, which is pretty cruel at times. I just need to get good starts and I should be right… I’m not too concerned about the championship at this point, but I probably will be sitting on the line of the second moto tomorrow [laughs].”

As for Ward, who swept Coolum in 2014 and won round five at the same venue last season, he is focusing on winning the motos in a bid to capture a first national crown. The Crawford injury has provided him a lifeline of sorts in the title race.

“Obviously it does change things a little bit, but my plan is no different,” Ward said. “I’m still going to go out and try to win both motos, which was the plan coming into the weekend anyway.

“It doesn’t change too much in that sense, but I’m a fair bit closer to the series lead and it probably gives me a little bit more hope. It’s one of those things and it obviously sucks for Nato, hopefully he heals up quick.”