News 21 Aug 2023

Mixed feelings hard to accept for Beaton in MX1 challenge

Still considering what his future will look like into 2024.

Image: Foremost Media.

Boost Mobile Honda Racing’s Jed Beaton admits it’s hard to accept the mixed feelings endured with his CRF450R throughout the season in his MX1 challenge, finishing the year runner-up in the title race after a P4 overall result at the 2023 Penrite ProMX Championship finals in Coolum.

Despite varying comfortable levels throughout the year, Beaton has been relatively consistent, landing on the overall podium five times while mastering the tricky conditions to win in Albury.

He entered Coolum still with an outside shot of capturing the premier class title, and showed strong form early on by qualifying fastest on Saturday and topping Sunday’s shootout ahead of the motos.

The number 14 made solid starts to both races at round eight, but after the five-lap mark in moto one he found he wasn’t gelling with the track and battled some arm pump.

In the second race, after leading early on Beaton got caught up in the banners, having to jump off and unwrap part of one from his wheel. He ultimately crossed the line in P6, landing him fourth overall on the day after a third-place finish in race one.

“We tried a lot all year, from pretty much round one to that mid-season break we were struggling a lot with the bike, I was struggling to get comfortable,” Beaton said to MotoOnline. “So to even be in the championship hunt at that point was very surprising to me.

“I’m just trying to do the very best, and sometimes I feel good on the bike and sometimes it’s completely different. It is hard for me to accept that a little bit, obviously I want to ride at a good pace and for the whole race.

“I mean I’m not making excuses, it’s the same for everyone. Kyle [Webster] went out there, he had the same material today and he went 1-1, so I mean it’s not a motorcycle thing, I think it is me just struggling on the bike, with feeling obviously.

“For me, I kind of went up and down all year. I felt pretty comfortable at probably one or two rounds this year, and unfortunately, that is about it.”

Beaton will not compete in the Australian Supercross Championship (AUSX) later this year, but insists he will remain on the bike and do some testing ahead of next season. That said, his plans for next year are not yet confirmed, with a return to the MXGP World Championship not off the cards if the right pieces can fall into place.

“At the moment it looks like that [Australia for 2024],” Beaton continued. “If I was to go over and race some GPs, the last two races or something like that, then maybe there would be a possibility to go back there. But that will be depending all on the results and everything like that.

“It’s nothing 100 percent locked in at the moment, but I mean for my side I think it’s all about being able to organise everything over there, and being able to go and race, especially at a competitive level. There is no point going there half-assed, those guys are doing a very, very good pace so I mean we will see what happens. I mean if I can get that happening, then maybe that will create an opportunity over there again.

“But like I said, I can’t really say that until I was to go. As soon as you leave there, they don’t forget about you, but you need to go back there and get your name out there so they are like ‘ah yeah cool, we need to try and get him back’ if you know what I mean. On that side of things, you just need to be there.”

Beaton joined Boost Mobile Honda Racing in what marked his domestic homecoming in the 2023 season, also venturing to the US during the ProMX season break for some testing which led to a surprise 450MX entry at Washougal.

After his trip to the US, he returned to Australia for the final two rounds of ProMX this season, where he finished a clear second and 24 points from eventual winner Dean Ferris (Brisbane Motorcycles Yamaha) in the final MX1 standings.

“Jed was consistent all year, and I think it’s definitely a different animal the 450,” Boost Mobile Honda Racing team owner Yarrive Konsky added. “He is clearly an exceptional rider, and can go very fast, but yeah we got beaten this year by a better rider.

“I am glad that Jed and Kyle proved that our bike is capable of winning, so we will take that into next year and we will take everything from this season, apply what we have learned this year into trying to make next year stronger.

“I would not be the person I am if I didn’t admit that losing the MX1 class is hard to take, certainly we committed so much this season and the extra financial support I put towards it by sending Jed to America, purchasing different suspension, massive commitment from us.

“Not spending more money makes me more hungry, losing makes me hungry, and now I have just have to ascertain why we have lost and put the pieces together and try and come back and be stronger from the first gate drop.”