Westby Racing’s Season Concludes With Canepa and Wyman Each Finishing Just Outside The Top Five
Monterey CA – October 26, 2020 – The 2020 MotoAmerica season reached its conclusion on Sunday at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with both Westby Racing riders finishing sixth in their respective races.
The team’s fill-in Superbike rider for the weekend, Niccolò Canepa, competed in two races aboard the #59 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 on the final day of the season. After finishing sixth in Saturday’s race one, the team made some setup changes to the bike, and Niccolò planned to alter his riding style to fully exploit the changes. Unfortunately, the morning warmup session was damp, so he was unable to evaluate whether the changes would have a positive effect.
Starting from seventh on the grid in Sunday morning’s still-damp race two, Niccolò rode admirably in the tricky track conditions and also while still getting accustomed to the Dunlop tires. He moved up quickly to sixth place, but he was unable to move any further forward, and sixth was where he finished while collecting valuable data for the team that they can put to good use in setting up the bike for Mathew Scholtz in the 2021 season.
Track conditions were much better for the start of Sunday afternoon’s race three, and Niccolò got a good jump off the line. The Italian moved up from his seventh-place starting position to sixth on lap three and maintained sixth all the way to the finish line to cap off a solid weekend for him and the team, with both enjoying having worked together for the very first time.
“In Sunday’s first race, the conditions were very tricky, but I felt immediately fast, and I was catching the podium places,” Niccolò said. “Unfortunately, we had a problem with the rear tire that slowed me down a lot. In the second race I improved my pace a lot, and the feeling with the bike was better. The result was not amazing, but I’m happy about the improvement we did during the weekend! Thanks to everyone at Westby Racing for the great work and for the great welcome they gave me. I felt immediately at home. I enjoyed every single moment, and I tried my best to give some good feedback to improve the R1. I wish all the best to the Westby team and to Mathew for the next season.”
Cody Wyman, who pilots the #34 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R3 in the Junior Cup class, began the day by making the decision to sit out the morning warmup session due to damp track conditions. His good judgement paid off because he avoided the melee that resulted when several riders crashed in the same spot on the slippery track.
He started Sunday afternoon’s race two from the third row on the grid and was determined to outrace and outmaneuver the group of riders that he usually has to contend with. And, after withstanding the challenge of riders shuffling back and forth for position, he moved up from eighth place on the penultimate lap and crossed the finish line successfully in sixth to complete his 2020 season.
“I’m glad I didn’t go out in morning warmup because it looked pretty sketchy,” commented Cody. “We didn’t get to try a new setup, though, and we made a bit of a gamble with the front end in the cooler conditions. I got a great start but got pinched off up the hill. Another rider slowed our pace and let a big group catch us. The last three laps were a six-rider battle, and I ended up on top. In the final corner of the season, I passed and parked the group and won the drag race for sixth. It felt good to win that battle for the last race of the year. Overall it was an amazing feeling to be back in the paddock and race in my first full MotoAmerica season. I can’t thank Tryg and Chuck enough for having this program this year and believing in me to race their R3. Now, it’s time to continue training and preparing for what we have in store for 2021!”
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More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Beaubier Seals MotoAmerica Dream Season with Laguna Seca Sweep
Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Beaubier was unbeatable at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca last weekend. The five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion scored two dominant victories yesterday in different race conditions at the season finale. Jake Gagne scored a pair of top-five results to secure a Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing 1-2 finish in the points standings.
The day started with some drama as rain before race two of the weekend’s triple-header created a wet but drying track. No matter the conditions, it was a repeat performance for Beaubier, the Californian launching from pole position to lead from start to finish, crossing the line over 10 seconds ahead of the competition for his 15th win of the season.
Teammate Gagne quickly worked his way into third after the start and claimed second on the next lap. He then found himself in a three-rider battle and was passed for third in Turn 5. After the halfway mark, he lost another position going into the corkscrew and maintained fourth to the finish.
