Racers Edge Performance Suzuki have come away from the first point scoring round of the 2013 QBE ASBK at Symmons Plains in Tasmania, run in conjunction with the Tasmanian Microsoft Office 365 V8 Supercar event, with some good results, but with a little luck the weekend could have been a dream start.
Fine and sunny conditions graced the circuit over the three days of the event but with early morning and late afternoon sessions conditions were vastly different each time the Superbike field hit the track.
Friday practice got underway at 8am with track temperature in the high teens, eventually rising into the low twenties by the end of the twenty minute session. Racers Edge Performance Suzuki rider Beau Beaton set about fine tuning the potent GSX-R1000 to cope with the unique demands of the circuit south of Launceston that includes one of the slowest corners in Australian racing followed by one of the fastest.
Qualifying on Friday afternoon showed the potential of Beau and the Racers Edge Performance Suzuki, fifth place behind the championships factory supported riders, and less than a second from pole, a great result for the team that is gunning for Privateer Championship honours this season.
The 2013 season also sees the introduction of a new Superpole format that involves the top thirteen riders in an elimination format similar to that seen in the World SBK Championship.
Unfortunately a miscalculation in tyre compound selection resulted in Beau not realising the result both he and the team showed they were clearly capable of.
Beau was eliminated in the second of the three Superpole sessions and would start both races from ninth position of the third row of the grid.
Beau fired the fast starting GSX-R off the line and after a strong first lap was up to sixth place. An entertaining battle with the BMW of Linden Magee then continued for the next nine laps, with the two separated by no more than around half a second on track, both bikes strong at different areas of the short, but technical circuit.
On lap ten Magee’s engine cried enough, with Beau close behind he was completely covered in oil and had no vision at all, dropping back down the field to ninth as he struggled to clean his helmet visor.
Beau eventually managed to get the visor clear enough to proceed and miraculously pushed on to the finish to score vital championship points for ninth overall and fourth privateer.
“Scariest moment I’ve ever had on a motorcycle I don’t mind telling you” said Beau. I was right behind Linden when it went bang and I got covered in oil and there was smoke everywhere. I didn’t know if I was still on the track, if there was a fence or a ditch coming up or what. I just wiped the visor as soon as I could and just got my head down and back into the race”.
Race two saw Beau once again get a good start from row three and complete lap one in seventh place. Benefiting from the front suspension changes made by Beau and Team Manager Greg Maher Beau fought his way to the front of the three bike battle with Magee and Josh Hook to move into fifth place on lap eight after recording his fastest lap of the weekend on lap six.
Unfortunately a few minor issues meant Beau was not able to sustain his mid race pace and eventually finished in seventh place overall, but once again scoring vital championship points as second placed privateer.
Beau currently sits third in the Privateer Championship only five points off the lead and one point off second place.
“We had a good race, the bike was good and consistent and I had a battle with Hooky and Linden” said Beau after Sunday’s race. “I was feeling really comfortable and the bike was really good on the brakes into the hairpin. I was a little slower coming onto the straight but that really our only weakness. We had a small issue that just slowed us a fraction over the last two laps, I was really keen for a good fight over the last few laps and I think it would have been a three way dive into the last corner. Still, that’s racing and we’re happy to come away with good points for the weekend”.
“We had a good consistent start to the season here in Tasmania” commented Team Manager Greg Maher. “It’s fair to say we also had a few issues but they pale into insignificance when you see what happened to a few of the other. We were able to loan Chas some parts to get him going again so we were all disappointed to see him have those issues. I was excited about the potential we showed, I think we showed that whilst we have our eyes on the Privateer Championship we will also be able to run with the factory supported riders as well. We are continuing to fine tune the setup of our GSX-R1000 to make use of the exceptional new 2013 Pirelli’s, and following a chat with Steve Martin, Beau and I were able to advance the setup of the forks to allow Beau to do his fastest lap of the weekend in race two, thanks Steve. We are now looking to do something different in the setup of the bike to gain an advantage over everyone else; it’s exciting times for us. As always a big thanks to Darryl Higgins for his hard work over the weekend as well. We move on now to Queensland Raceway, a track that Beau has done quite a few laps on the Racers Edge Performance Suzuki so we just need to remain consistent and continue to work with Pirelli to showcase our ability”.
The Racers Edge Performance Suzuki Team would like to thank its sponsors, as without them it is impossible to go racing; Suzuki, Vern Graham Suzuki, Phil Tainton Racing, Link International, Motul, RK Chains, Performance Friction Brakes, Pirelli, North Coast V-Twins and Quick Lap Performance.