Julien “Juju” Beaumer’s amateur career has been fairly successful winning numerous titles including the 2022 Mini O’s Schoolboy 2 (12-17) B/C championship. He’s worked with great people and even had a chance to ride the Star Yamaha. He recently raced Supercross Futures at A2 on a Yamaha and impressed a lot of people. So much so that KTM signed him to Orange Brigade leading up to the Arlington round of Futures where he finished 3rd. Juju recently joined the MotoXpod Show to discuss the opportunity, riding at Star with Haiden Deegan, and much more. The interview was conducted by Jamie Guida, Scott Thomson, and Michael Lindsay.
For the full interview, check out EP261 of the MotoXpod Show ft | Benny Bloss, Daxton Bennick, and Juju Beaumer. If you're interested in the condensed written version, scroll down just a bit further.
Jamie Guida – Vital MX: Two Supercross Futures races down, one on a Yamaha, one for Orange Brigade. How did you feel about Arlington on the KTM?
Juju Beaumer: Yeah, it was really good. There were some unknowns on how I was going to feel on the bike with only a couple of hours on it. We weren't 100% sure if I was even going to race until probably Monday, the Monday of the of the race. We were still skeptical of where my speed was on the bike? I was feeling pretty good, so we decided we'll give it a go, get some racing time on it, and just try to learn. We’ll see where I'm at against those guys on a good rough track last weekend and improve from there.
Jamie: You qualified second and finished third. You had a little bit of a bad start and had to work through. You were definitely fast and looked comfortable, especially for just having a little bit of time on the thing.
Juju: Thank you. It was definitely, for me, different. Obviously, I only had a couple of days on the bike, and we were still working on suspension, trying to get me comfortable. It was definitely a hard learning experience to figure out the track in the Main Event. Especially the whoops, they were brutal. We were jumping around with suspension settings all day trying to find something that would work with that track because we were testing in California. When you come to a track like that, it's definitely a different ball game.
Michael Lindsay: It's a big adjustment to see you on Orange Brigade. It sounds like from talking to those guys, it's definitely a long-term commitment. They're really interested in bringing you all the way to the pro level. They definitely see something in you and want to explore that. Can you tell us what your past couple of years have been like as an amateur, what program you've been on, what it was like to get to this point? I'd heard a rumor about a potential Star test that you would participate in. Again, just to explain to people what your background is and where you've been before getting this opportunity with KTM.
Juju: Yeah, I jumped on a 250 pretty early. I was on one when I was 14 and that was when I was still with Suzuki in the amateurs. I was on that bike for a little bit and then I went to JMC Husqvarna. They helped me out for a little bit. I won a Loretta's title with them. Then I was with EBR last year. They helped me out a ton to get me through last year. We had some good results. I mean, Loretta's was pretty good despite a couple of crashes, a couple of little things on my end. I went to Mini O’s and was really good on the bike at the time and I was really happy with where I was at speed wise. I had a good first portion of Supercross and then I had a pretty big crash when (Krystian) Janick and I came together. That was a hard one to take because I felt like I was really good on the bike at the time. I was really contending for the titles that week. Then Star called me, I went there for two days. I rode with them, and they really just didn't have anything. They had a lot of guys, obviously. So, there was nothing really there. But they said with Haiden moving up, there's a potential opening if he does move up. I just I kept working. I switched trainers to Davi Millsaps. That was, I think, a big change for me. I needed a new environment, to be around new people. That was really what got me going right before Futures.
ML: When I used to see you locally on Suzuki and the JMC, I think you were working with Yannig (Karvella) at the time. I know he's very big on technique. He's worked with a lot of guys that have really great style on the bike. I feel like Davi maybe works more with intensity in certain things. Was that what was the big difference between the programs? What helped you the most as you're making this transition to really trying to show people what you can do on a Supercross track?
Juju: I was with Yannig for six years. I trained alongside Jo (Shimoda) for a while and then Jo moved. I was kind of there alone. I mean, I had Preston Boespflug who was training with me also. But I was getting faster on Supercross, and for me, I felt I was just kind of stuck at a spot. I was stuck in a certain place that I couldn't get out of, and I just needed to be around faster guys like Dean (Wilson), to have something to chase after and to push with. Davi’s also very tough and very, very hard on me. So, every day he's been really good. He always gets the best out of me every day, no matter if I'm having a hard day or not. He pushes me to be better every day. I feel like that was a big, big thing that I needed.
ML: After A2 qualifying, when you went out, you were number one on the board. I remember walking through the pits and all of a sudden, I'm hearing some of the mid-level teams, your name is just everywhere in the paddock that afternoon. How many phone calls did you get the next week? Did your phone start blowing up? Were you stoked with the amount of response you got from it?
