In motorcycle road racing, riders feel more comfortable at certain racetracks, and motorcycles perform better at certain racetracks. Such is the case with the riders and motorcycles of Westby Racing.
Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz will be the first to tell you that, while he loves most everything about Road America—especially the fans—it is a track that has vexed him ever since he started racing in America in 2016. He’s had some very good results, like his second-place finish in Superbike race one last month. He’s also had his share of tipovers at Road America. On Sunday, Mathew finished fourth, one position better than the fifth he recorded on Saturday, to complete a decent weekend at “America’s National Park of Speed.” But, for him and the team, they hoped for better results.
Starting from fourth on the grid, Mathew battled with Kyle Wyman and Toni Elias. While going through Road America’s chicane on lap eight, Mathew saw an opportunity to pass Elias on the inside, and he made his move. The slight opening closed quickly, however, and Mathew’s and Toni’s bikes touched, which caused Toni to crash. Mathew continued on while Toni got back aboard his bike and re-joined the race.
Mathew said, “For Sunday’s race, we put in the old motor that we had from the previous round because the new motor wasn’t pulling as well out of the corners, and it was making the engine-braking a little bit worse, so we went back to what we knew worked well for us. Sunday morning warmup was pretty difficult because we only had 15 minutes with used tires, but the motor change definitely felt better to me. In the race, I didn’t get the best start, but it was alright. I got in behind Toni and Kyle and, even though I made one or two mistakes in the first couple of laps, I closed the gap to them. Toni’s and Kyle’s bikes are a little bit quicker than mine, but I made a move on Toni in the chicane. It was unfortunately one of those things. He was committed, and I had already committed to the pass. We touched and he crashed, which I obviously didn’t mean to happen. I tried to catch Kyle with a couple of laps to go, but there just wasn’t enough time for me. I think what happened to Toni was a racing incident, and I apologize for that. I didn’t want to touch him. The team knows where we went wrong with the other engine and where we need to focus on making the bike better. We’re just really looking forward to racing at Road Atlanta in a month’s time. With me being a bigger guy, it really suits my riding style a lot better. The team has been working really hard, and it’s just very unfortunate how this weekend went because we were expecting better things. The next couple of tracks, for us, should be pretty good.”
Junior Cup rider Cody Wyman finished seventh in Saturday’s race one, and he had high hopes for a better result in race two on Sunday. Unfortunately, the characteristics of the Yamaha YZF-R3 are not as suited to Road America’s 4.048-mile, 14-turn course as most of the other bikes in the class. The long straightaways are daunting, so Cody has to rely on corner speed to maintain his momentum.
On Sunday, he raced hard with a group of riders a little further back in the pack just as he did on Saturday, but he wasn’t able to gain an advantage over them and he finished ninth.
“It was a tough weekend for us,” Cody lamented. “I really wanted to finish in the top five and get out of Road America with strong finishes. Unfortunately, my qualifying position didn’t give me a very good starting position. The leaders got away early, and I got stuck in a battle for sixth. A couple of riders in the group got away from me on the run to the finish line, and I ended the weekend with a ninth to follow up my seventh on Saturday. It’s not what I wanted, but I’m glad to move on to round three and a racetrack that I really like. Big thanks to my team, family, and sponsors for helping me get me through these first two rounds. I’m looking forward to competing again under the Westby Racing Yamaha banner.”
Next up for Westby Racing is round three of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia, on July 31 through August 2.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
- Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha – 75
- Jake Gagne – Yamaha – 66
- Bobby Fong – Suzuki – 58
- Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 44
MotoAmerica Junior Cup Standings
- Dominic Doyle – Kawasaki – 95
- Rocco Landers – Kawasaki – 85
- Benjamin Gloddy – Kawasaki – 56
- Cody Wyman – Yamaha – 38
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