An unfortunate end to the Dutch Grand Prix for American Racing as Cameron Beaubier crashed out of the podium fight whilst Sean Dylan Kelly continued his learning curve to the end of the day in the 19th.
Cam made a strong start to the weekend, flourishing in the mixed conditions to bag himself a direct place into Q2 where he took 18th position ahead of Sunday’s race.
On race day, the Californian made a lightning start to make up eight positions into 10th place before sweeping past Joe Roberts and Jorge Navarro to move into eighth position. Cam continued to make progress through the field, setting the fastest time on two separate laps and moving onto the fringe of the podium places as he attempted to hunt down Jake Dixon and Ai Ogura ahead. Unfortunately, with only four laps to go, the 29-year-old lost the front going into turn one causing him to crash out of the race.
Sean faced yet another brand-new circuit before he headed into the summer break. After two bruising crashes during the weekend, the Florida native lined up in the 24th for the 24-lap race. A difficult start pushed the rookie down into the 25th in the early stages of the race but he quickly fought back to regain two positions. Battling against Niccolò Antonelli, the duo chopped and changed places through much of the race until the Italian’s race came to a premature end with only two laps remaining. Sean kept his head down to cross the finish line in 19th position.
Sean Dylan Kelly (4) at Assen. Photo courtesy American Racing Team.
Sean Dylan Kelly #4 –
“Overall, the race was quite difficult. The first few laps weren’t as smooth as I would have liked; I had a couple of saves and some moments with other riders where I almost went down so I lost touch with some of the riders I would have liked to be with a couple of spots ahead of me. Either way, I was still able to do a decent pace and fight in a group to finish 19th with a little fight at the end which is still in the right direction since Mugello. In general, now that the summer break comes, I need to look back on the last four races as a big step; we’ve been consistent and much better than the first five-six race weekends. I’m happy with the direction we’re in and even this weekend, I had a couple of crashes and did bing myself up but even like this, we were still able to do a decent job. Going into the summer break, I’m really positive and looking forward to continuing the work at Silverstone.
If I looked back to the pre-season tests, I have definitely struggled more than I even would have thought. I knew this was going to be tough, but I had some weekends that were very difficult for me. But I’m also extremely proud of the way I was able to get out of that because it felt like I was in a sand pit for many weekends so, for me to be able to get out of that and have people around to me able to do that, I’m really proud of that. I think the expectations are bullshit because, at the end of the day, it’s what are we living and what are we doing so I’m proud of what we’re doing right now and I know where I can be as well so that’s all that matters and I’m just going to keep working.”
Cameron Beaubier (6) at Assen. Photo courtesy American Racing Team.
Cameron Beaubier #6 –
“For the whole weekend, we weren’t too far off but this morning, Stu found something that really helped us, something we were a little off on previously and I felt awesome this morning. I think I was like P6 pretty comfortably and I felt optimistic going into the race and honestly, it was a fun race being able to come through the pack and pick guys off and chase down the front group. Once I caught them, I was able to take a little breath but as soon as I took a breath, I got passed back by a couple of guys! I was feeling pretty good but I got in a little hot to the final chicane and clipped Ogura a teeny bit and that created just enough room for Vietti to try and get me going into Turn One, I saw his front wheel there and tried to hold my position but I just lost the front which was a bummer with only four laps to go because once I caught the front group, I was really trying to bid my time for the last five laps to see what I could do to challenge for a podium because I was feeling really good. It is what it is. I’m taking the positives from that one because I rode really well and felt awesome on the bike.
This year, when everything is working; the bike’s working, I’m working, I feel like we can be competitive with the fastest guys in the class. I definitely feel like I’ve made a handful of mistakes when we could have had some good results and hadn’t really had the luck on our side like with Portugal and even COTA. It’s been kind of a frustrating start to the season, I was expecting a little bit more results-wise out of myself but we’ve definitely shown the speed, we’ve shown we can be just as fast as the top guys when everything’s clicking . I’m definitely ready for the summer break now. I’ve only been home a week out of the last five months and I’m ready to recharge the batteries.”
John Hopkins, Racing Director—
“As far as the weekend goes, it was utterly disappointing and devastating. Just because I truly feel that Cam should have 100% been on the podium today. He did an amazing job in the race. It wasn’t the best of weekends practice wise, but he always turns it around for the race. He had an amazing race, he had a good start, kept his head down and rode today as we’ve always known him to be able to ride and known him to ride. We saw the Cameron of the end of last season/beginning of this season again which was good, and he had every intention of finishing on the podium to finish off this half of the season on a high. Unfortunately, the mistake, it was no one’s fault, it was just a racing mistake, but it was just utterly disappointing because he had the pace to be on the podium or even better.
With Sean, we’re still making considerable steady progress. He had a mishap this morning but he’s making continual progress and he’s right around the area where I’d expect him to be at this point in the season. It took him a little bit longer than we expected to get to this point but he’s right on track and I think he’s in a good position mentally and physically, he’s doing the job and getting on with it and, more importantly, he’s confident that he can do it now which is good.
It’ll be nice for the boys to get a little rest now and come back recharged and get some more improvements going into the second half of the season.”