In 2015 the AMA Superbike Series found a new home in MotoAmerica. Its primary purpose is to reinvigorate motorcycle racing in North America. Taking one of the world’s most exhilarating and dangerous motorsports to reintroduce a new generation of American and International racers to prepare themselves for the world stage: World SBK.
MotoAmerica had a fantastic first year in 2015, attracting many new fans across North America, as well as showcasing Yamahas new R1 and its capabilities. Cameron Beaubier and teammate Josh Hayes took the #1 and #2 spots for the series. The factory Yamaha riders dominated from the very beginning, never relenting.
This brings us to the 2016 Pre-season. Training and preparation starts almost immediately after finishing a race season. Riders hit the gym and the track daily, engineers do their wizardry making an already incredible bike even better. The entire team stays busy during pre-season, to be ready and ahead of the game come main-season.
We are a mere two weeks away from the seasons opening race at COTA, April 8th and 9th. With this in mind, Beaubier decided he’d make a statement to all the other riders during the pre-season test laps. He circulated the track in less time than the current lap record, with his best lap coming in at 2:08.764. If that doesn’t scream skill, then I don’t know what does.
“I went out on the softer Dunlop compound and did that time and I matched it on the Q (qualifying tire) with one mistake,” Beaubier explained. “I was pretty happy about that. The qualifying tire was pretty nuts. Normally when I go out I try to get warmed up on the warm-up lap, get a flow going and then attack. On the Q, you have to baby it on the warm-up lap and then attack. It’s a one-lap thing. You can’t overthink it. You just have to clear your mind and just go because it’s really easy to make a mistake and one mistake will just ruin five corners here. Overall, it was really good. I think it was a really productive test. The wind wasn’t too bad and the weather was good. I had fun. I’m more happy with how I felt with the race tires and the softer compound race tires. I did a race simulation and felt decent there as well. We still have some stuff to work on, but I’m just having fun and feeling good.”
I think it’s safe to say this year’s race season will be one to watch. With so many fantastic riders and bikes, it won’t disappoint!
As a side note, MA is looking for volunteers. Head over to their site and see if there is something you can do!