In the final race of the season, Beaubier took his third holeshot of the weekend, continuing to set a blistering pace. On Lap 2, he bested his own qualifying time to build another comfortable gap upfront and then cruised to his 16th victory of the season, tying the season win record with his former teammate Josh Hayes. It was a perfect end to a dream season for the five-time premier class champ who added to his Superbike legacy in the U.S. before heading off to the Moto2 Championship next season.
The afternoon race looked like a repeat of Saturday’s race one for Gagne. He slotted in behind his teammate after the start but lost the runner-up position in Turn 2. It was another multi-rider battle for the final podium spots, but unfortunately for Gagne, he was unable to find his flow on the track and eventually finished fifth. Although not the result he was hoping for, Gagne secured the runner-up position in the championship behind his teammate to complete a superb season for the team.
Richard Stanboli – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“Today was another example of how well the team and Cameron have gelled to make the R1 unbeatable. His commitment to riding at such a high level allowed us to accelerate our development. He will be missed as he moves on to new challenges in the world championship.
“Securing first and second in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship is a testament to the R1 and our team to achieve such a result. Hats off to both riders for giving us such a great season. We will immediately go back to work to ensure that we bring the best machines for Jake and his new teammate in 2021.”
Cameron Beaubier – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“It was an emotional day, a bittersweet weekend. I was happy to get everything out of the way and get the announcement out about going to Moto2 and be able to let Yamaha know how thankful I was for these past nine years. There have been so many great moments, some great people. This past year has been one of the most fun years of my life. I’m happy to cap it off with three wins this weekend.”
Jake Gagne – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“It was another crazy day. We had some rain going into race one and made the change to a dry setup on the grid at the last minute. I got off to a good start but unfortunately was struggling with an unfamiliar setup and managed a fourth-place finish. Race two started well, but right away, I was just lacking in some areas on the track and getting the power where we wanted it. All in all, I’m really happy to finish second in the championship and want to give a massive thanks to the whole Attack Yamaha crew!”
More, from a press release issued by Jason Aguilar Racing:
Jason ends 2020 MotoAmerica season with another front running performance
Jason Aguilar ended his 2020 MotoAmerica Supersport season with another double points finish, fourth and eighth, round out a front running year in fourth overall in the final points classification.
The journey to even make the final round was eventful, but despite being on the backfoot from the off, the #96 Yamaha rider showed grit and determination to qualify eleventh, before two lightning starts in both races ensured he was in the mix for a decent haul of points once again.
Reflecting on a year that saw three podium finishes, Jason has earned himself a new nickname… ‘The King of Cuatro’ after amassing seven P4 results. He only failed to finish twice, an impressive statistic.
Jason Aguilar: “Honestly it was so crazy just trying to get here for the last round, I’m so happy to have made it. I got hurt at the last round so I wasn’t sure how I would be physically coming into this round. I had to rebuild the bike with not a ton of time from the last round. On top of that our truck broke down so we had to come up in a van rather than our normal truck and trailer setup. First qualifying went ok and I started to feel good on the bike and get the confidence back. My lap timer wasn’t working in second qualifying, so it was hard to judge my pace but all in all it wasn’t too bad. I did the best I could and got my times down to the 1m 28s which was only good enough for P11 and the fourth row. I wasn’t at my best following the Indy crash, but I was determined to give it my all and end the season on a high. I made a great start in Race 1 from eleventh to the top six and had a great run around the outside. I lost a couple of places and ran off track, but I kept my cool and was able to recover. We hit traffic on the last lap and I almost a position, but I was actually stoked to finish fourth after starting so far back. The final race of the year wasn’t too bad. We missed the warm up as it was wet, so my first time on track on Sunday was for the race which was a bit strange. It took me a couple of laps and then I started to find my rhythm. I made another good start, but I got boxed in a bit. The front of the bike felt weird from the start and after the race we found out that the stabilizer had broken. We took P8 and fourth overall in the final points standings. We learned a lot and I am super grateful to all my sponsors and to everyone who has supported me. We will take some time to relax and then start to focus on 2021. I’m not sure what we will do but I want to be back in the MotoAmerica paddock, that’s a no brainer!”