The Road Less Traveled: Beaubier Takes A Different Path

Beaubier had been eyeing a World Superbike ride, but then, when an opportunity came up to race in Moto2, he jumped at the chance. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

In Episode #98 of Off Track with Carruthers and Bice, our guest Cameron Beaubier had confessed that he was very interested in racing in the World Superbike Championship in 2021 and was open to any and all opportunities with any of the teams who race the Yamaha YZF-R1 in the series.

So, when it was finally confirmed in a press conference on Friday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca that Beaubier will be joining America Racing in Moto2 next year, the immediate question we had was, “What happened to your plan to race in World Superbike?” So, we asked the five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion.

“For me, I thought that, the way I’m doing it, I’m going to get to Europe with Yamaha in World Superbike,” Beaubier said. “That’s kind of the path that I chose, like I wanted to do. But the truth is, Yamaha has so many good riders over there in World Superbike that it would be pretty tough for me to get picked up by them and dropped in there when they have all these talented riders coming up in Locatelli, and that kid from Japan (Kohta Nozane) just signed to be (Garrett) Gerloff’s teammate. Even Jonas Folger is trying to get in. So, there’s just a lot of talent trying to get those rides. The Yamaha, at times, it’s the bike to beat over there. So, I saw that door…not necessarily closing, but I saw it would be tough to get a spot.

“Bob (Moore with Wasserman, Beaubier’s agent) has been talking to Eitan (Butbul) at American Racing and kind of came up with a plan or an opportunity. I was like, ‘I never really even thought of getting back in the GP paddock because it just seemed so far away to me.’ We put the deal together, and I’m super-excited for it. I think it’s going to be awesome. I think the bike, obviously I have a lot of adapting to do to new tracks, the bike, all this stuff, the team, the travel. But there’s no better time than now. I feel like I’m riding better than I ever have. The bikes right now are 765 (cc’s), so they’re a little bit closer to the 1000 we’re on. Marelli electronics, Dunlop tires. So, I think definitely it’s going to take some adapting, but hopefully I’m just going to try to do it as quick as I can and see what I have for the world guys.”

And it’s a two-year deal for you, right?

“Yeah.”

Of course, Yamaha is not in Moto2, but depending on how you do in Moto2, you could be back with Yamaha again in the future with a MotoGP ride?

“Yeah. That’s the dream, right? Ride for Yamaha in MotoGP. Obviously, there are some steps I need to take before that. I’m just thinking, in the moment, I’m going to try to do the best I can these next two years for American Racing, and I’m thankful for the opportunity. I still want to be a Yamaha ambassador, ride my Yamaha dirt bikes, and stuff like that. I think that’s what’s pretty cool, as well, about Moto2 is that I’ll still be able to do that.”