Juju: Yeah, I was really stoked. Honestly, I was quite surprised with myself that day. I'd been pretty good at the practice track, but when I was at Star, (Haiden) Deegan was running three, four seconds faster than me every lap. So, where was I going to stack up? I had known Deegan was going to come and come in fast. Obviously, he's been training with those guys, and I saw his speed when I was there. So, I was honestly quite surprised. I really like those tracks where you have big rhythms out of the corners, big three in’s, big three on’s. I felt like the Anaheim 2 track suited me pretty well because you had those big lines that were fast. But I wasn't coming in there expecting to qualify like that. My speed at the practice track, I could do it multiple laps. I knew my fitness was there. I just didn't know where my speed was going to be once I was there. When I went out there, I saw P1 on the board and I came back into the pits, I was like, “Wow, that felt good”. I felt strong. I felt consistent. I felt smooth. I didn't feel like I was out of control. They said a lot of people were watching. You need to stay calm. You need to stay confident, and you need to not focus on all the stuff around you. So, I stayed in my motor home the rest of the day till the night show and just tried to listen to music, not focus on too much else. Just wait till after the race to really take it all in. To really think about what I want to do going forward. I was really comfortable on the bike I was on. When we got the call from KTM, we were just like, “We're in a really good spot right now with the Yamaha. Will we like the bike”? Obviously, it's a completely different frame, completely different chassis. Will I gel with the bike? The first day I got on the bike I felt right at home right away. All those guys over there were really helpful.
Scott Thompson – The MotoXpod Show: The point of SX Futures is experience. Did you have to change your mindset from most of your amateur career with having the gate drop and you hammer down?
Juju: Yeah, for sure. For me, Anaheim was really just to try to get a good result. When the gate dropped, I went back to the hammer down right away and obviously it cost me. I cased the triple on lap one when I shouldn't have jumped it and my bars folded. So, when we went to Arlington this week, it was solely to get through the first couple of laps, be smart, let's finish the race and let's build from here.
Jamie: How different was the Yamaha from the KTM? What specifically stands out?
Juju: What stood out to me the most was how good the KTM turned compared to the Yamaha. I felt like it's just so much more planted, especially on a drier, slicker track where you need to find as much traction and roll speed as possible. That's where it really excelled compared to the Yamaha. With the Yamaha on a flat track, I was really struggling to find a groove, and to get into a flow. When I hopped on the KTM, it was like a natural roll speed and the bike just worked well almost everywhere on the track. The power delivery is so good. I felt they also had a very good suspension setup right away when I got on it. That was definitely very good.
Jamie: How do you feel you are as a tester? Can you find things and feel the differences pretty easily and know where you want to go?
Juju: Yeah, I feel like I'm pretty good. I'm still learning quite a bit, but I've been down in Florida all this week and the tracks here are a lot different. I felt like that's taught me what I can feel and what I don't feel and what I like and what I don't like. Riding rough tracks, tracks with more ruts, it's definitely helped me learn the bike a lot more and know what I like and don't like.
Scott: At this point in your career, dedication is obviously one of the main things that you have to have to get where you want to go. Where do you find most of your motivation? Is it internal? Is it from your peers around you?
Juju: A lot of it is just thinking back to when I was younger and the dream I had of being a champion one day. I want to fulfill that dream and live that dream out and be a champion. A lot of it comes from that. Making sure I do everything every day to not leave any stone unturned and fulfill that dream.
ML: The Orange Brigade program is fairly wide reaching. They have a lot of kids between all three of the brands that they help to different levels. You and Preston Boespflug are more on an elite program. I think a lot of people look at the Orange Brigade program and they don't really know how it maps out to pro. I talked to Daniel Blair at Oakland about you. It seems their commitment to you is very long term. Can you give us a little bit of insight? What does the path look like for you now with KTM? What are your goals? What have they talked to you about in terms of where you go from doing Futures with them over the next couple of years?
Juju: Obviously, my goal is to move out of the Futures and go up to the factory team and race for them in the next coming years. We'll really see where I am at the end of this year. I may stay down and race “A” class again next year just to get a little more experience and a little more time to really mature and grow into pro. But we'll see at the end of this year, see how well I do. See how I do at Loretta's, the Combines, and the rest of the Future series. Even moving into offseason, see how much I improve when I get back on Supercross. See if the speed is there. If it is, maybe we decide to go pro. It'll really depend on where I'm at.
Jamie: I was doing some research before you came on and I read that you won a stand-up Jet Ski World Championship. Is that accurate?
Juju: Yeah, it is. Back in the 1990s, my dad was a factory mechanic in France for Yamaha, and they flew him into the US to work for their factory jet ski team. He was always around jet skis. He has a shop in Havasu as well. When I was two, he already had me riding jet skis and that stuff. So, it was natural to me. I felt like it definitely correlates to moto for sure. It's a good cross training. There's no sitting down, a lot of standing up, a lot of weight on the legs and the back. I heard there was a time where James (Stewart) was riding jet skis for training in his career too. I don't ride jet skis as much now because I'm focused on racing and becoming a champion in motocross. But I think I raced five or six world finals. I think seven world titles at the World Finals, and then I won a King's Cup championship in Thailand one year, too.