Jed Beaton is so close to victory that he can probably taste it already.
The 18-year-old will certainly be keen on again latching his teeth into rival Hamish Harwood at Taupo this weekend, when the two men will battle for overall MX2 class glory at the fourth and final round of the New Zealand Motocross Championships.
Fellow Yamaha star Kayne Lamont (Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team YZ250F) scored a sensational hat-trick of wins to top the class at round three near Rotorua last weekend, but Australian visitor Beaton (Triple B Valley Fresh Yamaha YZ250F) finished overall runner-up to Lamont and with that he nibbled into the championship points lead enjoyed by South Island rider Harwood (CML KTM 250F).
Victoria’s Beaton was second and 17 points behind Takaka’s Harwood at the start of the day’s racing at Rotorua last weekend, but scored 4-2-2 results over his three races and finished on Sunday afternoon with the deficit trimmed down to just 13 points.
Harwood knows all he has to do is stay within one position of Beaton to take the title, but that’s easier said than done, especially with Lamont and fellow Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team rider Ethan Martens in hot form.
Lamont, Beaton and Martens finished 1-2-3 in Rotorua and a similar result in Taupo this weekend is entirely possible, meaning the battle for this class could go down to the wire.
“My first race at Rotorua was pretty average,” said Beaton. “I didn’t have a good start and it was very difficult to get around other riders. The ruts were not what I was used to either and then I suffered a bit of arm pump.
“The second race was better for me. I had a better start and found my rhythm early on. Me and (race winner) Kayne Lamont were going at the same speed but I couldn’t get him.”
The third MX2 race of the day showed just how classy a rider Beaton is.
“In the third race I got caught up in turn one and was 27th by the time I got going. Like I said, it wasn’t easy to pass here but I still managed to make it happen and go from 27th to second.
“I’ve never raced at Taupo before and don’t really know what to expect. It’s not impossible for me to win the title, but it’s certainly difficult.”
The Triple B Racing Valley Fresh Yamaha team is supported by Origin Windows, Drainage Systems, Bob McCleary Yamaha, Pirelli Tyres, Thor, Alpinestars, Spy Goggles, JCR, Yamalube, Krooztune suspension, DPH Motorsport, Beatonsproformula and Ride Park Victoria.
© Words and photo by Andy McGechan, www.BikesportNZ.com
Find BikesportNZ.com on FACEBOOK here