Leaving his Monster Energy Attack Performance YZF-R1 and five MotoAmerica championship trophies back home in California, Cameron Beaubier hopped on a commercial airliner Thanksgiving weekend and flew on over to the Circuito de Jerez-Angel Nieto in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain to begin working with the Tennor American Racing Team in his first Moto2 test.
Aboard the American Racing Team Kalex Moto2 machine one Joe Roberts raced in anger this past season, the 28-year-old took the 2.75-mile, 13-turn Jerez circuit and knocked out 60 laps over the two day test.
“It was good,” offered Beaubier upon returning home to California. “I can do this. It was kind of a crazy trip just because all of the COVID stuff happening and stuff like that, it was honestly just so good to get some time on the bike and just get kind of a head start going into next year. Yeah, I’ll definitely be able to sleep better at night now just knowing that I rode the bike and now kind of know what to expect going into next year and was it was good just to meet the team and to kind of get to know everybody and to kind of get to know the bike.
“The first day was wet and it was slowly kind of drying up a little bit, but not enough for slicks, so we just went out on rain tires and kind of just got a first feel for the bike. The second day was dry with some wet patches that never really dried up, but there was a dry line around the track. It was all cool. I got a good feel for the bike and the thing is bad ass, that’s for sure. They’re full-blown race bikes and it was awesome.”
Circulating the Jerez circuit in radically different wet and dry conditions, Beaubier’s best lap stopped the clocks at 1:42.664, the flying lap a mere .600 of a second slower than new American Racing teammate Marco Ramirez’s overall fast lap of 1.42.064.
“The bikes are quite a bit different,” said Beaubier, who impressed the Jerez gathering with his immediate pace. “They’re smaller and more compact. The shapes of the tires are different and that just gives you a different feel leaning the bike into the corners and stuff like that. I was pretty surprised with how torquey the motor was for being a middleweight bike. The bikes have Triumph 765cc motors, so they actually have a pretty good amount of torque, which is cool coming from Superbike. I wasn’t too far off either with my lap tines. It wasn’t too bad.
“At the same time, it just goes to show you that it’s going to be a challenge next year trying to learn the tracks on a race weekend as fast as we can when everyone already knows them, but I’m looking forward to it. And yeah, I haven’t ridden Jerez since 2009. That was 10 or 11 years ago when I was a kid. All in all, it was cool and a good experience just to get my feet wet going into next season. I’ll definitely sleep better now knowing I got over there and was able to ride the bike before the year was up.”
For Beaubier who competed in the 2009 FIM 125cc World Championship with then teammate Marc Marquez, it was nice to be back in Europe and amongst some faces he hadn’t cast his eyes upon in a number of years.
“I knew quite a few people from racing over there at a young age and it was cool to show up in Spain and see a lot of people that I haven’t seen in a long time and, yeah, so far it seemed like everyone was excited that I was coming back there. It was good. It was cool. It was definitely a quick trip, but it was good.” Eric Johnson
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