Three: a welcome crowd for America in 2022

Roberts and Beaubier are joined by 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Dylan Kelly in 2022, as the USA continue their Grand Prix revival

The 2022 Moto2™ World Championship campaign will see another fast and exciting American rider join established compatriots Joe Roberts (Italtrans Racing Team) and Cameron Beaubier (American Racing) on the grid – 2021 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion Sean Dylan Kelly (American Racing).

For three seasons and five races, Roberts was USA’s sole representative on the Grand Prix scene. A nation that boasts a rich history of World Champions – seven of them in the premier class – hasn’t witnessed a winner from their patch, in any class, since Ben Spies’ Dutch TT triumph in 2011. That’s too long for a country that was a pioneer in helping shape what we know as MotoGP™ into today. Eddie Lawson, Kenny Roberts, Freddie Spencer, Wayne Rainey, Kevin Schwantz, Kenny Roberts Jr, and Nicky Hayden have all won premier class titles. Now, thankfully, we’re starting to see where the next could be coming from.

It's good the weight of a nation doesn’t now only rest on Roberts’ shoulders. The USA now has three riders to cheer on throughout the season, and trackside when COTA hosts the Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas. For Roberts, the Grand Prix podium finisher had a trickier than expected season in 2021 after a promising 2020. A new challenge with Italtrans Racing didn’t bring a rostrum, but he came agonisingly close at the Portuguese and Italian GPs, while four other top 10s were achieved.


The Californian is coming into 2022 on a positive note though, knowing he’s one of the fastest riders on the grid when everything clicks. Moto2™ can be brutally unforgiving when all the pieces of the puzzle aren’t quite in the right place, and during winter testing, Roberts was working hard to ensure when Sundays come around, he’s got a chance of being up at the sharp end every weekend.

“Winter was good. I reflected a lot on 2021, but in a positive way. Looked at a lot of things from that season and feeling good about this season,” said Roberts, at the pre-season test in Portimao.

Joe Roberts, Italtrans Racing Team, Portimao Moto2™ & Moto3™ Official Test

“Overall just improving the pace, and trying to get the race pace to be quicker, that’s what wins races right?” Responded Roberts to what he’s looking at improving the most from last year. “We’re really focussing on that, working with the hard tyres here. Obviously we have to put in some softs at some point to see where we stack up in the qualifying type of runs, but yeah, my goal for this test is to create a really solid rhythm, it’s kind of a long winter. Work out all the cobwebs and get it going.”

Roberts was joined by fellow Californian Beaubier in 2021. Coming into Moto2™ is an extremely difficult task at the best of times, even more so when you’re coming from a completely different Championship. The five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion showed glimpses of fantastic speed in his rookie season despite the extra challenges though, most notably on home turf at COTA. Now, 2022 has the potential to be a huge sophomore season for Beaubier.  

“I’m really looking forward to it. Just getting to Qatar, it’s so refreshing coming to a track that I already know, and not worrying about what gear I need to be in and stuff like that,” said Beaubier in Portimao. “Also just coming back to Europe, knowing where I’m staying, I’m living just outside of Barcelona, and yeah just knowing what I’m getting myself into, so I’m really looking forward to the season. The team have been working hard, I had a really good offseason. Obviously the Moto2™ class is incredibly competitive every year, but I think we can definitely improve this year.”

Cameron Beaubier, American Racing, Portimao Moto2™ & Moto3™ Official Test

There’s now an all-American line-up at American Racing as Dylan Kelly enters the fray, linking up with Beaubier who made the same leap across the pond last season. Dylan Kelly won the MotoAmerica Supersport Championship by 95 points last season with Suzuki, as the 19-year-old comes into the Grand Prix paddock as one of America’s brightest prospects. 2022 will be a year of learning and adapting to the bike, circuits, surroundings and more for Dylan Kelly, but there’s no doubt he possesses plenty of pace and talent to be able to make a splash in Moto2™.

“Overall the chassis is day and night. A GP bike is built for racing and you can definitely feel a difference on how stiff the chassis is, but it goes hand in hand with the Triumph engine as well as the Dunlop tyres that are a little bit different here as well,” commented Dylan Kelly during the three-day test in Portugal.

“Honestly it’s something that I’m really enjoying a lot because you can really take this bike to the next level. It’s definitely a change to the Suzuki GSX-RR 600 that I was riding for three years but learning, understanding it step by step. It’s a fun bike that clearly built to race and it’s next level so we’re just enjoying every bit of it.”  

Sean Dylan Kelly, American Racing, Portimao Moto2™ & Moto3™ Official Test

It’s fantastic to welcome a third American talent to the grid in 2022 as riders from the United States begin to rise again in Grand Prix. Wayne Rainey and MotoAmerica are doing a terrific job, coupled with American Racing, to ensure the great American fanbase have fast riders to get behind in the World Championship. And, more importantly, American riders have a chance to make a name for themselves in the World Championship. 

How will all three American riders get on in 2022? You can watch them all go for glory, in every session, live and OnDemand, with MotoGP™ VideoPass. Roberts and Beaubier will be hunting podium success, while Dylan Kelly aims to learn as quick as possible and join his counterparts at the sharp end. 

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