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Beaubier Almost Perfect in MotoAmerica Superbike Season for the Ages
Beaubier Almost Perfect in MotoAmerica Superbike Season for the Ages

Cameron Beaubier has been as perfect in the 2020 MotoAmerica Superbike season as a 13-1 record suggests. Tire selection in the fourth race of the season dumped him into Road America’s Turn 1 gravel trap, but that’s it for mistakes.

Oh, Beaubier bobbled in Turn 4 in a race at Barber Motorsports Park, but he recovered later in the lap to regain the lead, which became a win. Everything else has been relatively straightforward. Beaubier jumps to the front at the start and cruises. His streak is 10 wins and counting.

Beaubier, 27, from Roseville, California, has won these 13 races by an average margin of 6.2 seconds, with a 13.4-second advantage being his largest at the checkers. Four times he has finished clear of his nearest opponent by eight seconds or more, and no one has been within 2.5 seconds of him at the finish.

Add it up and that’s why Beaubier, the two-time defending Superbike series champion, is poised to clinch his third consecutive season title and fifth overall this weekend in the MotoAmerica Superbikes at the Brickyard event at Indianapolis Motor Speedway. There is one race Saturday and two Sunday, each 17 laps.

“It’s been like a dream season for me,” Beaubier said. “It’s pretty crazy how many races we’ve been able to win, and it’s been so fun on and off the track. With how hard my guys are working, I have just liked to be able to reward them.”

Beaubier won what was then a personal-best eight races in the 2015 championship season, but that mark has been shattered in a season that still has six races to go. The way he’s riding the No. 1 Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha, 19 wins isn’t out of the question.

Front tire selection in that Road America race might count as his only hiccup this season. There were three compounds to choose from, and Beaubier had used the softest in the morning warmup with a taller bike setup. It seemed like the right decision at the time, but in retrospect the track had warmed, and the tire couldn’t hold traction over the bump in the middle of the corner. The result was a slide into the gravel and no points.

The trouble in Turn 4 at Barber was the result of riding in too deep as he had several times during the weekend. No matter. He lost only one position, and he promptly began chasing down Mathew Scholtz to grab the lead back by the end of the first lap. He was 8.3 seconds clear of Scholtz at the finish.

“I’ve had a couple of ‘moments’ here and there like you always do when you’re pushing on the edge, but you’re always happy to have a save in one of those bobbles,” he said. “(The Road America) crash was a bummer, but we learned from those little mistakes.”

Beaubier said he didn’t see this dream season coming. Yamaha changed its team structure during the offseason, admittedly leaving Beaubier “skeptical.” There proved nothing to worry about. Teammate Jake Gagne is second in the standings with seven second-place finishes in the 14 races.

“I didn’t know how we’d be, but it’s been incredible,” said Beaubier, who expects to return to the team in 2021. “Jake and I have been able to shoot the front.”

This will be Beaubier’s second MotoAmerica Superbike event at IMS, the other resulting in a pair of narrow victories in 2015. He outlasted Roger Lee Hayden each time, the first by .040 of a second and the second by .015 of a second. Beaubier remembers the latter being stopped by rain.

“I got lucky that they (determined the finish) based on the results of the previous lap, and I was barely ahead of Rog,” Beaubier said of Hayden. “Those were some good battles with Rog and Josh Hayes (third in both races).”

There are six classes of motorcycles racing this weekend on the 15-turn, 2.591-mile circuit. Tickets are available on Individuals 15 and under are free with a paying adult in general admission seating.

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