Following a transitional year in 2018 in which Julien Beaumer made the move to Suzuki and spent a significant amount of time recovering from a broken femur, he bounced back in 2019 and worked his way back into contention for podium spots in a fiercely competitive group of 85cc classes. The teenager out of Arizona put himself in an overall podium position at the Daytona RCSX, the JS7 Freestone Spring Championship, and the FMF California classic. He built up his speed throughout the season and achieved his personal best finish at Loretta Lynn’s, clinching 5th place overall in the 85cc (10-12) Limited class. Beaumer immediately advanced to the bigger bike and began competing in both Supermini 1 and 2, immediately grabbing gold at the AZ Open where he came away with a couple of championships. The Suzuki rider kept the ball rolling at Supercross Futures back in January, putting himself on the top step of the box a few more times. He’s recently started doing a little bit of training on the 250 although his main focus for Loretta’s this year is still in both of the Supermini classes. We had a conversation with Juju to get to know a little bit more about his career in jet ski racing, his transition to the bigger bike, and what he’s got planned for the end of the season.
What have you been up to lately during the quarantine?
Yeah, the first few weeks I was just riding like once or twice a week and the last month I've been out in Oklahoma training at Reynard's, trying to get away from everything and now I'm back home for a few weeks.
We noticed you were starting to train on the 250 out there at Reynard's. What was that step up like for you?
Yeah, it's awesome! I love the big bike but now I jumped back down to the supermini to get ready for Loretta's.
Did it take a little bit of adjusting going back down to the supermini and losing all of that power?
Yeah, my dad brought it up after the second week at Reynard's 'cause they posted that the Super Regionals were coming up, so he brought my supermini out for me to ride. Rob has a girl (Kyleigh Stallings) that trains there and stuff and the first day after our second session, Rob was like "I'm pretty sure she'd be faster than you if she was here today." I was struggling, it was a rough first day.
Were you surprised by the power of the 250 or is that something you're kind of used to from racing 900cc jet skis?
Uhh yeah, the first day on my 250, we got it from Dilan Schwartz and Bar X and all them, they brought it out to the sand track in Nuevo. That was my first day on it and I probably almost crashed a solid fifteen times on the first three laps. I'm riding one of the gnarliest sand tracks in California and it was my first day, I was like "Oh my..." I don't know if that was the best decision to go there for the first day (laughs).
What'd you do during all of the downtime you had when you were only riding once per week?
I was cycling and working in the gym just trying to keep myself in shape. Especially not being able to ride, I can't just sit at home so I had to do somethin'.
How did this whole coronavirus pandemic affect your schedule for jet ski racing? Have you missed a lot of racing?
Yeah, they postponed the Huntington race in the ocean and then postponed all of the races out here in Havasu. I wouldn't be able to race 'em anyways 'cause my new ski is being built right now and it should be done this week hopefully, so I wouldn't have been able to race anyways.
You get to travel to some pretty cool places around the world for some of those races.
Yeah, last year I went to Belgium and the year before I was in Thailand. In 2019, I was supposed to be in Thailand and I just decided to do Mini Os the whole week. If I did do Thailand, I'd have to leave after supercross 'cause I'd have to go home and get everything ready. It was weird, I'm not racing the junior classes anymore so I'd have to go into Thailand and race pro so it was a hard decision but I think it was a smart idea not to go to Thailand. I wasn't ready at all, I was livin' in California five days a week and comin' home for the weekend sometimes so I wasn't ready to go there and race pro anyways.
Have you raced on the professional level before or is that the next step for you?
I raced pro at World Finals but for me right now, with how everything is going in moto, this is gonna be like my last year trying to do good in jet skis with everything going on. Especially with next year moving up to the big bike full time and all that, I think it'll be a smart decision but I'll still have my skis to do training on and do small races.
Do you think racing jet skis is a helpful training tool for moto or do you think having to focus on competing in two sports at a high level puts you at a disadvantage?
Sometimes it could be a disadvantage for me trying to focus on being competitive in both 'cause I have to train on moto and then come back and train on the ski and all that. I think also that training on the ski is really good. In Thailand, the races are like eighteen minutes I think and those eighteen minutes are probably the hardest eighteen minutes of my life. Eighteen minutes on a jet ski is the hardest thing I've ever done. On dirt bikes, you can sit down in the corners and all that but on a stand-up, you're just bent over standing up the whole time. Training for World Finals was one of the hardest things I've ever done. My dad builds all of our skis now and right now he's building me a ProForce with a Seadoo RXT 260 and we're getting all custom made stuff for it right now. But I'm not one hundred percent sure if I'm gonna do Thailand this year, I'll probably do Mini Os again but World Finals I'll definitely do.
Where do they host the World Finals? Does it change every year?
Nah, it's in my hometown (Lake Havasu) every year so I know the water and all that so it should be fine.
What are some of the differences in the physicality and intensity of racing jet skis and motocross?
Yeah, I feel like I'm not as burnt at the end of a twenty-minute moto as I am at the end of an eighteen on a jet ski. On a dirt bike, you can rest on jumps and all that but right now in the pro class, I think the back straightaway is the only place we can rest and we're still going sixty-five to seventy miles per hour down it so we have to be focused at all times. In pro, now they're doing log jumps and we have to jump over three sets of tires, there is like a line of three tires that we have to jump so it's so hard now. I feel like after doing an eighteen on a jet ski I could come back and do a twenty-five or thirty on a moto bike; it's so much more demanding.
