Cameron Beaubier and Marcos Ramirez outperformed expectations in the Grand Prix of Portugal, delivering season-best performances for the American Racing Team at the third round of the FIM Moto2 World Championship.
Beaubier and Ramirez qualified 13th and 17th, in the middle of the 10-row starting grid, at the 15-turn, 2.85-mile Autódromo Internacional do Algarve. Team owner Eitan Butbul predicted a tough race for both riders.
By the fourth lap, Beaubier had worked his way to eighth. When two riders crashed in front of him, the 28-year-old Californian was relegated to 11th. Undeterred, he put on a charge to finish ninth, taking seven championship points.
MotoAmerica Supersport racer Sean Dylan Kelly traveled to Portugal as a possible stand in for Ramirez, who missed the first two rounds of the season with a shoulder injury. The 23-year-old Spaniard, however, determinedly participated in every session.
Nearly a third of the field didn’t complete all 23 laps, including prerace championship points leader Sam Lowes. Taking advantage of the attrition, Ramirez was 15th, earning one point. Red Bull KTM Ajo rider Raul Fernandez won the race, which was run in hot, dry conditions.
“I am pleased with the results today,” said Butbul. “Our goal was to be in the top 10, and Cameron managed to finish ninth.
“I also am very happy with Marcos’ finish. He suffered pain in his arm after five laps and struggled to the end of the race, but he managed a respectable 15th.”
After three of the 19 scheduled rounds, Beaubier is 12th in the championship points standings. Ramirez is 24th.
Round 4 of the FIM Moto2 World Championship, the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, is April 30-May 2.