“Hopefully we can give them something to dream about”
Americans Joe Roberts, Cameron Beaubier and Sean Dylan Kelly talk Texas, progress and American riders in the World Championship
How are you feeling ahead of this weekend?
Joe Roberts: “Feels like we were just here, back in October. I’m so happy to be back. We only get to come to the US once and it’s always…the atmosphere is amazing, the fans that come out, the support we get it always surprises me, well, no, Americans fans are the best. At this track the expectations, to be honest the track doesn’t suit my style, I find it tricky and have never been happy with a result here. So, I think for me, it would be to come away with a great result. We haven’t had the start I was expecting but we seem to be getting on top of it, I just want to turn it around and put on a show for the fans.”
What do you think is coming together better now that will allow you to take that step and get a result on home turf?
Roberts: “Grip and the rear end. I haven’t had the traction. Tracks we’ve been going to demand a lot of grip and if you don’t have hooked up you’re kinda stuck. This track is more stop and go and we have a setting for that. I hope it helps.”
Even last year you were in the top five here. How are you feeling now with more experience?
Cameron Beaubier: “I feel good. Last year was an important step for me, for my confidence, knowing I can run with the top guys. This class is brutal it’s easy to get beat down. So it felt good to get a good result in front of the fans and receiving their support was special. Gives me the drive to be up there and looking forward to the weekend.”
Do the fans, family and friends make a big difference out on track?
Beaubier: “It really does. This track, in particular, is not my best track since MotoAmerica but just being here in front of the fans after travelling the world, just coming back and being able to race in front of friends and family gives me that extra little push.”
How excited are you to try the track out for the first time in Moto2™?
Sean Dylan Kelly: “Yeah, huge excitement level, hard for me to keep my already big smile looking normal! It was my first pre-event with Dorna and it was so exciting to be out with Aleix and Jorge Martin. It was important for me to live the dream, travelling, doing pre-events and even this press conference. I’m extremely excited to be here at COTA, it’s gonna be the first track that I really do know, I did a test here last year. Gonna use it to my full advantage and yeah I’m really excited to be here with the full American racing team, plus Joe, it’s gonna be good for everyone watching and supporting us.”
How does it feel to have more Americans on the grid?
Kelly: “I think it’s extremely important and it’s incredible to see where we are now to have 3 Americans in Moto2, only a few years back in 2017 there was no American in the World Championship. From my side, I’d like to say, that there’s a lot happening behind the scenes. The American team and the American Racing Academy with John Hopkins etc. have been doing a lot of work to get young Americans back on the stage. There are young ones in the works. It started with Joe. He made a big step and is doing well. Cameron as well, and now me. I’m the young one. These guys are old! It’s been growing, not only that, there’s a lot of brewing going on in the US, even in South Florida. We are trying to grow it. If you look back, the Americans were the best. So yeah it’s exciting to see. Just hoping we can get us three at the front. And best of luck to the little ones.”
Roberts: “I was thinking about what it means to me. When I was a kid it was so important to me to see US riders in MotoGP I think it was the number one motivating thing that made me want to do MotoGP. Seeing Colin, Ben, John. It made it seem possible to be there because MotoGP is a big show that is usually in Europe and it’s a long way to go for young Americans. It’s a big deal to have Americans here; it was lonely for a few years! It’s great honestly, great for the sport, great for kids and now we have NATC here and obviously what the American Racing Academy is doing. It’s really important and really happy that we are here racing in the US. We need to do more of it. F1 is doing it!”
How does it feel to have more Americans on the grid, and does you going from MotoAmerica help them, to now see you fighting in Moto2™?
Beaubier: “I think so. I came over to Europe under different circumstances. I came over older, after racing here as a kid, in Rookies Cup, JuniorGP and 125cc and I know personally how much that helped me, being a kid in Europe and growing up racing with the kids, well look at them now, how fast they are at such a young age. That’s what we are lacking in the States. We don’t know how fast some of those kids are in the Pre-Moto3 or JuniorGP stage. I think that’s what really great about the American Racing Academy taking young kids in and getting them to Europe at a young age because I feel like it’s hard to get your kid into Europe from racing here in the States. So American Racing is doing a great job. Hopefully us three can get upfront and represent the US well and give them something to dream about.”