The first race of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship got off to a great start for Mathew Scholtz and his Westby Racing team. Held on the world stage during this weekend’s Red Bull Grand Prix of The Americas at the Circuit of The Americas (COTA) in Austin, Texas. Mathew finished as runner-up in the 14-lap race.
Starting from second on the grid, Mathew immediately took the lead in the race, in part because polesitter Jake Gagne was unable to start due to a technical issue with his motorcycle. Pressing his advantage, The Scholtz kid maintained the race lead for the first three laps until he was ultimately overtaken by former MotoGP rider Danilo Petrucci, who is now racing in the MotoAmerica series. Mathew made a couple of runs at Danilo, but he just couldn’t overtake him, and he had to settle for the second step on the podium.
“There were a couple parts of the track where (Danilo) was quicker,” Mathew said. “There were a couple parts where I was quicker. So, it was just always going backwards and forwards. That’s mentally draining. I think it was maybe six laps to go, and I hit a false neutral going into corner 16 and lost it all. I tried to come back after that. I think I closed in slightly. It’s obviously the first race of 2022. So, I kind of know where I was losing time. There were a couple corners going onto the back straight and onto the front straight where I was spinning way too much and losing a ton of time. Through the infield section, I felt good. Just need to work on one or two things, and I think we’ll be able to maybe hold a couple 8’s and low 9’s for the second race tomorrow. Just a big thank you to the Westby Racing team. They’ve worked hard during the off-season and given me a bunch of new and better parts. We changed the whole bike with how the traction control works. First race, it kind of sucks that I was that close to the front, but I’m just going to be happy with taking a second and continue building from here.”
Westby Racing Team Manager Chuck Giacchetto commented, “For the 2022 season, everything is the same and everything is different. What remained the same is the Westby Racing team’s desire to push until the end. From what I saw today, that’s exactly what happened. I’m thrilled with Mathew’s performance as he undoubtedly left nothing on the table.
“As for what’s different, the 2022 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike is positively bristling with more refined parts to help us grow to yet another level of performance. Hard work by our technical team proved today that the fellas have used their existing assets and expanded their ability to make the Yamaha an even sharper weapon. Special thanks to everyone in the Westby Racing family and our supporters for helping us move forward as quickly as possible. See you tomorrow!”
Mathew and the team will make a few setup changes and go for the win in Sunday’s weekend-concluding Superbike race two, which starts at 3:45 p.m. CT.
Both Superbike races will be broadcast on Fox Sports 2 (FS2) this weekend, with race one airing tonight at 10 p.m. ET and race two airing on Sunday night also at 10 p.m. ET.
Check Out The Westby Racing Sponsor Showcase
Miami Thread, MOTOREX, and Yoshimura are the featured team sponsors on display in the Westby Racing paddock area this race weekend, so be sure to stop by to say hello and learn about some of the companies that support the team.