MotoAmerica: More From The Races At Sonoma Raceway

MotoAmerica: More From The Races At Sonoma Raceway

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By Team Hammer:.


Team Hammer scored big at Sonoma Raceway on Sunday, leaving the Northern Californian circuit with first-, second-, and third-place MotoAmerica trophies to add to the squad’s extensive hardware collection.

Twins Cup pilots Alex Dumas and Joseph Blasius closed out the weekend in supreme fashion, producing a double podium in the final race of the weekend.

Dumas put the Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki SV650 on top of the podium following a 12.521-second blowout victory. The youngster appeared destined for a race-long scrap for the win, but his primary opponent developed a mechanical problem early and Dumas promptly set sail at the front.

Dumas now trails the Twins Cup championship lead by a single point. “I had so much fun,” he said. “I saw a puff of smoke from the bike in front of me and then saw him pull off track. I just took home the win, and I’m really happy.”

Blasius more than earned his first MotoAmerica podium by finishing third. He was forced off course by another rider while battling over second, and had to fight hard just to stay upright during his off-course excursion. Despite dropping to fifth place and several seconds back, he channeled his anger at the incident, transformed it into sheer speed, and ran the group back down.

He looked likely to deliver Team Hammer a 1-2 result, but his last-lap plans were foiled by an unfortunate run-in with a lapper who blocked him a few corners from the finish.

After the race Blasius said of his off-track detour, “The door was shut on me, and I had to brake check myself. He almost hit my front tire. I went all the way out by the Airfence and almost lost the front moto-crossing it out there. At that point, I just got really mad and started super-late-braking in every corner. Sure enough, I started catching back up, and was like, ‘I think I can do this!’

“Team Hammer gave me a great bike today. I’m so excited to be on the podium — I’ve been wanting this all year.”

Meanwhile, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong extended his MotoAmerica Supersport championship points lead with yet another strong, consistent, and smart ride. Just as on Saturday, the Californian sprinted out into an early lead before being passed for first approximately a third of the way in.

Fong refused to give in, throwing down the fastest lap of the race (1:38.512) aboard his GSX-R600 racebike on lap 11 of 19 while in pursuit. Ultimately, however, Fong thought better of it, and accepted second-place points since his chief title rival was several positions back.

The result was Fong’s ninth top-two finish of the season, and his seventh in succession, giving him a 20-point advantage with six races left to decide the 2019 MotoAmerica Supersport Championship.

“I’m really happy about how the weekend went,” Fong said. “We learned a lot, and I’m still building with the team. It was a good race today, but it was strange. This morning in the warm-up session, the track had superior grip, but then the temperatures went up and when I got out there for the race, I couldn’t do the times.

“When I was passed for the lead, I just tried to latch on. I actually felt like I was catching a little bit, but I was so on the limit it was too risky. I decided to think about the bigger picture and back it down to collect my points.”

Sean Dylan Kelly suffered a double-whammy as a result of Saturday’s opening-lap incident when he was punted off the track and hit a tire wall. To add to his Race 1 disappointment, Kelly was forced to start from the very back of the 25-rider grid, with Sunday’s start positions based on Saturday’s best times in the race. Since Kelly wasn’t able to complete a lap before being loaded in an ambulance and taken to the medical center, he found himself facing a steep climb in Race 2. He was fortunate to be able to start at all, after being transported to a local trauma center where a cut on his chin was stitched up and he was scanned and checked for internal injuries. Once treated and released, he passed a MotoAmerica concussion test at the track Sunday morning, was quick in the warm-up session, and gridded up for the race in last place.

Kelly made the most of the challenge, storming up through the field on his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600, matching the lap times of the leaders and fighting all the way up to sixth position, with a top-five finish in his sights when he took the checkered flag.

Superbike runner Jake Lewis closed out a weekend to forget with a second DNF. He again got an outstanding start aboard the team’s fire-breathing GSX-R1000R, holding down fourth position early.

However, the former Superbike Rookie of the Year crashed out of fourth while working lap three, leaving him to wonder what might have been if things had gone just a bit differently in Sonoma. “I got a really good start again and tried to hang on to the front three guys but crashed on lap three while giving it my all. It feels nice to be making progress with the team and actually get back up to competitive speed. I can’t wait for the next race!”

Team Hammer is now looking forward to the next round of the 2019 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship season, August 23-25 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex.

