Hobnobbing With Hobbs: A Canadian Hall Of Famer At Home In MotoAmerica

Rick Hobbs has won two MotoAmerica Superbike titles with Cameron Beaubier. Photo by Paul Carruthers

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.”

1989 Canadian triple national champion Steve Crevier aboard the title-winning Yamaha Superbike tuned by Rick Hobbs.

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.

Hobbs (far left) poses with his fellow Vance & Hines Yamaha crew members and Tom Kipp’s 1995 AMA Supersport 750 Championship-winning motorcycle.

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.


Hobbs’ Jobs

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.