Hot and cold at Superbike event
LOCAL rider Beau Beaton took his first steps into Superbike action at Phillip Island on the weekend and once again turned plenty of heads despite making a couple of rookie mistakes.
Beaton finished seventh overall in a field of 24 riders while coming to grips with the extra power of a new Ducati 1198R that he was racing for the first time for the North Coast V-Twins racing team.
All the while battling conditions that bordered on Antarctic with strong winds blasting off Bass Strait to make the cold, damp conditions twice as bad.
While thrilled with his first foray into the higher level of racing after racing in Superstock for the past two seasons, Beaton admits that he was actually hoping his results on the weekend would be a little better than what they finished.
“My aim for the weekend was an overall top five and we got seventh overall so I was happy but a little bit disappointed as I thought we could’ve gone a lot better,” Beaton said.
“Not everything goes to plan the first time though.”
Beaton, who turns 24 this Friday, did admit though that racing at Phillip Island on the same weekend as the big boys contested a MotoGP was an experience that he won’t forget in a hurry.
“It’s awesome, the crowd is huge and the track is awesome,” he said.
“It’s just the weather is too unpredictable.”
The unpredictable weather actually brought about Beaton’s downfall in the first of his three races for the weekend.
Beaton started the race from pit lane rather than position 10 where he had qualified meaning that when he hit the track at the start he was in last place and playing catchup on the leaders.
“When we left the pits it was dry, got out onto the track and it was raining so I came back into the pits like a lot of guys did,” he explained.
“I had my other bike there which is my standard Superstock bike with wet tyres on it and I nearly went out on that.
“But by the time I decided that I would go out on it they closed pit lane off so I couldn’t go out on the warm-up lap.”
Beaton proved that he could more than mix it with the Superbike riders by winding his way past the slower bikes and finishing ninth in the race.
Sunday saw the second race of the weekend series and the local boy more than held his own to finish eighth.
Early in the third and final race it looked like an even better finish was on the cards before disaster struck.
“I got a really good start in the third race and then I overshot turn four which was my own fault but it meant I had to turn around and come back on in last position,” he said.
“It was the best start that I got but I sort of ruined it on the first lap.”
Nevertheless Beaton carried on undeterred to once again finish in eighth position.
With an eye on riding in the Superbikes next year, Beaton now needs to refocus on returning for one final round of the Superstock series which will hopefully see him take out the national title.
In less than three weeks time the V-Twins crew are off to Symmons Plains in Tasmania where Beaton will be trying to turn his series lead into a memorable finish.
“I think I just have to finish the first race and that’s it,” he said on the weekend.
“It will be nice to have it all wrapped up nice and early.”