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|08-05-2015, 08:30 PM||#1|
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Cameron Beaubier may go to Yamaha factory WSBK team in 2016
Monster Energy Graves Yamaha's Cameron Beaubier has been reportedly on the short list for Yamaha's return to World Superbike with a factory team run by Crescent Racing and sponsored by Pata.
Cameron Beaubier is the most promising rider in America. The 22-year-old from California received the praise from none other than three-times world champion and President of MotoAmerica Wayne Rainey himself, and paddock chatter at Laguna Seca further backed it up, unveiling an ongoing negotiation to move to WSBK with Yamaha next year. The Japanese manufacturer is arguably close to seal a deal with Crescent Racing to field two factory-supported R1s in the world championship with Pata as the main sponsor, and has a few riders on its shopping list. Sylvain Guintoli is the top candidate, followed by Marco Melandri, but Yamaha is also keen on enlisting a young rider, and Beaubier is a particularly appealing prospect, given North America's importance in the sportbike market.
“I know Keith McCarty (Beaubier's team manager) is in negotiations with Yamaha,” Beaubier conceded. “I hope to find out more after this weekend, but right now I just want to focus on my job and race as fast as I can. It'd be fantastic to race with the R1 on the world stage though. I know the bike and, for the first time in my career, I'm contributing to its development. It's a honor to fill this role alongside Josh Hayes.”
On track, Beaubier has been battling head-to-head with his teammate throughout the season. According to Rainey, Hayes is highly underrated, but also feels that the 17-years-younger Beaubier should first dominate the American championship and only then move to the bigger stage. “Josh doesn't get the credit he deserves, but maybe what Wayne says is true,” Beaubier commented. “He's my hero, and I know he's looking out for all of us. It'd be difficult, as here we don't get to ride as much as they do. But honestly, sometimes you just got to go out and do it. If it doesn't happen, I'm more than happy to stay here.”
Beaubier already tried racing in Europe in 2006, when he was only 13. He first passed a selection to compete in the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup, then moved to the MotoGP Academy, and finally debuted in the 125cc world championship with KTM, teaming up with Marc Marquez. However, trying to make a name for himself as a teenager in Europe, far away from his home and family, turned out to be more difficult than he expected.
“It was tough,” Beaubier recounted. “I didn't know the tracks, and I was basically out there alone. Casey Stoner helped me out a bit, I even stayed at his place in Switzerland for a while, but honestly I wasn't mentally ready. I learned a lot, but maybe I jumped the gun a bit. If I had another year, I could have been faster, but who knows.”
Back at home, Beaubier progressively rebuilt his confidence and climbed the ranks of the U.S. championship. However, the curiosity still lingers within him and, after this weekend, more details may be clarified about his chances to have another crack at the world stage.
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