News 23 Jan 2016

Beaton doubles up on Saturday at Island Classic

Australia takes early lead in Team's Challenge at Phillip Island.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Image: Russell Colvin.

Beau Beaton showed that his pole position that he snared early this morning was no flash in the pan so to say as he scored two race wins from two starts at the Phillip Island Classic in the Mitchelton Wines International Challenge.

Beaton, the 2015 Australasian Pro-Twins/Nakedbike champion beat Team Winfield’s Jeremy McWilliams and T-Rex Racing/Race Center’s Jed Metcher in both races.

The New South Welshman rider was about to hold off a late charge from McWilliams as the pair were separated by just 0.313s.

The ride of race however went to Metcher who stormed his way from 19th to third. The opening lap the 2011 FIM European Superstock 600 Champion was up to sixth place on the opening lap and by lap two he was up to third.

“When I saw both Beau and Jeremy starting to make a break for it at the front I started to really push and started to feel a little bit more comfortable on the bike,” explained Metcher after race one, who finished 0.232s behind McWilliams.

“On the second last lap coming into turn eleven when I was starting to close in on Jeremy I accidentally clicked into fourth gear which I’m pretty sure cost me the win, which is really, really disappointing.”

Metcher set the fastest lap of the race with a 1m37.727s on the last lap of the race, which handed him pole position for the second race. Rounding out the top five placings was TBR/D&D duo of Shawn Giles and Steve Martin.

In race two, Beaton was the early race leader when the lights went out. The race again was another three dice for the lead between Beaton, McWilliams and Metcher.

A few laps before the chequered flag McWilliams was almost ejected out of the seat coming out of turn four. However the final outcome was Beaton beating McWilliams by 0.508s with Metcher a further 0.614s down the road.

“Both Jeremy and Jed are giving it to me that’s for sure. It’s no walk in the park,” explained Beaton who admitted that he has to work for it around the corners as he does not have the top speed on the Irving Vincent. “I’m 20km/h down on Jeremy, so we really have to push hard off the turns and work our strong points.”

Beaton also added that Island Classic is a meeting which is so unpredictable and anything and normally does happen.

“I’m not getting to ahead of myself just yet,” he added. “We still have two races to go, so we’ll see where we after the final race tomorrow. I am so ecstatic for the whole Austart Air Starters/K.H. Equipment team, as they all put in a massive effort! I just get the job and rock up and race.”

It was night and day between the front trio and fourth rider, Martin who crossed the line 9.228s behind Metcher, while Glen Richards (Team Winfield) was in fifth place.

Rounding out the top ten was Conor Cummins, Paul Byrne, the first of Irish riders, Ryan Farquhar, Cam Donald and John McGuinness.

One rider who never made it out onto the track in race two was Giles. His Katana was pumping oil out of a breather pipe all over the pegs and his boots before he exited the end of pit-lane so the three times Australian Superbike champion made the decision to shut the engine down in the interests of safety.

James Hillier was forced to start from pit lane after he appeared to not have made it out of pit lane in time for him to make the grid for the start. Hillier did manage to make his way back up to fourteenth position in the five lap race.

Another issue to deal with for the UK team was for Farquhar. The 39-year-old copped a penalty for starting in the wrong grid position, after an official actually told Farquhar which position on the grid to take up. The penalty was later removed after the race.

Heading into tomorrow’s two final races, Australia leads the Team’s Challenge on 358 points, 12 points clear from the UK with Ireland in third on 225 points.

2016 International Island Classic
Phillip Island, VIC

International Challenge race one results:
1. Beau Beaton (AUS)
2. Jeremy McWilliams (UK) 0.313s
3. Jed Metcher (AUS) 0.545s
4. Shawn Giles (AUS) 5.83s
5. Steve Martin (AUS) 7.00s
6. Glen Richards (AUS) 7.59s
7. John McGuinness (UK) 7.66s
8. Conor Cummins (UK) 7.79s
9. Paul Byrne (IRE) 9.20s
10. Ryan Farquhar (UK) 10.87s

International Challenge race two results:
1. Beau Beaton (AUS)
2. Jeremy McWilliams (UK) 0.50s
3. Jed Metcher (AUS) 0.61s
4. Steve Martin (AUS) 9.84s
5. Glen Richards (UK) 10.11s
6. Conor Cummins (UK) 10.79s
7. Paul Byrne (IRE) 11.43s
8. Ryan Farquhar (UK) 11.48s
9. Cam Donald (AUS) 12.36s
10. John McGuinness (UK) 13.10s

Click here for detailed results