News 22 Jul 2021

Uncertainty surrounds potential Beaton MXoN entry

Much depends on MX2 World Championship challenger's inclusion.

Image: Supplied.

It remains uncertain whether Jed Beaton will be able to form part of Team Australia at the 2021 Monster Energy Motocross of Nations (MXoN), with the event in the middle of the GP season.

There are rounds of the MX2 World Championship scheduled surrounding the 26 September MXoN date, meaning a one-off 450 ride could prove difficult if teenager Jett Lawrence is chosen for MX2.

While Beaton is adamant that he wants to represent his country at Mantova, the 23-year-old would require permission from his team and stepping up to an FC 450 for a single weekend between grands prix rounds isn’t a straightforward task. He is due to step up full-time in 2022.

“That’s hard to answer right now and obviously they still don’t know what’s going on right now, otherwise a lot more would be said about it,” Beaton told MotoOnline. “I’d be up for it, I’m super-keen and want to race for my country, 110 percent.

“A 450 is a completely different bike, so it’s not like you can jump on and have an awesome set-up, a race-ready bike in one week, you know? There are a lot of different things that go into setting up a 450 if you want to be competitive for your riding style.

“I think it takes a lot more time than what people realise. If I’m in a championship position, I’m sure the team wouldn’t allow me to go off and race a 450 for a one-off weekend and then stepping back to the 250 the following weekend. That’s the hardest part.”

The obstacle isn’t limited to Beaton, however, with Infront Moto Racing assessing the complicated option of awarding championship points on MXoN weekend in an effort to ensure the MXGP series’ top riders will be made available with eight rounds still to run after the Nations.

That would almost certainly result in Beaton being selected as Australia’s MX2 entry, which would then potentially place both US-based 250MX front-runners Hunter and Jett Lawrence in line to ride 450s. It’s unclear how that would affect GP riders who are unselected, such as a Wilson Todd, if he isn’t part of Team Australia.

“If they don’t score championship points, it’s going to be hard for a lot of teams to allow their riders to race it – especially if they’re in a championship position,” added Beaton. “I honestly don’t really know how it all works, but at the end of the day it’s the team’s decision whether you’re allowed to race or not.

“Sometimes it’s not the rider’s decision anymore, so we will have to see how it all pans out, how they’re going to run it and what the circumstances are. You sign with a team, they have a goal and you have a goal to focus on the world championship.

“I’m just hoping they run it with GP points and it’s a lot easier for everyone, but the other thing is, the Australian team hasn’t even been selected yet, so we can’t say for sure that it will be me, Hunter or anybody else. Maybe we don’t even get selected… who knows! There’s a lot to be answered.”

There is also to outlying possibility of Australia’s MXGP premier class hope Mitch Evans returning to compete following his third wrist surgery, which he underwent this past week. There remains just two months for the Team HRC rider to recover and get back on the bike – as well as up to speed – if he is to factor in selections.

The inclusion of national riders appears slim at this point, with the QMP and Coolum ProMX rounds possibly being bumped back to October directly following MXoN, which would rule any returning rider out of the finals while undergoing mandatory quarantine.

Round one of the Australian Supercross Championship is also scheduled for just three weeks following MXoN on 16 October, with organisers AUS SX Holdings confirming this week that the intention is still there to hold the 2021 series.