A Versatile Racer At Home On Dirt And Blacktop
J.D. Beach may very well be one of American motorcycle racing’s most versatile riders. He’s also one of its friendliest. We met JD during the AFT race weekend held at Senoia Raceway back in May, and chatted briefly with the affable racer between late afternoon race heats. Commenting about his love of motorcycle racing, JD quipped, “Dirt, track, motocross, you name it, I love riding and racing it all! I’m getting a little older, but as long as I’m still enjoy myself, I guess I’ll keep doing it.” And he does it well.
Road Dirt’s senior editor Rob with JD earlier this season, in the AFT paddock.
Born James Douglas Beach in October of 1991, the Snoqualmie, Washington native (now HQed in Philpot, Kentucky) has made quite the life of his passion for motorcycle racing. First gaining notoriety for clinching the 2008 Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup at the age of 17, JD jumped into the AMA Pro Supersport series (before MotoAmerica), winning the East Championship in 2010. JD raced in the AMA Superbike and Daytona Sportbike series from 2011-14, and in the first year of MotoAmerica taking over the American road racing series, JD snagged his first national championship in 2015, claiming the Supersport title. The following year JD would finish the season just shy of a 2nd consecutive title, ceding to teammate Garrett Gerloff by a mere 4 points. He would again ascend the points standings and take the Supersport title in 2018 aboard his Yamaha R6.
JD taking a win at VIR in May of 2019. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.
n 2019, JD stepped up a class and threw a leg over a Yamaha R1 to race in the MotoAmerica Superbike championship, even as he began to tap his toes in the dirt by accepting a ride with the Yamaha Estenson Racing team in the American Flat Track series. JD made news when he took a Super Twins Grand National Win at the Arizona TT, then a week later hopping on his Attack Yamaha R1 and taking a Superbike win at VIRginia International Raceway, something not achieved since Nicky Hayden did it in 2002.
JD at the famed Peoria TT. Photos by Steve & Karen Groth.
JD has since devoted himself to racing in the AFT series, taking wins, podiums, and nearly always in the top three contention, but has yet to claim a title. Still, flat track is his first love, as he once shared, “For me, when I was a kid that’s what I wanted to do- I wanted to be a dirt tracker. I wanted to win races, and I still do.” The fire still burns in his belly, no doubt.
JD took a coveted win at the famed Peoria TT back the end of July, and Steve & Karen Groth were there to catch the action on track, and some candid shots of the racer in the paddock. Beach climbed the podium at Black Hills and Castle Rock in the weeks that followed, taking 3rd in each of those hotly contested race weekends.
JD pushing Jared Mees at the AFT Castle Rock TT, and smiling as always in paddock. Photos by Geoff & Barb Nickless.
So when we learned that Beach would make an appearance back in the MotoAmerica Superbike series at PittRace August 19-20, we were thrilled with the news. JD would be riding for an injured Cameron Petersen on the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha R1, as Jake Gagne’s teammate. Flat tracker JD on a Superbike again. This would be fun to watch, and it was. The very weekend that Jake G would claim his 3rd Superbike National Championship, JD took a respectable 7th, 5th and 6th across the tri-race weekend. He still has the chops.
JD (#95) in the hunt with the frontrunners at PittRace.
JD is one of our favorite racers to follow and to talk with, and we at Road Dirt wish him all the best as this season on dirt and on pavement begins to wind down. May the fire and desire to race and win continue to carry JD to new heights.
Road Dirt Crew
For more on JD, check out his personal website here:
For MotoAmerica Road Racing news, click here:
For AFT news, click here:
*photos by Steve & Kathy Groth, Geoff & Barb Nickless, and Brian J. Nelson