American Racing’s Marcos Ramirez delivered an inspirational points-paying performance on Sunday at the Circuito de Jerez – Angel Nieto, which hosted Round 4 of the FIM Moto2 World Championship, the Grand Prix of Spain.
The 23-year-old Spaniard missed the first two rounds of the season in Qatar with a painful shoulder injury. Two weeks later in Portugal, he bravely finished 15th, earning his first championship point of the season.
After that race, Ramirez elected to have surgery on his right arm to reduce the effects of compartment syndrome.
“Together with the small discomforts in my shoulder,” he said, “it did not allow me to be 100%. I really want to fight.”
Teammate Cameron Beaubier faced his own challenges this weekend, including getting to know his new crew chief, Grand Prix veteran Stuart Shenton.
“This weekend started off rough,” said the 28-year-old Californian, who qualified 16th, two places behind Ramirez.
On Sunday, Ramirez leapt straight into the top 10 on the opening lap.
“Marcos had the best start since joining the team—really aggressive,” said American Racing Race Director John Hopkins. “He got loads of positions right at the beginning, so that was a huge step forward for him.”
Lapping consistently in the low-to-mid 1:42s, Ramirez spent most of the race in either 10th or 11th, where he finished.
“After the surgery,” said Ramirez, “I think this is a good result.”
Beaubier passed Ramirez near the end of the race to take over 11th. The five-time MotoAmerica Superbike champion made a mistake on his Triumph-powered Kalex and fell on the last lap.
“I was trying to line up a pass for the top 10,” said Beaubier. “I am pretty bummed, but I am glad I got another race distance under my belt.”
Hopkins is pleased with Beaubier’s progress this season.
“Cameron is looking a lot more comfortable,” he said. “He finally feels like the bike is his own. Coming from Superbike, he had to make so many changes—riding style, bike settings, everything.”
Gresini Moto2’s Fabio Di Giannantonio won the 23-lap race. KTM Ajo rider Remy Gardner leads the title chase. After four rounds, Beaubier is 14th in the championship points standings. Ramirez is 19th.
Round 5 of the FIM Moto2 World Championship, the French Grand Prix at the Le Mans Bugatti Grand Prix race circuit, is May 14-16.
“Marcos and Cameron are looking really strong,” said Hopkins. “I think both of them can be in the top 10 at Le Mans.”