Jake Gagne’s Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha YZF-R1 suffered an engine misfire on the sighting lap and warm-up lap. The defending MotoAmerica Superbike Champion pulled in after the warm-up and did not start the race.
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Petrucci Wins In MotoAmerica Debut
Former MotoGP Star Wins MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Series Opener At COTA
AUSTIN, TX (April 9, 2021) – Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci made an opening-day statement in the first round of the Auto Parts 4 Less MotoAmerica Championship with a maiden MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike victory in his series debut at the Circuit of The Americas.
The win was Petrucci’s first in the series as he matched Spaniard Toni Elias in becoming a MotoAmerica Superbike winner in his MotoAmerica debut. Like Elias, Petrucci’s first win came in front of the MotoGP paddock where he has spent the majority of his career as MotoAmerica is sharing the weekend in Texas with the Red Bull Grand Prix of the Americas.
The victory also marked the first MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike win for Ducati since Petrucci’s fellow Italian Lorenzo Zanetti won race two at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in October of 2020 for the Warhorse HSBK Ducati NYC team.
Still not physically fit with a laundry list of injuries from both the Dakar Rally and post-rally, Petrucci ended the first lap in fourth place, moved to second on the second lap and led the fourth lap after taking over from the fast-starting Mathew Scholtz on the Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.
From there, Petrucci maintained a lead that for much of the race was under a second as Scholtz refused to throw in the towel. At the finish line Petrucci’s margin of victory was 1.7 seconds over the South African.
Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Petersen was third, the South African racing without his teammate Jake Gagne as the defending MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Champion pulled on to pitlane on the warm-up lap after his Yamaha refused to run.
PJ Jacobsen made an impressive return to MotoAmerica racing with the New Yorker giving his new team Tytlers Cycle Racing a fourth-place finish in its MotoAmerica debut. Jacobsen topped his equally impressive teammate Hector Barbera by .693 of a second.
Sixth place went to Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis with the 2021 MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Champion three seconds behind Barbera and some 10 seconds clear of his teammate Richie Escalante, who was making his MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike debut.
ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony just a tick of a second ahead of Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Travis Wyman. Wyman’s teammate Corey Alexander rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Petrucci became the 63rd rider in history to win an AMA Superbike race. He is also the third Italian to win, joining Alessandro Gramigni and Zanetti. All three Italians won their races on Ducatis.
Danilo Petrucci – Winner
“For me, really the target was to be on the podium because these guys and also Jake (Gagne) are really, really fast. Especially since not generally 2022, but since generally 2021 that I’m racing. I did a MotoGP season then I went testing to Dakar. I broke my ankle. I went to Dakar. I did the Dakar, and I broke again the ankle, the collarbone, and the radius. I come back home, and I was really, really tired. I haven’t had the chance to have really a training. When I was better one month ago, I took my motocross bike and I crashed again, and I broke my ligament. I almost forgot how I can run. I feel like I got the legs of another man. But I am happy. I’m not physically fit, but I tried to stay there. I tried to push. In the first part of the track, I was really, really struggling. Then I tried to manage it. I was not thinking to push too much, but when I tried to really push my rear tire was really, really unstable. I tried to manage until the end because we have just a pair of days of testing in Europe, so for me the bike is completely new. It doesn’t fit so much with the Dunlop tires that are really, really good but they need a proper setup. For sure, I’m really, really happy to be here racing with these guys. The atmosphere is really, really nice. It’s true that coming to MotoAmerica is one of the best choices I have ever made.”
Mathew Scholtz – Second
“There were a couple parts of the track where he was quicker. There were a couple parts where I was quicker. So, it was just always going backwards and forwards. That’s really mentally draining. I think it was maybe six laps to go, 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 here 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 just going to be happy with taking a second and continue building from here.”
Cameron Petersen – Third
“Honestly, I’m not too happy. I should have been way closer to these guys. Just a couple mistakes in the race. Hitting a false neutral going into one, I think six laps into the race, kind of hurt me and I lost that tow to these guys. Honestly, once the tires ran out, I just really, really struggled to get the bike to turn. I’m pretty sure we all went through the same thing. Stoked to get the season started off with a podium. I always wanted to get on the podium here at COTA, so I can check that one off. Getting a race under our belt, I know what we need to work on tomorrow. Hopefully, we can close the gap to these guys and actually challenge for a win. I feel like that’s where we need to be. Can’t be back off behind these guys settling for third. Just go do our homework tonight and get to work and be ready for tomorrow and hopefully challenge these guys.”
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Scholtz Starts Season With Runner-Up Finish In MotoAmerica Superbike Race One At COTA
Austin, TX – April 9, 2022 – 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.
For all the action from COTA, as it happens, subscribe to MotoAmerica Live+, which is MotoAmerica’s live streaming and on-demand service.
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.
For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit http://www.WestbyRacing.com
Also, follow “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media sites.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Petersen Scores Podium Finish at MotoAmerica Superbike Opener
Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Petersen enjoyed a good first outing with the team, overcoming challenges to score a podium finish at today’s MotoAmerica Superbike opening round at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. Unfortunately, his teammate Jake Gagne was sidelined with a technical issue and did not start the race.
Petersen showed speed straight away and topped the timesheets in the first practice session. Unfortunately, a technical issue for both him and his teammate ended their second qualifying session early, and he ultimately qualified fourth. When the lights went green, the South African got a good start from the second row of the grid and quickly made his way to the runner-up spot. He was passed a lap later and worked to close back in on the frontrunners but had some grip issues after the halfway mark. He then managed his race to finish comfortably in third and stand on the podium in his debut race with the team.
