When opportunity comes knocking, it is a fool who does not open the door. That is especially true when the opportunity is as unique as the chance to race at a World Championship level event.
Given the chance to shine on the world stage, you have to take that shot. So when Cameron Beaubier was asked to replace the injured Sylvain Guintoli inside the Pata Yamaha team for the Donington round of World Superbikes, I cannot imagine that he hesitated for very long before jumping at the chance.
As commendable as Beaubier’s choice is, it comes with some considerable risk. Not just to the reputation of Beaubier himself, but also to the standing of American motorcycle racing in the world.
As arguably the best motorcycle racer in MotoAmerica, the US domestic championship, his performance will be weighed on a silver scale, and used as a yardstick for the standard of racing in the US. The hopes and dreams of many a young American racer may lie fallow if Beaubier falls short.
Is it fair that the weight of responsibility should fall so heavily on Beaubier’s shoulders? Absolutely not. Yet fair or not, that is what will happen.
The reasons for this lie in the historical strength of US racing, and the important role it has had in the history of both the MotoGP and World Superbike championships.