First Moto2 top-five propels Cameron Beaubier into the final three rounds


Five-time AMA Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier knew that his move to MotoGP’s Moto2 division would be filled with learning experiences, but in the most recent round of the 2021 calendar at the Circuit of the Americas (COTA), he finally learned just how sweet those lessons can be.

Beaubier earned his first career Moto2 top-five in the Grand Prix of the Americas and then caught up with NBC Sports’ Leigh Diffey to discuss the season-to-date and what is expected in the final three rounds of the championship.

“Going into it, it was a pretty stressful weekend, but it was an amazing amazing weekend,” Beaubier said. “Obviously, racing overseas all year, being able to come back and race in front of the American fans and my friends and family; it was a pretty sweet weekend that’s for sure.”

Entering the race, Beaubier didn’t know what lay in front of him. In three practice sessions, he was seventh-quick twice and outside the top 10 in the other. Those seventh-place runs might have made him cautiously optimistic that he would earn a career-best result, after finishing eighth in Italy in Round 6, but racing in front of the home crowd can be both invigorating and stressful.

Beaubier finished a little more than five seconds behind race winner Raul Fernandez under warm Texas skies, dismounted his bike and turned to acknowledge the roar of the crowd.

“Just roll in after hot pit, being tired after that race and even – not only just hot pit, but around the track I was pretty amazed with the reception the crowd had for a good solid finish, a good solid top-five,” Beaubier said. “To roll in and see how pumped the crowd was and how pumped my team was, that was just the cherry on top of the weekend.”

Beaubier got off to a promising start to his rookie season of 2021. He earned his first top-10 in only his third race in Portugal. His second top-10 came three rounds later in Italy and then a third was added in Round 8 in Germany. Then they dried up. Beaubier’s next six efforts ended with two retirements and a best of 14th. His latest result before the GP of the Americas was a 21st at Misano.

That compounded the stress of returning home.

“I feel like (the top-five finish) definitely gave me a little a little boost of confidence going into the last few rounds,” Beaubier said. “I’m really looking forward to to getting back out to Misano. I’m actually here right now in Italy. Got here a couple days early to get reacclimated to the time. I just really want to finish the season strong. I felt like it was so good for myself and the team to get a good solid result run, and to run up with the front guys for a little bit.”

Cameron Beaubier leads after the start of the Moto2 race of the Italian Moto GP Grand Prix at the Mugello. (Getty Images)

His successful ride helped return him to a positive head space.

“Just so good for my for my head. Riding up with those guys and seeing what they do,” Beaubier said. “I’m not saying it was easy, but everyone kind of slotted into the rhythm and they weren’t making dumb passes or anything like that, like we do towards the middle of the pack – where you’re just fighting. You’re trying to move forward, but you’re passing, you’re getting passed. It’s just a nonstop battle every corner.

“On the flipside, I was kind of that guy at the beginning (of the COTA race). I was excited I was up front. I was kind of stuffing it in there and slowing the pace down just a hair at the beginning. After that, I settled down. I slotted in and it was really good for me to ride with those guys and see what they do on the bike.”

After Misano this week, it’s off to Portugal, where one of Beaubier’s four top-10s was earned.

Returning to a track on which he has laps could help him move into the top 15 in the standings. Currently, he lags behind Bo Bendsneyder by just two points.

“I just want to finish the season out strong and get this learning season behind me,” Beaubier said. “We’ve had some really really good moments, don’t get me wrong, not only my race at COTA. There’s been a handful of weekends that have been so tough, but rewarding where I’m like, ‘What am I doing here? Can I cut it here?’ On some new tracks and stuff like that. And then come Sunday (things improved). Like Mugello for instance. I was 28th in practice, qualifying 26th. I was just getting smoked all weekend and then come the race, I didn’t really feel like I’m doing anything different, but my times start coming and I rode myself into the top 10.

“There’s been some weekends like that, where you’re just beating your head against the wall and then you turn it around have a good result. And then there’s been other weekends where it’s going pretty good and you find yourself in the gravel trap.

