For every Kenny Roberts there is a Barry Sheene. For every Wayne Rainey, a Kevin Schwantz. For Toni Elias, that person has been Cameron Beaubier. And vice versa. Of the 95 MotoAmerica Superbike races held since Elias came on the scene in 2016, the Spaniard and his rival Beaubier have won 72 of them. That’s a titch over 75 percent.
And now Beaubier is leaving for the Moto2 World Championship and it’s somewhat bittersweet for Elias, who announced this week that he won’t be returning next year with Suzuki and hopes to land on another team for the 2021 MotoAmerica Series.
“I would like Cameron here because as you know, Wayne (Rainey) and Kevin (Schwantz) and all these heroes, they always had a guy in front of their brain to beat and that has always been Cameron. I would prefer him here if I have the opportunity to fight him with another brand, but I am really happy for him.”
With a Moto2 World Championship on his resume and wins in basically every series in which he’s competed, Elias is qualified to predict how Beaubier will do in his new venture.
“He is a really good rider, he has the skills… he’s complete enough to move, to try it, and he will be successful for sure,” Elias said. “I think he will move in a really good team and I think he will fight for a championship. It’s not a bad choice. It’s a winning choice. He will just need some time to see the things how it works, but he will be successful. We talk a little bit this week and I told him, ‘Man, you will be really good, and I just hope that it will take you to MotoGP.’ He’s a racer to be there and now I would be really happy to be in a fight with him here for five years and then to see him in MotoGP. I told him, ‘If you need anything from me, I would be really happy to help you.’ I wish him really good luck and I don’t think he needs it because he will do really good.”
The pair will face off three more times this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in the MotoAmerica series finale.