The Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame recently announced their induction class of 2018 and among the eight legends and champions who will be honored on November 17 at the Delta Hotels Burnaby Conference Centre in Burnaby, British Columbia, are two people who are also well-documented in the annals of American professional motorcycle road racing.
Rick Hobbs, who is two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier’s crew chief on the Monster Energy/Yamalube/Yamaha Factory Racing team, is one of the 2018 inductees to the Canadian Motorcycle Hall of Fame. The other notable inductee happens to be a rider who Hobbs worked with when they were both still involved in motorcycle road racing in their homeland of Canada: Steve Crevier.
Hobbs is from the city of Whitehorse in the Yukon, a territory in northwest Canada, and Crevier is from Maple Ridge, near Vancouver in Canada’s westernmost province of British Columbia.
Together, Hobbs and Crevier won three Canadian national road racing championships, and they did so, remarkably, all in one year: 1989. Leave it to a couple of Canadians to score motorcycle road racing’s version of a hockey-inspired hat trick. The pair won the Canadian Pro Superbike Championship on a Yamaha Motor Canada-backed FZR750RR OW01, the Canadian Pro 600 Production Championship aboard a Yamaha FZR600, and the Canadian Pro 250cc Grand Prix Championship with Crevier in the saddle of an Aprilia AF1.
“What an unexpected honor for me to be inducted,” Hobbs said humbly. “Especially with Steve Crevier being inducted at the same time. We’re just missing the third key guy in our 1989 championship year, Steve Wyatt, who passed away a few years ago. He is missed by a lot of people.”
For Hobbs, who had begun his career in professional motorcycle road racing in 1982 when he worked with New Zealand road racer Gary Goodfellow, 1989 was the beginning of an amazing seven-year run, in which he won a total of eight National championships, in addition to the 1993 Daytona 200 with none other than Eddie Lawson as his rider.
In the middle of that winning streak, Hobbs also moved from his homeland of Canada to Southern California, where he went to work for Vance & Hines Yamaha and was the crew chief for Jamie James and fill-in rider Lawson when James got injured.
Rick Hobbs is a Kingmaker. All told, he has won 19 National Championships in Canada and the U.S., and he has worked with 29 riders, including such notables (besides Crevier, Lawson, and James) as Tom Kipp; Eric Bostrom; Kurtis Roberts; Nicky and Roger Hayden; Josh Hayes; Jake Zemke; Anthony, Aaron, and Alex Gobert; Josh Herrin; and now, Beaubier. Hobbs handed off almost every one of those riders to Superbike assignments and more.
Speaking of Beaubier, Hobbs is now in his fifth-consecutive season working with the two-time MotoAmerica Champ, which is the longest tenure he’s had with any rider he’s worked with over the past 36 years. Is there any specific reason for the longevity with Beaubier?
“It’s probably because of the teams that I’ve worked with in my career. A lot of them were breeding grounds for riders who went to even bigger things. A lot of my riders, particularly in the U.S., raced for me on factory-supported teams in Supersport and Formula Xtreme, and then, they moved up to factory Superbike teams. I’m now a Yamaha employee working for the Factory Superbike team, and Cameron is obviously a Superbike rider at the top of his game here in the U.S. We’ve had a very successful partnership.”
Not to mention that Rick Hobbs has enjoyed a very successful career that shows no signs of letting up.
Rider Year Country
Gary Goodfellow 82,83,84 Canada
Tom Walther 86,87 Canada
Art Robbins 88 Canada
Paul McMillan 88 Canada
Steve Crevier (SBK Champ, 600 Champ, 250 GP Champ) 89 Canada
Michel Mercier (SBK Champ) 90 Canada
Linnley Clark (2X 600 Champ 91,92) 91,92 Canada
Eddie Lawson (Daytona 200) 93 U.S.
Jamie James (600SSP Champ 94) 93,94,95,96 U.S.
Tom Kipp (750SSP Champ 95) 95,96,97 U.S.
Randy Renfrow 98 U.S.
Tripp Nobles 98 U.S.
Eric Bostrom (FX Champ) 98 U.S.
Kurtis Roberts (2X FX Champ 99,00 600SSP Champ 00) 98,99,00,05 U.S.
Nicky Hayden (600SSP Champ) 99 U.S.
Josh Hayes (2X FX Champ 06 & 07) 00,06,07,08 U.S.
Jake Zemke (FX Champ 08) 00,02,03,08,09 U.S.
Mark Miller 01 U.S.
Mike Hale 02 U.S.
Hawk Mazzotta 02 U.S.
Roger Hayden 01,02 U.S.
Alex Gobert 03,04,05 U.S.
Aaron Gobert 06,07 U.S.
Anthony Gobert 05 U.S.
Shea Fouchek 07 U.S.
Chris Peris 09 U.S.
Chris Clark 11 U.S.
Josh Herrin (SBK Champ) 12,13 U.S.
Cameron Beaubier (2X SBK Champ 15,16) 14,15,16,17,18 U.S.