Cameron Beaubier at speed on the American Racing Kalex during the recent three-day Moto2 test at Portimao.
The following is from American Racing…
After two days of private testing under the Andalusian sun in Jerez, the all-American Racing Team took to the track at the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve, for the first and only official test of the 2022 season.
With both riders getting their first taste of the latest chassis updates from Kalex & new rubber from Dunlop to get to grips with, the work was non-stop over the last week for everyone in American Racing.
Despite substantial winds on day one, Cam was able to slot himself into the top five as he refamiliarized himself with his bike and the Portuguese circuit. The 28-year-old continued to put in the work over the remainder of the week, setting his fastest lap of 1:42.801 on the second day, which comfortably placed him among the front runners. A head cold impacted his final day of running but the work overall sets the five-time MotoAmerica Champion up nicely for his second Moto2 season.
Rookie Sean relished the challenge of a brand-new circuit aboard a 2022 Moto2 machine as he began to find his feet in the class as a full-time competitor. Sean demonstrated great progress on the ever physically demanding rollercoaster-like track throughout the three days, improving by 1.3 seconds from the first to final day.
Cameron Beaubier #6 –
“It was a long week of good weather and valuable track time on the new bike. A couple days to get settled at the private test in Jerez was useful. The track has always been tough on me, but I was happy with how I was riding on the first day until I had a stupid crash at the end of the day. The team were looking out for me, and we thought it was best to sit out day two and prepare for the official test in Portugal.
The three days in Portimao were also positive I’d say. I felt good on the first two days but then, on the third day, we tried some new things which didn’t quite work… but that’s testing for you! We can still take plenty of positives away with us. It’s good to be back with everyone at the American Racing Team and now I’m excited and ready to go racing again!”
Sean Dylan Kelly #4 –
“To begin with, it was important for me this week to really take in that the dream has officially started. Being on track with the whole 2022 field was a huge contrast to my 2019 wildcard, I just felt like this is my spot now, I’m where I have to be.
It was definitely an action packed week with a whole lot of laps, where the objective was to just learn. It’s called ‘testing’ for a reason! The Moto2 bike is so different from what I’ve been racing for three years and because of how these Grand Prix chassis are, this stage was about riding the motorcycle differently and completely changing what I’ve been doing for those last three years.
The private test in Jerez was really helpful for me because it was a track that we already did some laps at in November and a track that I raced at in Rookies Cup. Come the end of that test we were able to focus a little more on the lap time where everything really connected well, so that was positive for me.
Truthfully, Portimao was a little bit of a different story. I have to take into account here that this is a track I have very little experience at with no information to have a reference with in Moto2 either. So the whole three days there was a big learning curve with a lot of information to process. I can’t say the lap time shows the potential whatsoever, as it was about what I learned and will be able to take into Qatar next week, which is what I am focusing on and leaving Europe positive heading into the racing season. I know that I’m here to learn, here to adapt, and absorb as much as I can until I get to where I know I can be!”
John Hopkins, Sporting Director –
“It ended up being a bitter-but definitely more-sweet pre-season test for us. We had a couple of mishaps, but I think so did a lot of people out there.
Cam was on the pace and showed his potential. Unfortunately he had a crash in Jerez, and he sat out of day two which is a bummer but prior to that, he was really strong at a track he struggled at last year. In Portimao, he developed a head cold which set him back a bit but otherwise it was very positive for him. Last year, he got more competitive towards the end of the year, so I think he’ll be up there with top five potential this year.
With Sean, Portugal ended up being more realistic in terms of expectations for us. He had two crashes where he lost the front end but it’s what I would expect him to do when he’s learning a new bike and going up against some of the best riders in the world. He’s got to know where the limits are and push them. Unfortunately for any rider, two back-to-back crashes dents your confidence a bit, but it was still a positive test as he was really closing the gap on the third day from where he started.
I’m looking forward to the season and I think Sean will be a very strong rookie and Cam has every opportunity to be a championship contender so I’m really looking forward to Qatar.”