Rider Spotlight: Cameron Beaubier
Two-time MotoAmerica Superbike champion prepares for a home race
Living in Roseville, Calif., just 200 miles north of WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Cameron Beaubier feels at home racing on the 11-turn, 2.238-mile circuit. The 2015 and 2016 MotoAmerica Superbike champion carries a great deal of momentum heading into this year’s MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round featuring MotoAmerica Championship of Monterey on June 22-24.
Beaubier is fresh off a double-win at Road America, a race he entered with a 35-point deficit to 2017 champion Toni Elias and left with a two-point lead. The racing was thrilling with the two riders battling hard up front along with Josh Herrin.
The 25-year-old rider factory rider of the Monster Energy/Yamalube Yamaha YZF-R1 is a homegrown talent in the MotoAmerica series which carries on the AMA Superbike tradition of invigorating motorcycle road racing in the United States and developing talented riders to hopefully compete on the world stage. Beaubier hopes to both further his quest for a third championship and showcase his talents in front of the World Superbike paddock.
Beaubier shared his thoughts heading into WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the midpoint of the 2018 MotoAmerica season as the sixth race on the 11-event calendar.
Congratulations on the double-win at Road America.
It felt like we got back on track. It’s been four years since we haven’t won a race within the first couple rounds which was tough, but we were able to do the double. My bike was feeling really good. I felt really good. It was nice to get it going again and come back west.
What are your thoughts about coming back to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca?
It is one of my favorite weekends of the year, mainly because a lot of my friends and family get to come out. It’s one of my home races, so I am looking forward to it for sure.
It’s one of my favorite races because I get to be by the water in Monterey. A lot of my family and friends turn a trip out of it. They come out to watch, support me and my brother, and it makes for a really fun weekend. My family comes up from Southern Cal, and my family from up North comes down. I’ve got some grandparents some aunts and uncles and some cousins that live down south and then all of us meet up there and have dinner together. It makes for an exciting weekend. There is definitely a little bit of added pressure, but I like it.
I think it is cool, too, being in front of the World Superbike stage and getting to see some of those guys race and seeing some friendly faces I haven’t seen in a while. So, I’m looking forward to it.
What unique challenges does our track present as a rider?
There is a lot of elevation change, which is tough when you have a lot of power on the Superbikes. When you’re dealing with 200-plus horsepower, it’s hard to keep the front wheel down. And you know it’s tight and twisty. You have to make sure your bike is on the right line all of the time. If you’re a little bit late on one corner, it could affect the next three. It’s definitely a pretty unique and special track. My Yamaha is good around that place, so I’m looking forward to it.
I have a pretty good track record going there for the last few years with some wins. Last year didn’t go very good – I crashed in Race 2. I third in the first race. I’m definitely looking forward to it.
What can fans at the event expect from the MotoAmerica side of the paddock?
We just have a really good structure behind MotoAmerica. I think the fans will be really excited. Wayne Rainey is one of the organizers, and he was a World Champion himself.
Obviously, we have our main fan base and people that come out who haven’t really seen the racing yet. I think right now is a really good time to watch. Toni and myself are really close in points, and we have Josh Herrin there to mix it up. My other teammates are really fast.
It’s an exciting race when we’re on 200-plus horsepower Superbikes going 170-mph down the straightaway. It’s an exciting experience obviously being on the bike, but I love going out and watching the World Superbike guys doing the same thing.
I think it will be a great weekend. There’s a good atmosphere with what always seems like nice weather. It should be good.
As a two-time MotoAmerica Superbike champion, are you particularly motivated to grab the mantle back after Toni Elias won in 2017?
Absolutely. I see how hard my guys work back in the shop, and I see how bad they want to win just as much as I do. I feel like you don’t realize how bad you want something until it’s gone. We had the number one place for the last two seasons, and got stripped away from us last year. It makes you that much hungrier to go out and get the job done. That is definitely my goal this year. I’m just taking one race at a time.
Having established yourself as a two-time champion in MotoAmerica at a young age, do your future goals include racing full-time on one of the international series?
Yeah, I would love to. That’s why I really look forward to these events when the world guys come over here and race. It’s a good opportunity to see where we stack up time-wise with those guys and also for them to see who is coming up and see how we’re doing. My goal is definitely to get on a World stage, and I think that the World Superbike path can be really good spot for me in the future.