By Tom McNish
AFTER eight months off the bike recovering from two broken legs, former resident of the Wonthaggi motocross track Jed Beaton is back racing on the world stage.
Riding for the Rockstar Energy Factory Racing team Jed was competitive at the Hawkstone International MX in the United Kingdom earlier this month.
“It’s great to be back doing what I love,” Beaton said after the recent race.
Jed was injured June last year after ejecting mid-air over a 50ft jump at Matterley Basin in the UK.
The impact caused him to break his left tibia and fibula and right ankle.
Breaking a number of ribs in an earlier race may have influenced the crash.
Jed was in sixth position in the 2018 MX2 championship standings when the injury occurred.
The World Championship competes all over Europe and beyond, from the UK, Italy, Russia, Argentina and Spain.
Jed’s return to racing was possible through strong mental determination and the desire to get back to his best.
“This was probably the biggest injury I’ve had to deal with. It’s such a huge part being mentally strong and telling yourself you are going to start walking. Beating the doctors’ expectations was always a push,” Jed said.
“My motivation is to get back to where I was before I crashed which is in the top five of the world motocross championship.”
Jed is confident that he will be winning races this season, competing with some of the world’s fastest motocross riders.
“My expectations aren’t too high at the moment, but I can imagine in a few weeks’ time they are going to get bigger and bigger,” Jed said.
“I have a really good bike and a great opportunity now, so I believe I should start being a top three, top five guy by the end of the season and hopefully winning some races.”
After his rehabilitation last year, Jed is back into the full swing of training, spending up to six hours a day between the gym, cycling and on the track.
“The average day starts with warming up, either rowing or indoor cycling, generally a one to two-hour session on the track, or a couple of hours cycling and then a gym session later in the day.”
Jed was 18 when he made the solo move to Brussels, and through his positive ‘go-lucky’ attitude, he forged a path that many Australians find difficult to achieve.
Travelling between the UK and Europe for races Jed now has a comfortable apartment base in Lommel Belgium, with his girlfriend Holly Forsyth from Wonthaggi living with him.
Though starting off, his accommodation wasn’t so nice.
“For the first three months I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor, then I moved into a garage for the rest of the year. I missed home a fair bit back then.
“I guess the thing I miss is the amount of space we have and the views by the beach and stuff. You don’t realise how crammed in everything is here until you go back home.”
“Now that I have my own place and cook the food I want, it’s pretty nice.”
Many Australian athletes have a steep learning curve when competing overseas, integrating to new languages and cultures.
Upon arriving Jed thought the local language of Dutch sounded mumbled, but after some study and practise he can now communicate and understand it well.
Looking back to his junior days one of Jed’s biggest influences was his older brother Ross.
“Growing up I was always looking up to Ross. He raced and that’s what got me into it, seeing him do well when he was around 14 to 19 made me think I wanted to do the same.”
With the European season and training taking up a large amount of time, Jed has only returned to Australia for short trips.
He is hoping to have a relaxing holiday at the end of this race season.
The 19 round 2019 MXGP World Championship will kick off with the grand prix of Patagonia in Nequen, Argentina on March 3.