News 19 Oct 2023

Departing Beaton ‘couldn’t get 100 percent comfortable’ on CRF

Mutual decision leads to split following just one season together.

Image: Foremost Media.

Outgoing former Boost Mobile Honda Racing rider Jed Beaton has confessed he just ‘couldn’t get 100 percent comfortable’ on the factory-backed CRF450R in finishing runner-up upon return to the Australian MX1 Championship this season.

Beaton won the national MX2 title onboard a satellite Yamaha in 2016 prior to spending six seasons in the world championship between Honda, Husqvarna and Kawasaki machinery, but made his anticipated homecoming with Yarrive Konsky’s Honda team in 2023.

Despite winning Wodonga’s third round of the Penrite ProMX Championship and taking the title down to the wire, it was no secret that 25-year-old Beaton and the team were working feverishly behind the scenes – including a high-profile mid-season trip to America that saw him contest the Washougal round of Pro Motocross as a guest of Team Honda HRC – to help make him more at one with the bike throughout the series.

In the end, with Dean Ferris going on to clinch the championship at Coolum, both Beaton and Konsky decided that the best path forward would be to go their separate ways after only a single season together. Instead, Honda has promoted four-time MX2 champion Wilson Todd into the premier class alongside Kyle Webster and Beaton’s future appears to lie at CDR Yamaha Monster Energy following a shakeup late in the silly season.

“Obviously, I’ve spoken to Yarrive [Konsky] about it and we mutually agreed that it’s the way to go,” Beaton told MotoOnline. “He’s happy with his team now and we’ve ended on good terms moving forward, which is a good thing.

“I’m departing, but that doesn’t mean we’re leaving on bad terms – everything is still good. The team did everything I could’ve asked for and more, a lot of effort went into it, but unfortunately, I just couldn’t get 100 percent comfortable, which is the main reason for my departure. Yarrive understood that and could see all year that I wasn’t quite myself, so it all kind of stemmed from that.

“But yeah, we’ve ended on good terms which is important to me, it wasn’t like I was trying to do anything sneaky behind his back. As I said, the team was great, I just wasn’t able to get 100 percent comfy.”

The arrival of Todd in place of Beaton is a significant step for Honda Racing, firmly tasking him – in addition to Webster – with the target of finally delivering Honda a 450 championship outdoors under the organisation’s longstanding association with Konsky, eager to replicate the success that the team has achieved in MX2, in addition to its Australian Supercross Championship dominance with Justin Brayton earning the past five SX1 crowns.