To win a motorcycle road racing championship, consistently finishing on the podium is critical. And, on Saturday at VIRginia International Raceway, Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz took another important step towards achieving his first MotoAmerica Superbike title when he finished second in Superbike race one. It wasn’t a win, but he and the team will take it, especially at this early point of the season when there are so many races left.
Starting from the front row, Mathew got a good jump off the line, and he immediately went to work and overtook Loris Baz, who started from second on the grid. Running his fastest circulation of the 14-turn, 2.25-mile natural road course on the second go-around of the 20-lap race, Mathew solidified his second-place position, which he maintained all the way to the checkered flag.
"Obviously, after winning in the first race, we were confident that we should be at least challenging Jake (Gagne) all the way through until the final lap,” Mathew said. “I just kind of feel like we have more to gain, and Jake is definitely stronger than us now. So, we just need to try and figure a couple things out. I was able to kind of follow him for the first four or five laps and already figured out where we could recover a couple of tenths and where I was catching him slightly. So, it’s not like we were miles off. We just have to fix one or two things and we should be challenging Jake. Overall, I’m happy to finish second and carry on as the championship leader. Everyone keeps talking about being championship leader, but it’s way too early on to be thinking about that. It’s always nice to be the one that you don’t have to risk everything at every single corner, every single lap. You can settle for those seconds sometimes. I know Jake is definitely coming. I know Josh Herrin, Cameron Petersen, (Loris) Baz, all those guys are picking up their pace. So just going to go back to where we were losing time and try to focus on getting a stronger pace towards the end and not worrying about being in front every single corner. I want to say thank you to my team. They’ve been great. Like I said, we need to maybe try and challenge Jake and get in front of him the first couple laps. He’s setting a really crazy pace, so just try to get it up the inside of him.”
Sunday’s Superbike race two is at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
In Saturday’s Junior Cup race, Jack Roach started from the front row after going third-fastest in final qualifying earlier in the day, but unfortunately, his bike developed a technical issue in the race, which forced him to retire on lap 8 of the 12-lap event.
“It was not the race we wanted,” Jack said. “But I’m starting on the front row in P3 again tomorrow, so that will be a big advantage and, for sure, you’ll definitely see me up front. Thank you to Shiloh (Salopek) and the whole N2 Racing team for working hard to get my bike race-ready for tomorrow. I can’t wait for race two.”
Junior Cup race two is at 2 p.m. ET and will be streamed on MotoAmerica Live+ as well as broadcast via tape-delay on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) this Tuesday, May 25, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
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