Rider Spotlight: Cameron Beaubier
NEWS January 12, 2012
Photo by Brian J. Nelson
AMAPro: Where are you from?
CB: I’m from Roseville, Calif. I was born in Carmichael, Calif. which is 15 minutes away from Roseville, but have lived here ever since.
AMAPro: What was your first motorcycle?
CB: First bike was a PW50. I started riding at 4 years old. I rode that for a little bit and moved up from there.
AMAPro: How did you get into riding motorcycles?
CB: My dad raced some motocross, and so did I, but he had an injury, so we took some time off. We then got into riding supermoto. I raced and started winning championships, and I then moved into Road Racing on 125s.
AMAP: Tell us about your time in the Red Bull Rookies Cup.
CB: When I was 13 we found out about the Red Bull Rookies Cup from a sponsor. In 2006, I headed over to try out, and made it. From there, I raced in Europe for the Red Bull Rookies Cup. I did well, I finished on the podium and won too. I was there for about two years. I graduated from the Rookies Cup to the Red Bull MotoGP Academy which was a part of the Spanish Championship. It prepped the riders to move on to MotoGP 125s. The next year, I rode with Red Bull KTM in the MotoGP 125s. That was such a fun experience, because I got to travel all around the world at the age of 16. It was tough, because I didn’t have my family with me. I would be gone for 7-8 months out of the year, travelling with my friends and team.
AMAP: How would you compare the tracks overseas to the tracks here in the U.S.?
CB: The American tracks aren’t as perfect as the European tracks, but there are some really good racetracks in the U.S. When I was racing over there, I struggled a little bit, had a few bouts of bad luck, but I feel that it was a great step for me in my racing career. In 2010, I didn’t have a ride overseas, so I came back to race a 600cc bike in AMA Pro SuperSport. I won the first race at Daytona and another at Infineon. I was in championship contention, but had an injury about three quarters of the way through the season.
AMAP: How did this season come together?
CB: Well, I didn’t race the last four races of the 2010 season, so I started the 2011 season trying to put everything together. We had a Suzuki put together for the Daytona 200, but I had never ridden it before and struggled to get bike setup correct. I felt that it was a little underpowered in comparison to the rest of the bikes. I started 20th, but finished in 8th. After that, we decided to combine efforts with GP Bike Parts. It was a low budget effort, but we worked as a big group to get me to the track. I got my first podium at Miller, and went up from there. We did have some issues, like at Road America, where my A bike broke, and I had to switch to my B bike, which pretty much had a stock motor. It was pretty cool to be on a low budget team yet compete against factory teams. I got picked up by Riders Discount / Jake Holden Racing for the rest of the season. If I didn’t get help from them, the season would’ve been much harder to complete. They had to be the best bikes out there, other than the factory bikes.
AMAP: For next year, tell us about riding with Y.E.S. / Graves / Yamaha with Garrett Gerloff.
CB: After New Jersey last season, I got an offer from Graves to ride with Gerloff. I met him at Daytona and think next season’s going to go really well for us. We work well together, and are young, so I think we’re going to do well in 2012.
AMAP: Your Christmas was an eventful one… How much longer till your leg heals.
CB: Yeah, I did some training on my motocross bike and had an accident. I had surgery a few weeks ago, and the healing is coming along very quickly. I should be able to start training very soon. The team has a test February 5 in Las Vegas, so I should be able to make it there.
AMAP: What’s your favorite racetrack?
CB: I’d say my favorite would be Phillip Island. It’s just really cool because it’s such a different track. It’s a very open and fast track. It’s just something else.
In America, I really like Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. I love the corkscrew and the fast downhill left right after it.
AMAP: Out of all the bikes you've ridden, what's your favorite?
CB: I’ll be honest, I really like riding 600s. It’s a lot more fun riding a 600cc bike than a 125cc. You can’t really do too much with a 125, where you can slide, wheelie and have a little more fun with a 600. I’ve ridden a SuperBike before, an ’08 Yamaha R1. It was fun, but I think I like 600s more because they’re like 125s, whereas you point and shoot a SuperBike out of the turns.
AMAP: What draws you to the sport? The thrill, competition, speed?
CB: I love the competition! I love the feeling of winning and being on top. There’s such an adrenaline rush that it gives you. The whole sport.. just wow!
AMAP: When you’re not at the racetrack, what would a typical day like be for you?
CB: If my leg wasn’t broken, I’d go for a bicycle ride in the morning, hang out with my friends afterwards, and then probably play golf. I like playing golf... I suck at it, but I like it.
AMAP: What are your expectations going into 2012 with Y.E.S. / Graves / Yamaha?
CB: To be honest, I feel like I have everything in my power to win. I know I have the best bike to do it, so it’s only a matter of time until Daytona to see what happens.
AMAP: Who’s your racing hero?
CB: Casey Stoner and Kevin Schwantz. I love Casey because he hangs it out there, and will throw down a near-record breaking lap on his second lap out there. I like Kevin, because of his whole attitude. When you watch older videos of him battling Wayne Rainey, you have to respect a rider like that!
What's your take?
Who do you think has the best wheelie? Is it Latus Motors/Triumph Motorcycles' Dustin Dominguez, Yoshimura R&D, Inc./Suzuki's Blake Young or Erik Buell Racing's Geoff May?
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