Editorial Note: Mathew Scholtz did not start Race Two. He said that he, together with his Westby Racing team, decided that he should sit the race out so that his left wrist, injured in a crash on Saturday, could start to heal.
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Crashes, Petrucci Takes Over At Brainerd International Raceway
High Drama In MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Race Two In Minnesota
BRAINERD, MN (July 31, 2022) – Just when everything was rolling along nicely for Jake Gagne and he looked to be on his way to a ninth MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike win of the year, his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing YZF-R1 was cartwheeling down the racetrack at Brainerd International Raceway, destroying itself more and more with every bounce. Fortunately, Gagne escaped uninjured, but his championship points lead took a hit.
Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci was the rider to pick up the pieces when Gagne crashed, and the Italian reaped the rewards for it. With his fourth win of the season, and his first since Road Atlanta in April, Petrucci moves back to the top of the championship point standings, 253-240, with three rounds and six races remaining.
Petrucci and Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen did a better job of putting in quick laps early to keep the pressure on Gagne and, despite a mistake when he was within two seconds, Petrucci was keeping that pressure on when the defending champion crashed. Ironically, Petrucci said after the race that he was about to throw in the towel on trying to keep the pace on the very same lap that Gagne crashed.
With Gagne down and out, Petrucci finished 7.1 seconds ahead of Petersen with the South African earning his 11th podium of the year and his seventh in a row.
PJ Jacobsen matched his best finish of the year with his second podium of the season on the Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR, the New Yorker finishing third some 10 seconds behind Petersen.
Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim was fifth on his Suzuki GSX-R1000. 3.6 seconds ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Hector Barbera. Aftercare Hayes Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates continued his quietly impressive season with sixth at Brainerd, eight seconds ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis.
Cycle World/Octane/Chuckwalla Racing’s Andrew Lee put in a solid ride as the replacement for the injured Michael Gilbert to finish eighth.
Altus Motorsports Brandon Paasch and Triple M’s Jeremy Coffey rounded out the top 10 finishers.
In addition to Gagne, Max Flinders and Ezra Beaubier also crashed out of the race. Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, meanwhile, opted not to race with the wrist injury he suffered on Saturday morning.
Petrucci’s championship lead is now 13 points of Gagne, 253-240. Petersen is third with 215 points with Scholtz fourth on 183 points. Barbera remains fifth with 133 points.
Superbike Race 2
- Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
- Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
- Hector Barbera (BMW)
- Ashton Yates (BMW)
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
- Andrew Lee (Suzuki)
- Brandon Paasch (Suzuki)
- Jeremy Coffey (Suzuki)
Danilo Petrucci – Winner
“Yesterday was a tough one. I tried the first lap to stay as close as I can to Jake (Gagne), but I almost crashed, like in the practice. I was able to hold the bike but with my feet. I couldn’t turn here, and I ran wide in the corner later, so also Cam (Petersen) came past me. Then I was able to pass him again. I tried to push, but same mistake as yesterday. Hit the neutral on the penultimate corner and then Jake made a gap. Then I start to push. I said, ‘I have nothing to lose. I’m behind him in the championship, behind him in this race. So, I need to try.’ The moment I said, ‘okay, he went away again.’ Unfortunately, he crashed. I’m sorry for him. I hope he is okay. That’s racing. The championship is definitely still open. I must be true. Jake in this moment is a bit faster than us, but on the pace, I think he was a bit of tenths faster. Then we made a massive change on the bike from yesterday, and we didn’t have the chance to try this morning. As I told you, I have nothing to lose at this point. I never look at the points. I know Jake is faster, but I need to stay in front of him because we cannot make any calculation with him. He’s always first, and you need to beat him. Congrats to these guys and thanks to my team.”
Cameron Petersen – Second Place
“Yeah, it was a tough one today. It was for sure better in those first couple laps. I felt like both mine and Danilo’s (Petrucci) pace was a little bit better those first few laps. But I just didn’t have the same feel. I think on average I was almost a second a lap slower. After the tires went off, I think I was on average close to a second a lap slower than what I was doing yesterday. So, just a big struggle today. I hit a couple false neutrals going into turn nine, which kind of hurt me. Then I just started riding tight and just wasn’t riding like I was yesterday. So, pretty upset with the way I rode today. It’s nothing that the team did, nothing with the bike. It was just pretty much all on me. Congrats to Danilo on another win. Bummer my teammate crashed out on that one. He obviously had the gap and kind of seemed like he had it in the bag, but that’s racing. Looking forward to Pittsburgh. It should be good.”
