The final day of MotoAmerica Superbikes at Pittsburgh was a very good one for Mathew Scholtz and his Westby Racing team. With a third-place finish on Saturday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (Pitt Race) already under their belts, Mathew and the team notched a fourth-place result earlier in the day on Sunday. Then, in a rare second Superbike race on Sunday, making it a total of three Superbike races for the weekend, Mathew delivered his best result of the event, which was a runner-up finish to cap things off at Pitt Race.
All told, that’s a total of eight podium appearances and five runner-up results in Mathew’s and the Westby Racing Team’s last six race weekends at Pitt Race.
Mathew started from the outside of the front row in both of Sunday’s races based on his qualifying result from Saturday morning.
In race two, he slotted in behind Jake Gagne on the opening lap He was overtaken by PJ Jacobsen and then Josh Herrin, which moved him into fourth where he doggedly held on to the position and withstood a strong challenge from Richie Escalante.
“The start wasn’t the greatest for me,” Mathew said about race two. “I kind of dropped down to fourth slightly, and I was just trying to hang onto Gagne, Jacobsen, and Herrin. I was struggling. I was losing a lot of time from the final corner to the first corner, and from wheelie hill to corner four. So, I was just basically going backwards and forwards. I was on the limit. I couldn’t go any faster.”
Following race two, the team made some critical adjustments to the setup on Mathew’s #11 Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike. He got a much better start in race three and slotted into second place in pretty short fashion. And, even though Herrin once again overtook him about halfway through the race, Mathew was able to get back around him and re-establish himself in second where he focused on chasing down Gagne in the lead. At the checkered flag, Mathew finished just a little more than a second and three-quarters behind Gagne.
About race three, Mathew commented, “We made a pretty decent change on the traction control just to help when I first crack the throttle open so that the bike doesn’t just want to spin as you first start to wind it on. I was definitely pushing the front more while on the gas, but it helped me to roll through the middle of the corner to keep up with the Ducati a little bit better. Early on in the race, I was struggling a little bit because I was on the absolute limit. I kept my confidence, though, and I managed to get past Josh with a couple laps to go and open up a small gap. So, I’m really happy with that. I’m happy with the changes that we made to the bike, and I think it’s going to work well for us at the next two tracks.”
Mathew’s third-, fourth-, and second-place results at Pitt Race have moved him back up to fifth place in the Championship standings with two rounds and four more races to go in the 2023 season.
The Westby Racing team will be back in action on September 8 through 10 at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, for round eight of the 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Jake Gagne – Yamaha – 337
2. Josh Herrin – Ducati – 236
3. PJ Jacobsen – BMW – 204
4. Cameron Beaubier – BMW – 203
5. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 184
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