And then there’s COTA weekends. So it’s been super up and down, but I feel like all the things I went through this year are definitely going to help me next year and moving on to the future. I’m looking forward to getting the season wrapped up and working on next year.”

2023 SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit: Chase Sexton narrowly leads Cooper Webb


For the fifth time in 10 rounds of the 2023 Monster Energy Supercross season, the three riders at the top of the championship standings shared a podium and while those points tell one story, the NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit tell a slightly different tale.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Detroit
Cooper Webb is peaking at the right time. – Feld Motor Sports

Chase Sexton has been all but perfect during the past 45 days with podium finishes in each of his heats and Triple Crown features. His only stumble during this period was a 10th-place finish in the Indianapolis Main. Last week, Sexton was perfect with wins in both his heat and the feature, although he needed a little help from an Aaron Plessinger mistake to take the top spot on the podium at the end of the night.

Cooper Webb finished fifth at Houston and was beginning to worry ever so slightly about his position in the points. Prior to the race in Tampa, he told NBC Sports that it was time to win and like Babe Ruth pointing to the outfield fence, Webb went out and captured it. Following that race, Webb has swept the podium and earned the red plate two weeks ago in Indianapolis. At Detroit, he added two more points on Eli Tomac as the season begins to wind down.

Tomac struggled with a stiff neck at Indianapolis and after a modest third-place showing in Detroit, he revealed he was still suffering a little. Webb and Sexton have been able to close the gap on Tomac in the past 45 days, but one of the main reasons he is so close in the points was a pair of wins that started the year. Seattle is going to be important for the defending champion because Tomac cannot afford to lose any more momentum with seven rounds remaining.

MORE: Chase Sexton inherits the win in Detroit

It appeared Jason Anderson was turning things around. He earned his fifth heat win at Detroit, which was also his sixth consecutive race (including features) in which he scored a top-five. A fall in the Detroit Main dropped him a lap off the pace and sent him home with a season-worst finish of ninth, causing a ripple effect in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings.

Justin Barcia was a huge part of the show last week in Detroit. He swapped positions with both Webb and Tomac in the middle stage of the race, which allowed Sexton to close the gap. Barcia finished fourth in that race to earn his third consecutive top-five. He’s been outside the top 10 only once in the first 10 rounds.

Adam Cianciarulo had a great start to the Main. He led a couple of laps before losing a lap and slipping back to eighth in the final rundown. That run was strong enough to elevate him three positions in the SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit.

450 Rankings

Driver Percentage
1. Chase Sexton
[2 Main, 6 Heat wins]
87.00 1 0
2. Cooper Webb
[2 Main, 1 Heat win]
86.71 2 0
3. Eli Tomac
[5 Main, 6 Heat wins]
84.57 3 0
4. Jason Anderson
[5 Heat wins]
80.71 4 0
5. Ken Roczen
[1 Main, 1 Heat win]
80.50 5 0
6. Justin Barcia
[1 Heat win]
79.07 7 1
7. Aaron Plessinger 77.14 6 -1
8. Adam Cianciarulo 69.75 11 3
9. Christian Craig 68.86 10 1
10. Justin Cooper 63.90 9 -1
11. Justin Hill 58.57 15 4
12. Dean Wilson 51.50 12 0
13. Colt Nichols 51.25 13 0
14. Shane McElrath 46.86 17 3
15. Josh Hill 46.79 16 1
16. Benny Bloss 45.31 18 2
17. Jared Lesher 39.00 NA
18. Joey Savatgy 38.63 14 -4
19. Cade Clason 37.50 21 2
20. Grant Harlan 35.54 23 3

Supercross 450 Points

The NBC SuperMotocross Power Rankings look at the past 90 days in the 250 class in order to have a balanced comparison between the East and West divisions and Hunter Lawrence has been all but perfect this year. At Detroit, he earned his fifth win of the season and kept alive a streak of podium finishes in six rounds. He tied his brother Jett Lawrence with 10 250 wins one week before the West riders take to the track for back-to-back races at Seattle, Washington and Glendale, Arizona.

