Racers Edge Performance Suzuki Team rider Beau Beaton has moved to equal second in the 2013 QBE ASBK Privateer Championship after a consistent weekend at round three of the championship held at Queensland Raceway over the weekend 14-16 June.
Fine and sunny conditions graced the circuit over the three days of the event as the team set about fine tuning the setup of both the Superbike and Supersport Suzuki GSX-R’s from recent testing.
Friday practice went well, but Superbike rider Beau Beaton and Supersport rider Mitch Levy, with the help of the Racers Edge Performance team, were confident they could work to improve the front end feel of the Suzuki GSX-R1000 & GSX-R600 to enable even faster lap times, and this was the team’s focus for the remainder of the weekend.
Team Manager Greg Maher, along with team technical support and suspension technician Mark “Doc” Downey and team technician Darryl Higgins tried a myriad of combinations on the Superbike to improve the lap time, but with only one Qualifying session before the Superpole Shootout for the top thirteen, track time was limited.
Beau did manage to improve his lap time on the Racers Edge Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the single Superbike qualifying session, finishing an impressive eighth fastest and only .7 of a second from fifth. Disappointingly, further improvement eluded Beau and the team, progressing no further than Superpole one, Sunday’s race would commence with Beau starting from the head of row three on the grid.
When the lights went out for race one Beau and the Racers Edge Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000 blasted off the line to complete the first lap in an impressive eighth position. Completing lap three in seventh, the remainder of the race was a titanic struggle with local hero Linden Magee and Glenn Scott that kept the crowd entertained and on the edge of their seats. Positions changed during the lap – mainly with big out-braking manoeuvres at turn three and four – but Beau was able to maintain seventh until lap eight when Magee got past. Beau slipped back to ninth on track with some brake fade issues due to the extreme nature of braking at the circuit known as the paperclip, but only tenths of a second separated the trio as the race drew to a close, .251 of a second covering them at the chequered flag.
Race two saw another slight change to the geometry of the Racers Edge Performance Suzuki along with the addition of a remote brake adjuster, and another great start from Beau. Completing lap two in ninth place Beau was able to lap quickly until lap six when the setup changes made after race one resulted in some instability under hard braking meaning Beau wasn’t able to maintain the pace of the early part of the race, a tenth place finish was the result.
“What a trying weekend” commented Beau Beaton after race two. “We made a setup change in the geometry of the bike after race one which, in hindsight, we probably shouldn’t have. I really enjoyed racing with Linden and Glenn in that first one but some brake fade towards the end meant I wasn’t able to mount a challenge on the brakes in the final laps. The team got a remote adjuster for the second race that allowed me to rectify any issues with brake fade and lever travel and it worked well, but the change we made to the geometry of the bike meant that it was a little unstable into the hard braking areas, that caused me to run wide a few times and I lost the tow. Then it was just a matter of bringing it home and scoring good points for the privateer championship. Overall we finished the weekend with good points and two shiny bikes, which is always good. It was also great this weekend having Doc and Greg working together on the setup of the GSX-R1000 which gave me confidence, two great minds working together is always better than one”.
Beau Beaton and his Racers Edge Performance Suzuki GSX-R1000 are now equal second in the Superbike Privateer Championship with a reduced margin of six points to the championship lead.
Supersport rider Mitch Levy missed the cut for Superpole in the cut-throat Supersport class as the team searched for front end feeling on the Pirelli tyres that are new to the team this year. Unfortunately the solution was found too late, but allowed Mitch to lap up to two seconds quicker in race one than he had in practice and qualifying, finishing in twelfth place.
Due to some technical issues Mitch had to use the spare GSX-R600 in race two and the feeling was not the same as on the main bike, Mitch rode as hard as he was able and finished in fourteenth position.
“We struggled at the one day of testing we did here and again in the early part of the race weekend” commented Mitch Levy. “We ended up just changing the air pressure in the tyres a little for morning warm up on Sunday and that helped get the feel I was looking for. I was able to lap consistently faster in that race than I had in practice and qualifying. In race two I had to use the spare bike and it just didn’t feel the same, so I just pushed as hard as I could to bring it home safe and score points”.
Team Manager Greg Maher was philosophical about the weekends results “I honestly thought we had left the test with a clear direction to fine-tune the setup of the Superbike, but everything we tried didn’t seem to make much difference, I am glad we had Doc here to assist this weekend as we were able to go over the issues and try different things to get the feeling that Beau was after. Doc has worked on pretty much every bike that Beau has ever ridden so he knows what he’s after. We thought that we had found a development path after race one but it didn’t work as we expected. We have the test at Sydney Motorsport Park this week where we will continue to adapt our setup to the Pirelli tyres. Mitch seemed to have the same sort of issues but a few PSI difference in the front tyre made an improvement, at the same time I think he can still go faster and hopefully get into the top ten with the right setup. We finished the weekend closer the lead in the Superbike Privateer Championship, with both riders scoring points and four bikes in the same condition we arrived in, so not a bad weekend”.
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.