Beaubier bounces back to claim career best Moto2 result 4th & 0.1s off the podium!
Lucrative Le Mans for the American Racing Team as Cameron Beaubier claims his career best Moto2 finish in 4th whilst rookie teammate Sean Dylan Kelly continues to improve to finish in 20th.
It was a steady start to the weekend for Cam as he struggled with bike setup throughout Friday running and looking set to fight his way through Q1, but a strong final practice session boosted the Californian up the combined timings and secured him a direct spot in Q2 and 17th on the grid.
Promoted to 16th after Sam Lowes was declared unfit, Cam made a lightening getaway to make up seven places and jump into 9th by the end of the first lap as he began his charge toward the podium places. Capitalising on crashes for Alonso Lopez, Albert Arenas, and Pedro Acosta, Cam placed himself into podium contention in 3rd position with Aron Canet firmly in his sights but Somkiat Chantra swarming all over his back wheel. With 12 laps remaining, a mistake for the 29-year-old allowed Chantra to sweep on through for 3rd before the Thai rider pushed Canet wide and opened the door for Cam to retake the place. The trio jostled for the remaining podium positions until the final lap with Cam narrowly missing out and ending the race with in 4th, his best race result to date.
Faced with another new circuit, Sean utilised the practice sessions to gather as much track time and data as he could ahead of Saturday’s qualifying. A crash in Q1 on his flying lap prevented Sean from improving on his first run time. He started Sunday’s race from 29th. Still aiming to gain as much track experience as possible, the 19-year-old rookie steadily made his way through the pack, making up nine places into 20th position as he attempted to close in on Alessandro Zaccone ahead. With only seven laps left, Sean pitted with a suspected mechanical issue but after a quick analysis and no issue to be found, he swiftly re-joined the race to see the chequered flag in 20th.
Cam Beaubier – #6
“I couldn’t ask for much more from today starting where we did. I felt really good on the bike and was able to work my way up. I was pretty comfortable sitting behind Canet until the last six laps or so, then I started having to ride on the ragged edge to stay with the struggling grip. A podium would have been amazing for the team, but I’m stoked with how I rode, and we will keep up the fight!”
Sean Dylan Kelly – #4
“Overall, it was definitely a tough weekend for me. It was another new track, and it was honestly quite nice to go there and learn. I really did enjoy the track, but I was struggling to get up to pace all weekend and we were chasing some things, but the good thing is I knew what I was having to work on throughout the track like some higher risk areas like corner entry that I need to pick up some pace on and keep on working. Overall, the race itself was pretty good at the beginning, I had a decent start and made up some positions and was fighting with some guys, but we immediately fell into some issues with the bike, and I had to pit because it was hard to ride. It turns out it wasn’t the problem that I thought, and we decided to tippy toe to the finish line. It wasn’t ideal but we made it to the flag once again after some clearly hard conditions which was obvious with so many riders going down. Overall, another weekend to take things from and I know what to work on and I’m looking forward to going to Mugello and make the most of it there.”
John Hopkins – Sporting Director
“As far as this weekend, I’m very happy that Cam has finally finished with a result that he’s deserved all season long. Had he been on the podium in the races where he should of, in my eyes, he would have definitely been second or third, but it was good that he just finished, he needed that for his head, the team and his confidence, and it was amazing. It was a tough weekend throughout, he felt like he couldn’t catch a break. Fortunately for the team, I’ve experienced that a lot throughout my career and I know the feeling, but I told him yesterday after ‘man, I can assure you, if you really, really believe and you ride like you know how to, you can finish in the top 5’ and sure enough he rode amazingly. He got a good start and pulled off a hell of a ride! To come back from that far and be fighting for a podium for pretty much the entire race, that’s a good job. I’m so pumped for him and more than confident that going into Mugello he can be on the podium. There’ll be plenty more times for him to be on the podium this season.
For Sean – it was a difficult weekend all around. It’s a tough one because he’s in the process of still having to learn the tracks, the bike, and he doesn’t have much time to do it. He’s had his confidence dented a bit from the start of the season and he’s still consistently trying to rebuild and get on track but it’s a tough class; they’re the best riders in the world who have been racing these bikes and these tracks for a long time, it was always going to be difficult. But it’s time to start knuckling down. Positively, we’ve nailed down some things this weekend that we need to work on – training wise – going into this next week before Mugello; things he can do off track that I think will make improvements and help him on track but we’re going to keep pushing and if there’s anyone that can do it, it’s Sean. I’ve never met a young man like him, with such determination and motivation. If there’s a rider out there that can do it and close that gap, I believe Sean is one of those guys. We’re going to keep pushing. Team’s looks good, we’re bright heading into Mugello. It’s a shame Cam could have been finishing inside the top 5 all year but that’s racing.”
More, from a press release issued by Italtrans Racing:
Great comeback race for Joe Roberts and Lorenzo Dalla Porta at Le Mans
The weekend of the French Grand Prix ends with a sweet taste for Italtrans Racing Team, with both riders author of a wonderful comeback race.
At Le Mans Circuit, that hosted the sixth round of the MotoGP World Championship, Joe Roberts and Lorenzo Dalla Porta finished in the points.
Setting his best qualifying session, Dalla Porta started 15th on the grid, but in the action of the first lap he lost positions. 25th at the end of lap 1, the Tuscan rider made a masterpiece comeback thanks to a consistent pace, finishing 12th once again in the points.
Positive race for Roberts too. Starting from P25 after a tough qualifying session, by the end of the first lap he had already recovered 10 positions and reached the top 15. He kept a steady pace all race long, finishing 7th. With the 9 points gained today, he is now 6th in the overall standings, 3 points behind the top five.
Now a little break before the awaited home Grand Prix at Mugello.
Lorenzo Dalla Porta #19
“I lost many positions in the action of the first lap. The pace was really good and I managed to make a good comeback, finishing close to the top ten. It was a shame because we could fight for the top five. We look forward to Mugello”.
Joe Roberts #16
“Tough weekend for us. I’m not sure why we didn’t have the speed this weekend but we’ll figure it out. Stoked we could salvage 7th from starting 25th”.
Franco Brugnara, Lorenzo Dalla Porta’s Crew Chief
“It’s a shame because Lorenzo could finish in the top ten. He kept a high pace throughout the race, making a good comeback. We hope to make up for it at Mugello”.
Giovanni Sandi, Joe Roberts’ Crew Chief
“Good race of Joe with a great comeback. There is still the regret of qualifying, because starting from a different position we would have finished in the top positions. However, he once again showed his qualities ending with good points for the standings”.