Australian teenager Jed Beaton is making the most of his “warm-up” time in New Zealand this season.
With the Australian MX Nationals just around the corner, the 18-year-old Beaton, from Victoria, has been using the New Zealand Motocross Championships to get himself tuned up for his racing campaign back home.
The Australian nationals are due to kick off at Horsham, in Victoria, on April 3.
In the meantime, Beaton has crossed the Tasman to ride for the Hamilton-based Triple B Valley Fresh Yamaha Team and he has been making a huge impact in New Zealand over the past few weeks.
After the second of four rounds at Himatangi, near Palmerston North, on Sunday, Beaton now finds himself second in the MX2 (250cc) class standings.
Despite only casting his eyes on the New Zealand tracks for the first time at the start of each weekend, Beaton has quickly adapted and swiftly demonstrated his blinding pace.
He qualified fastest at the opening round at Timaru at the beginning of February, although he came unstuck when another rider collided with him in the first race. He recovered to finish ninth in that race, shot ahead to finish third in the next race and then saved his best for last, winning the final MX2 moto of the day.
At round two at Himatangi on Sunday, Beaton posted a 4-1-2 score-card, beaten to the top step of the podium only by championship leader and former Australian under-19 champion Hamish Harwood, who scored 1-2-1 in the three races.
Beaton is 17 points behind South Islander Harwood with two rounds (six races) left to run.
“I went a fair bit better at Himatangi than at Timaru,” Beaton said afterwards.
“In the first race I had only an average start, about fourth I think, but then I had visibility problems with my goggles.
“I won the second race, managing to keep Hamish (Harwood) behind me. It was a fun race.
“In the third race I had another average start and simply didn’t pass riders quickly enough and this allowed Hamish to get away a bit. But my performance today has put me in a solid position.
“Winning this championship is not my main objective, although of course I’d like to, but we have been making good progress and making good improvements towards the Australian campaign coming up.
“I’ll have my own engine for the remaining two rounds, so I think I’ll have a lot more power,” he smiled.
Meanwhile, countryman Dean Ferris, riding for the Altherm JCR Yamaha Racing Team, leads the MX1 class, now 14 points ahead of the man in second, fellow Gold Coast rider Todd Waters.
The second half of the Kiwi motocross calendar takes riders to the Rotorua Motorcycle Club’s track for round three on March 13, with the fourth and final round set for the Digger McEwen Motocross Park facility, on the outskirts of Taupo, on March 20.
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
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