Are there any differences with your training while preparing for the two different disciplines or is it more or less the same?
On jet skis, I'll mainly just ride, but with how moto is going right now I'm cycling almost every day now anyways so even before jet ski racing I'm doing cycles every day and riding. It's pretty much the same now.
Going back to moto, you came away from Loretta's last year with your best career finish there, grabbing 5th overall in the 85cc (10-12) class. How was your week at the Ranch?
Yeah, it was just really a good recovery year for me since I broke my femur in 2018 and I was also switching to the Suzuki that year. My whole year was pretty good on it and by the time Loretta's came I felt like I was pretty ready. I think by the end of the motos, I was just lacking the endurance for like the last five minutes. In the Mini Sr class, I was running 2nd the whole first moto until the second to last lap and I was just destroyed. I pretty much just shut down my last two laps. But that was for sure my best week at Loretta's. No doubt. I've had a lot of years where I holeshot and then I crash in the second corner, so that was definitely my best year there for sure. I think I'm comin' in this year a lot better and a lot more prepared.
You got a couple of titles at the AZ Open last year to end the 2019 racing season. It had to be nice to go out on top in your home state and get your first championship in the Supermini classes.
Yeah, that was a really good week especially 'cause if I did go to Thailand I would've been there during that week. My dad was on the flight to Thailand and he bought the wifi to watch my motos at Mini Os. He was there for my first couple of outdoor races but the last two motos of outdoors were my worst motos 'cause he wasn't there. It was just weird for me not having him there.
Was that the first time you've raced where he wasn't at the track with you?
Yeah, the only other time I've ever raced without him was at the Cal Classic when I was on 65s and I was with my mom. He was in France for a wedding with my brother and I ended up breaking my wrist in the first morning practice.
Obviously you can't help but notice it when he's not on the gate with you, but was it hard to keep it out or your head while you were racing?
Yeah, once the gate dropped it would come into my mind on every jump. It definitely hurt me but I think for me it was good. And I was only on the supermini for three weeks before that race so we weren't really expecting much.
If you weren't racing in Thailand, why was your dad still flying there? How else is he involved with the jet ski racing industry?
He was a full factory Yamaha mechanic on jet skis since like 1990 and he came to Havasu in the U.S. with his rider on Yamaha at the time. That's really how he started here and then he met my mom here, so when I was born it was kind of jet skis and then he'd ridden dirt bikes in France when he was younger, so once he introduced me to that I never stopped. So my brother races the pro class now, too, so he had to go with him. My dad built my brother a turbo 1050 that goes way too fast for my brother to consume. When my dad first built that thing and they were doing testing at 6 in the morning on flat water to see the speed, he couldn't even stand up while doing it. He had to be on his knees 'cause it was so fast! Especially with Theo, that ski needs so much work every race so it was good. I had Brandon with me, one of my dad's best workers at his shop, and he was a really good help at AZ Open and Mini Os. He also worked with me at Loretta's so it was good.
The beginning of this season you did a couple of the Supercross Futures races, what was that experience like for you coming away with a couple of wins in the Supermini Futures class?
Yeah, those races are obviously a very good experience coming into Supercross in the next coming years, especially being able to get a feel for those stadiums and all that. It was good, I had been putting a lot of preparation in on the supercross track before that, knowing that the whole Monster Cup thing would be this year for me. We worked on supercross the first few weeks of the year to make sure I was ready for those races and then after Loretta's go right back to supercross to get ready for Monster Cup. I felt really good at both those races, adapting to those tracks quickly was probably one of the best things that I had done since I've been spending a lot of time on supercross tracks. Also having my starts dialed, I was able to pull holeshots and kind of just ride my own race. Ryder (DiFrancesco) was definitely going fast and we were runnin' about the same speed so it was good, good battles.
What're your thoughts on the Super Regional format for Loretta's this year?
It's sick in my opinion. I think it's going to be stacked for sure, there are going to be some gnarly Regionals with a lot of people at 'em. It should be good, I was honestly hoping it would go to the whole week deal. The week at Loretta's would be hectic and there would be too many people there, but I would've been happy that I'd have been able to ride supermini the first week and the 250 the next week.
You'd have been wiped out after that. The days are pretty long for the media as well, after two weeks you could find us face down in the creek (laughs).
Yeah, after the second week I'd probably not be feeling the best. (laughs) I'd be face down in the creek and then I wouldn't get out of bed the whole drive home. I'd definitely be sleeping the whole drive.
What's your mindset heading to Loretta's this year?
I'm going to qualify in both 250 B Limited and the 450 B Limited class 'cause we're still not one hundred percent sure what I'm going to be racing. I'm ninety-nine percent sure I'm going to be on the supermini, but it'll be nice to be able to figure out and see what it's like to be on the gate with everyone (in the B class), so that's gonna be good. My plan for Loretta's is definitely to just go there and give it my all. I'm going to train super hard these next two months until then and I'm hopin' for a title if I can not choke like I've done in past years. This year my mind is definitely a lot better than it was in past years and I think I'm definitely more ready this year, so it should be good.
What're you thinkin' after Loretta's moving into next year? Sounds like you're going straight into the B class.
Yeah, the plan was to ride Monster Cup but I think riding supercross with my size on the supermini, I don't know if it'll be a good decision. Especially with my size, I'm not going to be able to get a start at Monster Cup, especially with how big I'm going to be on it by then. After Loretta's, I'm going to go straight up to the 250 and just get ready for Mini Os.