Gagne’s fast time in the first qualifying session went unchallenged, putting the defending MotoAmerica Superbike on pole position for the first race of the season. Unfortunately, a technical issue had him withdraw from the race on the warm-up lap.
The Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team lines up again tomorrow for Race 2, on Sunday, April 10, at the Circuit of The Americas.
Richard Stanboli – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“It’s been a tough start to the weekend dealing with some gremlins that limited our track time, but Cameron recovered well and improved from his qualifying result to finish third. He had a little grip issue during the race, and we’ll work on that for a better Race 2. Unfortunately, Jake had a technical issue and did not start the race, but I’m sure we’ll find a solution for tomorrow’s race and get a win.”
Cam Petersen – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing
“The weekend started off really well. I had a really good pace on the first day, and then, unfortunately, we ran into some issues that limited our track time. I was still really confident going into the race, and I felt that I had the pace to challenge for the win. Halfway through the race, I started to close the gap on the lead guys, but I just used up too much of my tires. As soon as they went off, I had some chatter issues and had to settle for third. We’ll do our homework and go get them tomorrow.”
Jake Gagne – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing
“It’s been a weird start to the season with some gremlins to deal with and unfortunately in Race 1 today. We’re still in good shape in pole position and are ready to fight for the win tomorrow. The team and this bike are amazing, and we’ll claw our way back to the top.”
More, from a press release issued by Suzuki Motor USA:
PROMISING START FOR VISION WHEEL M4 ECSTAR SUZUKI IN TEXAS MOTOAMERICA OPENER
BREA, Calif., — Suzuki Motor USA and Team Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki opened the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike championship season in promising fashion at the Circuit of the Americas with its new-look premier-class lineup improving upon their qualifying positions to claim a pair of top-seven finishes.
Reigning Stock 1000 champion Jake Lewis led the way in Austin, Texas, in his return ride for the squad, piloting the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R to sixth place. The Kentuckian made an early move into fifth and then spent most of the race in a three-rider scrap for fourth position.
“It’s great to get a race under our belt,” Lewis said. “Obviously, I wanted to start the season a little bit better. It would have been nice to end up in that fourth position, but we struggled after mid-distance with a few little issues that I tried to ride around.
“Still, it’s nice to get a full race in to learn and build as a team with the bike. We’ll try to make some changes for the second race and do better tomorrow.”
Superbike rookie Richie Escalante finished one spot further back in his class debut. The Mexican stepped up to the liter-bike class weeks after the former MotoAmerica Supersport champ signed off from his former class with a top-five outing in the prestigious Daytona 200.
The Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki newcomer acquitted himself quite nicely on the powerful GSX-R1000R Superbike, charging his way up from an early tenth to take the checkered flag in seventh position.
“I’m super happy,” Escalante said. “I came into this weekend with no expectations except to learn. It’s a new category for me and I’m excited to ride in Superbike and with Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki. I finished the race and scored my first points in Superbike and that’s the first goal.
“There’s so much to learn. Everything is so different compared to Supersport. The bike is heavier and faster and a little more difficult to ride with variable engine braking. I’m still riding the bike like a 600 with a lot of corner speed. I’m learning how to pick the bike up faster. There’s so many little things that I need to improve on, but I’m happy with this first race; I’ll just keep working and I’m looking forward to the next one.”
Proven race winners and national champions, Lewis and Escalante aim to make huge strides as the season develops and as they grow more comfortable with their new equipment and team.
They each have a chance to do so Sunday, as the AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship will again share the spotlight with the MotoGP World Championship in an action-packed Sunday at the Circuit of the Americas.
ABOUT TEAM HAMMER
The 2022 season marks Team Hammer’s 42nd consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 128 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 332 times, and have won 11 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships (in Superbike and Supersport.) The team has also won 137 endurance races overall (including seven 24-hour races) and 13 Overall WERA National Endurance Championships with Suzuki motorcycles and holds the U.S. record for mileage covered in a 24-hour race. The team also competed in the televised 1990s Formula USA National Championship, famously running “Methanol Monster” GSX-R1100 Superbikes fueled by methanol, and won four F-USA Championships.
ABOUT VISION WHEEL
Founded in 1976, Vision Wheel is one of the nation’s leading providers of custom wheels for cars and trucks, and one of the first manufacturers of custom wheels and tires for ATVs, UTVs, and golf carts. Vision Wheel looks beyond the current trends and to the future in developing, manufacturing, and distributing its wheels. Vision’s lines of street, race, off-road, American Muscle, and Milanni wheels are distributed nationally and internationally through a trusted network of distributors. Vision Wheel also produces the Vision It AR app to allow users to see how their wheel of choice will look on their vehicle before purchase and installation. For more information on Vision Wheel, visit www.visionwheel.com.
Suzuki Motor USA, LLC. (SMO) distributes Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automotive Parts, Accessories, and ECSTAR Oils & Chemicals via an extensive dealer network throughout 49 states. Suzuki Motor Corporation (SMC), based in Hamamatsu, Japan, is a diversified worldwide manufacturer of Motorcycles, ATVs, Scooters, Automobiles, Outboard Motors, and related products. Founded in 1909 and incorporated in 1920, SMC has business relations with 201 countries/regions. For more information, visit www.suzuki.com.