The first time’s a charm for Mathew Scholtz and the Westby Racing team at Brainerd International Raceway. In AMA-sanctioned Superbike racing’s first visit to Brainerd in nearly two decades, Mathew followed up his third-place result in Saturday’s race one with a runner-up finish in race two.
On Sunday, Mathew started on the front row and immediately got into a battle with Cam Petersen. Before long, Loris Baz also joined the fray. Mathew overtook Petersen, but then Baz aggressively overtook Mathew. Baz moved into second place while Mathew gave chase and overtook Baz on lap 11 of the 18-lap race. From there, Mathew held off Baz, and took the checkered flag in second behind race winner Jake Gagne.
“It’s nice to be up here on the podium. At Laguna Seca, it was nice to be on the podium there, too. Then, to come here and get two really good podiums, battling guys, and showing that I have the pace to be up here, it was awesome. I just need to work on the first couple laps because I’m struggling. I kind of suck in the first four or five laps. I have no feeling. I’m slipping and sliding everywhere. I feel like the front is just pushing. I think that Bobby (Fong) was following Jake (Gagne). He pulled away big time. Cameron (Petersen) passed me. I was struggling, and then (Loris) Baz passed me and I kind of thought, ‘This guy started in 10th, and he’s passing me. I’ve got to do something.’
“So, I started pushing a little bit harder than I should have. Took one or two chances, but then kind of settled into a decent rhythm from there. I could see when I was fighting Baz, there were a couple corners that I would catch him and there were a couple corners where he was pulling a gap. So, we were kind of going backwards and forwards a lot. Then, on one of the laps, out of corner six, we got a pretty decent drive and got within a bike length or two of Loris going into the carousel corner. He went a little bit wider than usual, so I kind of thought this was my chance and I dove up in there. In corner three, maybe corner six, 12, all the corners where you would normally think about passing someone, Loris was an absolute animal braking late. He would pull four or five bike lengths every single time. So, I knew that I had to figure out something somewhere else. I’m happy to be back up here in second place where we should be. I think, the last couple laps, I had the same pace as Jake. I just need to figure out those first couple laps and work on those two, three, four opening laps of just pushing.”
Ed Sullivan, Westby Racing Crew Chief, said:
“It’s been a really good weekend for the team. We steadied the ship at Laguna after a couple of tough events and improved the bike further over this weekend at Brainerd. Today’s race was hard-fought with Mathew struggling to find a rhythm in the early laps, but after a really good pass on Baz, he put in some fast laps under a lot of pressure and finished a strong second. We look forward to trying to close the gap to Gagne at Pitt Race in two weeks.”
Chuck Giacchetto, Westby Racing Team Manager, said:
“The weekend at BIR was very important for the team, and this was a fantastic way to start the second half of the season. I’m very proud of our team in all areas. The stage is set for the second act, and I’m pumped that I have a front-row seat. See you all at Pitt Race.”
Westby Racing’s Junior Cup rider Jack Roach had a learning weekend aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3. He followed up his eighth-place finish in Saturday’s race one with an 11th in Sunday’s race two. Even though the results were not what Jack was hoping for, on the bright side, he did move into the top 10 in the championship points standings.
Next up for Westby Racing is round seven of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania, on August 13 through 15.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Jake Gagne – Yamaha – 275
2. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 196
3. Cameron Petersen – Suzuki – 161
MotoAmerica Junior Cup Standings
1. Tyler Scott – KTM – 252
2. Benjamin Gloddy – Kawasaki – 236
3. Cody Wyman – Kawasaki – 173
10. Jack Roach – Yamaha – 57
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