PJ Jacobsen – Third Place
“We did some electronics with the chassis last night, so we made some improvements from yesterday. This is my first time here racing. The bike was working a lot better during the beginning of the race. I was able to stay with them for a few laps. And then I saw Cam (Petersen), but he had a different pace. I just tried to stay there and then I got into my own rhythm, and I was trying to just maintain what I could. So, that’s really all I could do today with the BMW. Hopefully, we can just keep on improving and maybe get some more help and stuff like that to get a better direction to get more towards the front. Once the tire kind of goes off, the BMW is very aggressive. It seems like it doesn’t like it. The thing is a monster to ride around. Just try to calm it down a little bit. This race today, it felt like the bike was a bit calmer for me, so it was easier to ride. We still have to make a lot of steps to be able to go in the direction of these guys to even stay more laps before we fall off and just keep making steps like that. That’s really the best we could do. I think the team is doing a good job for their first year in the series.”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:
Danilo Petrucci Regains Points Lead at Brainerd
Danilo Petrucci and Ducati lead the championship after Brainerd
Sunnyvale, Calif., July 31, 2022 – Sometimes you lose, sometimes you win, and for Danilo Petrucci and the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC team, it was certainly a case of the latter at Brainerd International Raceway.
The 2.5-mile Minnesota venue saw Petrucci suffer a fast crash in qualifying, regrouping to take second in race one behind Yamaha’s then-championship leader, Jake Gage.
But it was all turned on its side in race two as Gagne, who had built up a potential race-winning lead only to drop the factory Yamaha for another DNF. Petrucci thus swept through for his fourth race win of the 2022 Medallia MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and moved back into the title lead.
It’s now all the play with 150 potential points on offer and three rounds remaining in the series, starting in Pittsburgh in two weeks’ time.
2022 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
P1 – Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 253
P2 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 240
P3 – Cameron Petersen (Yamaha) 215
P4 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 183
P5 – Hector Barbera (BMW) 133
Danilo Petrucci (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC – #9): “It was a weekend of ups and downs,” said Petrucci. “Yesterday was one of the toughest days. We struggled a lot in the race because I crashed quite hard in qualifying and got a few injuries, but today, luck was on our side. Unfortunately, Jake (Gagne) crashed, and we could take the victory. We made a massive change yesterday on the front end, and the bike was working much better. Now we are leading the points, but we are not thinking about the championship. We must stay in front of Jake, or at least put as much pressure as possible on him. Thanks very much to my team.”
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Westby Racing Withdraws From Sunday’s Superbike Race At Brainerd
Brainerd, MN – July 31, 2022 – After Westby Racing’s Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz suffered injuries from two crashes at Brainerd International Raceway on Saturday and Sunday, the team made the difficult decision to withdraw from racing in Sunday’s Superbike race two.
Mathew crashed in Friday’s first practice session and bruised his shoulder. Undeterred, the team rebuilt the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike, and Mathew qualified fourth in the afternoon’s first qualifying session. On Saturday morning, however, he crashed again in final qualifying, and injured his wrist.
Mathew toughed it out in Saturday afternoon’s race one and was able to finish fourth, a solid effort given the circumstances. On Sunday, the team decided that they would withdraw from race two rather than risk Mathew exacerbating his injuries.
“It was a rough weekend for us,” Mathew said. “Definitely the worst race weekend I’ve had in my six years with the Westby team. The crashes and injuries definitely took a toll on me, and the team felt that it was time to call it a weekend and focus on the next round in Pittsburgh. I can’t deny that I still wanted to race, but I do understand the team’s decision. They always have my back.”
The Westby Racing team will regroup and be back in action for round eight of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which takes place at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania, on August 19 through 21.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Danilo Petrucci – Ducati – 253
2. Jake Gagne – Yamaha – 240
3. Cameron Petersen – Yamaha – 215
4. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 183
5. Hector Barbera – BMW – 133
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