The 2022 American Racing team broke cover on Tuesday night with a lavish unveiling of its two riders and motorcycles with five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier and 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Sean Dylan Kelly ready to embark on a two-pronged all-American attack on the 2022 Moto2 World Championship.
In a livery reveal held at the Hoback Estate, a well-struck seven iron from the likes of the Kardashians and other entertainment and sports stars in the hills above Los Angeles and emceed by TV personality Barry Weiss (of Storage Wars fame), the team was introduced in a lavish affair as the Eitan Butbul-owned team prepares to run an all-American squad for the first time in its three-year history.
The two-rider team will be led by Beaubier, the Californian fresh off a rookie season that saw him finish 15th in the Moto2 World Championship, the highlight of which was two fifth-place finishes and the fastest lap of the race in the Portuguese Grand Prix.
“I’m not saying that this year isn’t going to be tough by any means, but last year was really, really tough,” Beaubier said. “We had some really good moments, a lot of crashes, a couple of top-fives and a handful of top 10s. It’s definitely something to build on and I’m definitely looking forward to it. I’m really pumped to have Sean (Dylan Kelly) on the team and have two Americans. It’s weird because coming up in racing, I was always the young gun that always had older teammates and now it’s reversed on me. I’ve been teammates with Josh Hayes and looking up to him and seeing how he did stuff. I learned a lot and now the roles are reversed. I’m really looking forward to this year and I hope to make you guys proud.”
Beaubier will be joined by 19-year-old Kelly, the Floridian coming off a 12-win season that ended with him earning the 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport crown.
“I don’t have a Moto2 season to talk about yet but maybe in a year from now I will have one to talk about and hopefully it’s a really good one,” Kelly said. “Right now, it still feels unreal for me to looking at this beautiful bike with my number on it, which is going to be the 4 and I’ve always raced as 40. It’s a dream come true for me. This is something that felt really far away only a year ago. It felt like something that was hard to reach. We know how life is and how careers can be with lots of ups and downs. This year has been incredible, and I was able to achieve one of my biggest goals and dreams of being National Champion and not too long after to sign a contract for the World Championship. Honestly, it’s a dream come true for me and my family and something I dreamed of since I was a little kid and started racing at five years old. Huge thank you to Eitan (Butul, team principal), Avner (Kass, Butbul’s partner) and John (Hopkins, team director). I’m really excited to get going.”
Butbul and Avner Kass put their money where their mouths are in starting the American Racing team in 2018 and bringing MotoAmerica Superstock 600 Champion Joe Roberts into the team for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. The team also features former AMA 750 Supersport, AMA Formula Xtreme Champion and MotoGP racer John Hopkins as its team director.
“We started something three years ago, 2018, and I didn’t have be in this position,” Butbul said. “But after three years, I think we have finally achieved the goal we started in the beginning. We didn’t call this team the American Racing team just for the name as the purpose was to eventually have two American riders or at least one with us and to build the platform and have the chance for American riders to come into the World Championship. This year it is happening finally and that’s why we took this chance to do something here, in Los Angeles. This is our home base and we try to mix what we do in our regular lives with our racing. I think it is important that we talk a lot with the guys from MotoAmerica because after many, many years there are two American riders coming directly from MotoAmerica, the National Championship, and it’s a good opportunity to maybe start some collaboration with MotoAmerica.”
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