SuperMotocross Power Rankings Detroit
Nate Thrasher is settling into a comfortable role as ‘best in class’. – Feld Motor Sports

The Lawrence brothers are dominating the points in each of their respective divisions, which means the remainder of the field is battling to be best in class.

In the East, that rider is Nate Thrasher, who beat Hunter in a head-to-head matchup in their heat only to finish second in the main when the majority of points were awarded. Thrasher seems to have accepted his position in the championship standings, but that doesn’t mean he won’t keep trying for wins.

Haiden Deegan showed a lot of aggression in his heat last week. He threw a couple of block passes at his teammate Jordon Smith and set up a series of events that kept Smith from making the big show while Deegan settled into second in the preliminary. Deegan was unconcerned about how he raced his teammate and would not let a little controversy keep him from celebrating his second career podium in Detroit.

Supercross 250 Points

Jeremy Martin just keeps clicking off solid results. He won his heat last week by making a pass on Deegan and Smith while they were in the heat of their battle. Martin finished fourth in the Main, which means he continues to have only one finish worse than sixth in any of the features or mains.

Smith fell one position in the points standings, but the damage was even worse in SuperMotocross Power Rankings after Detroit. Crash damage in his heat contributed to a last-place finish in that race, for which he earned minimal points. He was not able to advance from the Last Chance Qualifier after stalling his bike in heavy traffic.

250 Rankings

Rider Power
1. Hunter Lawrence – E
[5 Main, 5 Heat wins]
90.43 1 0
2. Jett Lawrence – W
[3 Main, 3 Heat wins]
90.30 2 0
3. Nate Thrasher – E
[1 Main, 3 Heat wins]
84.00 5 2
4. Cameron McAdoo – W
[1 Heat win]
79.80 9 5
5. Haiden Deegan – E
[1 Heat win]
78.21 7 2
6. Jeremy Martin – E
[2 Heat wins]
78.00 8 2
7. Jordon Smith – E
[3 Heat Wins]
76.77 4 -3
8. Levi Kitchen – W
[1 Main]
75.30 3 -5
9. Mitchell Oldenburg – W 75.20 11 2
10. RJ Hampshire – W
[4 Heat wins]
74.50 17 7
11. Max Anstie – E 74.43 6 -5
12. Tom Vialle – E 72.07 12 0
13. Max Vohland – W 71.56 10 -3
14. Stilez Robertson – W
[1 Heat win]
69.22 14 0
15. Chris Blose – E 67.43 18 3
16. Chance Hymas – E 67.10 15 -1
17. Enzo Lopes – W 66.00 20 3
18. Michael Mosiman – E 65.80 16 -2
19. Pierce Brown – W 65.78 13 -6
20. Phil Nicoletti – W 59.25 21 1

* The NBC Power Rankings assign 100 points to a Main event winner and 90 points for each Heat and Triple Crown win, (Triple Crown wins are included with heat wins below the rider’s name). The points decrement by a percentage equal to the number of riders in the field until the last place rider in each event receives five points. The Power Ranking is the average of these percentage points over the past 45 days for the 450 class and last 90 days for 250s (because of the split nature of their season).

POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 8 AT DAYTONA: Chase Sexton unseats Eli Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 7 AT ARLINGTON: Jason Anderson narrowly trails Tomac
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 6 AT OAKLAND: Perfect night keeps Tomac first
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 5 AT TAMPA: Sexton, Cooper Webb close in
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 4 AT HOUSTON: Tomac rebounds from A2 crash, retakes lead
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 3 AT ANAHEIM 2: Consistency makes Ken Roczen king
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 2 AT SAN DIEGO: Roczen moves up, Sexton falls
POWER RANKINGS AFTER WEEK 1 AT ANAHEIM 1: Tomac, Jett Lawrence gain an early advantage