Beaton the odds
THE track temperature at Eastern Creek may have been 65 degrees Celsius 11 days ago but that was nothing compared to the hot lap times that Beau Beaton was producing.
Riding his Ducati 1198s, the 22-year-old was only competing in his second ever road event on a bike that was only a week old yet he still managed to break a National BEARS lap record that was nearly 10 years old and take the series lead in both the State's Formula Extreme Cup and F1 BEARS.
All massive results but there's an added reason that everyone at Eastern Creek was talking about Beau Beaton that weekend. Prior to the event, hardly anyone had ever heard of him.
When Beaton made his road racing debut at Phillip Island in November he was racing in D grade events.
The round of races that he dominated at Eastern Creek was against A grade riders.
Ask the man himself if he was surprised about how well he went and his answer leaves you in no doubt as to how shocked he was.
“It was ridiculous really,” he said.
“I thought it was unbelievable because I was racing against A graders so I never thought I'd be a hope of getting those sort of times and results.
“It was the lap times that shocked me the most. I thought I might do low 39s or high 38.
“Honestly I just went down there hoping to get some good lap times as the bike was only a week old and I was really hoping that I might do some minute 37s and I was getting those in the practice runs.”
Of all the great motorbike racers that Australia has produced such as Gardner, Doohan, Stoner and Bayliss, no-one can recall any of them producing such high-quality performances as early as Beaton did last week.
The young rider isn't getting too carried away with his early success though.
“I think everyone will be expecting a lot but we'll see what happens,”
“I was lucky that I know Eastern Creek pretty well but I don't know the other tracks.
“If I can just learn the new tracks this series that will be pretty good.”
Beaton's first opportunity to ride on a new track will come the week before Easter when the team at North Coast V Twins will be getting the bike ready for the opening round of the National Superstock Championships at Tasmania's Simmons Plains Raceway.
While 99 per cent of the young rider's mind is staying focused and level headed, he has allowed himself a few short moments to dream of one day making it to the big time and riding on a world stage.
“I'd love to be there, we'll see what opportunities arise from this,” he said.
“Getting a ride on a superbike would be unbelievable. I've been on bikes all my life, it's all I ever wanted to do.”