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Dec 6, 2017

​MotoAmerica: Two-Time Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier Says He’s Looking Forward To Off-Season Testing

Cameron Beaubier (left) with Crew Chief Rick Hobbs (right) at Thunderhill Raceway Park. Photo by David Swarts, copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Copyright Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

By David Swarts

Two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier ended his 2017 season prematurely in August, when he saved a potential crash on his Monster Energy/Yamalube Yamaha YZF-R1 during a MotoAmerican Superbike race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex but suffered a dislocated right shoulder in the process. Beaubier had season-ending surgery a week later and sat out the final two rounds of the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which was won by Toni Elias.

Now, Beaubier says his shoulder has recovered and he is eager to start his off-season testing schedule this week at Thunderhill Raceway Park, in northern California.

“Yeah, I’m anxious for it,” Beaubier told Wednesday morning. “My shoulder has been getting better and better. I’ve been working hard in therapy back home and riding some bicycles and enjoying my off-season, hanging out with my family and friends, and stuff like that. But I’m anxious to get back on my Yamaha and see how [the shoulder] is.

“I’ve been riding some minibikes and some dirt bikes back at home. It’s been doing good so far. I’d say it’s 85-90%, but I don’t think I’m going to get that extra 10-15% until I’m actually riding and getting back into riding shape and stuff like that. So it will be a good test for my shoulder and it’s good to get back together with my guys and start working toward next year.”

Asked about the decision to have season-ending surgery, Beaubier said, “It was a tough call. [Problems with the shoulder] was something that I’ve dealt with probably the last eight years. Luckily, the last few years I didn’t have a problem with it, but it just kind of flared up again and came out. And it was a bummer because we had just made a late-season charge. Obviously, defending my title was a pretty far reach. Toni [Elias] was riding really good and he was being smart and all that. But I think that [having surgery] was the best decision I could have made instead of being in that same situation next year and have something happen again. I think I made a good decision.”

Asked what was on his agenda for the test this week at Thunderhill, Beaubier said, “We’ve got a decent amount of stuff to try, which I’m excited about. One, just getting me back up to speed and seeing how my shoulder is and working on my riding, just because it’s been a while.

“I’m actually pretty curious to try the changes that Josh Herrin made to the bike [when he rode in place of Beaubier at the final two rounds] and seeing how I like that. He changed the ergonomics and lowered the bike a little bit and had a different fork angle. I’m excited to try that, because it seemed like it worked for him and it’s just a different direction to go with the bike. I’m curious to see how I like that.”

Beaubier also said he was looking forward to working with former teammate turned rider coach Josh Hayes and his new teammate Garrett Gerloff.

“I feel like my relationship with Josh has always been a little different than a normal teammate relationship because our ages are so different,” Beaubier said with a laugh. “I’ve always looked up to him, and he’s never been afraid to help me even though we were racing against each other. So it’s going to be pretty cool to have him in our corner this year and kind of looking after us and looking for little things we can do differently here and there.

“And I’m real excited to have Garrett as my teammate. He’s really fast. He won a bunch of races last year and set some crazy lap times on a 600, and I think he’s going to be really fast on these things. Also, I think it’s going to be cool for both of us because we have probably more similar riding styles than Josh and I do. I think that might be good for the team to go in a different direction than we have in the past. That will be really cool. I’m looking forward to racing with him again.”

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