After racing this past weekend at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Georgia, the Westby Racing team is back in action this weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PittRace) in Pennsylvania.
The team’s Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz finished fifth in both races last year at PittRace, so he and the team came into the Keystone State with absolute determination to put the new 2020-spec #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 on the podium.
Saturday morning’s Superpole session was a clear harbinger of good things to come. Mathew negotiated PittRace’s 2.78-mile, 19-turn road course faster than he’d ever gone before, and he was the fastest Superbike rider in the paddock until four-time Superbike champ Cameron Beaubier barely nipped him as the session ended. Beaubier’s pole-winning lap time was only a little more than five one-hundredths of a second faster than Mathew.
Starting from the middle of the front row in the afternoon’s Superbike race one, Mathew rocketed off the line and slotted in behind polesitter Beaubier. He maintained second place throughout the entirety of the 17-lap race and kept Beaubier’s teammate Jake Gagne behind him in third despite the blistering race pace, a missing left knee puck that was torn off Mathew’s leathers during the race, and Gagne figuratively nipping at Mathew’s heels.
The second-place finish was Mathew’s second runner-up finish of the season and his fourth podium result out of seven races thus far.
Mathew commented about the missing knee puck and his race. “I’m not sure what happened,” he said. “Maybe lap four or five or six (when he lost the knee puck), somewhere about there, and for the next two or three laps, it was kind of worrying. I couldn’t really tell how much I was leaning over in the turns. The track was really difficult. Every time I started pushing on the front in the left turns, without the knee puck, I couldn’t lift myself back up if something happened. I was just really happy to manage it, keep it safe, and finish second.”
Sunday’s Superbike Race 2 is at 3 PM Eastern and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and Eurosport, as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
In Junior Cup race one, which was the final race on Saturday and was red-flagged and restarted because of a scary-looking crash involving multiple riders on the opening lap (thankfully, no serious injuries were sustained in the incident), Cody Wyman looked very stout and appeared to also be destined for a podium finish. Unfortunately, his #34 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R3 developed a technical issue that hampered his result.
“First off, it was unfortunate to see the incident early on,” Cody said. “I hope the riders involved have a fast recovery. I got a decent start, but I couldn’t roll with the leaders, so I settled into a battle for the final step on the podium. On some of the laps I could do trial runs and experiment with trying to lead the group to the finish line, or draft to the line, and I got beat every time, so I had to strategize something different. Then, the bike had a couple of issues shifting, and that hurt me on the last run up the hill. I tried to draft the group ahead, but I ended up sixth. I wanted to be on the box so badly, but it just didn’t work out. We’re going to try a couple of changes in the morning warmup that we hope will make the bike stronger. So, we’re definitely looking forward to having another go tomorrow.”
Sunday’s Junior Cup Race 2 is at 2 PM Eastern and will be broadcast via tape-delay on FS2 (check your local listings for FS2 airtimes), in addition to being live-streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
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