About Team Hammer

The 2019 season marks Team Hammer’s 39th consecutive year of operating as a professional road racing team. Racebikes built and fielded by Team Hammer have won 76 AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National races, have finished on AMA Pro and MotoAmerica National podiums 222 times and have won five AMA Pro National Championships, as well as two FIM South American Championships. The team has also won 135 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.

More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:

Westby Racing Rides An Emotional Roller Coaster At Sonoma Raceway, Culminating In A Podium Result And A Top-Four Finish For Superbike Rider Mathew Scholtz

(Above) Mathew Scholtz (11), Josh Herrin (2), and JD Beach (95) at speed at Sonoma Raceway. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Sonoma, CA – The MotoAmerica Championship of Sonoma was a two-day race weekend, but for the Westby Racing team, it felt like they experienced a week’s worth of emotions in those 48 hours.

On Saturday, the disappointment of Mathew Scholtz’s morning crash during qualifying practice was countered by the excitement of his triumphant podium finish aboard the team’s backup #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 in the afternoon’s Superbike race one. And, like déjà vu, Mathew unfortunately crashed the backup motorcycle in the Sunday morning warmup. The team went to work quickly and rebuilt the bike with a full three hours to spare before the afternoon’s Superbike race two.

Then, just like on Saturday, it all came good in the race as Mathew was vying for a repeat podium result. He ultimately finished fourth in the 22-lap feature event, but considering the crashfest that the two mornings at Sonoma Raceway were for the team, to end the weekend with a third- and a fourth-place result–and the Championship points that accompany those finishes, which moved Mathew from seventh in the points standings up to sixth–it was a productive weekend for the Westby Racing team. In fact, in both races, Mathew was the top-finishing non-factory rider.

Commenting on his Sunday, Mathew said, “First of all, I have to give a huge thanks to the team for getting the bike ready for today’s race after I had another crash this morning. I crashed both of our bikes this weekend, which resulted in a lot of extra work for the Westby boys, and I’m sorry to (team owner) Tryg (Westby) for ruining some very expensive parts. Even with the podium yesterday and the fourth-place finish in today’s race, it doesn’t feel like I made up for my mistakes. We were able to collect some points and move up a position in the Championship, which is good, but I wish I could have done even better. Sonoma is a tough track, and it caught a lot of riders out, but I’m not making excuses. I’ve got to put this weekend behind me and two better in the next round.”

After a week off, Mathew and the Westby Racing team will be back in action for round eight of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which will be take place at Pittsburgh International Race Complex on August 23rd through 25th in Wampum, Pennsylvania.

MotoAmerica Superbike Standings

1. Toni Elias – Suzuki – 296

2. Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha – 232

3. Garrett Gerloff – Yamaha – 226

6. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 139

For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit

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More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff Split Wins at Sonoma

(Above) Cameron Beaubier (1).

Cameron Beaubier and Garrett Gerloff scored a win each for the Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team at round seven of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Sonoma Raceway, on August 10-11.

In Saturday’s race one, Beaubier went for the holeshot from pole position, but found himself in second with Gerloff right behind in third. Track conditions on the 2.2-mile track in Northern California’s wine country were a bit tricky and caught many riders off-guard, including the reigning Superbike Champion, who lost the front in turn four on the third lap of the race.

Soon after, his Texan teammate took the lead and knocked down some fast, consistent laps to build a healthy gap. Gerloff went unchallenged to cross the line by more than 10 seconds, earning his second-career Superbike win in back-to-back races aboard the Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory YZF-R1.

Looking for some redemption at his home track, Beaubier got off on a much better foot in Sunday’s race two. The Californian got the holeshot he was looking for and led from start to finish to take his third victory of the season. A combination of his win and his title rival’s error in race two allowed Beaubier to gain back five points in his battle for the championship.

Now that he has the taste for it, Gerloff was looking to keep his winning streak alive. He was in third when the series points leader made an error and ended up on the ground. Gerloff then attempted to catch his teammate, but unfortunately his tire choice made it difficult to make a late race charge to the front. At the end of the day, the runner-up finish was a good points haul for the newly turned 24 year old, who sits third in the standings, 40-points adrift of the championship leader with three rounds remaining.

Up next on the schedule for the Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing team is round eight of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, August 23-25.

Tom Halverson

Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“It was a fantastic weekend. It was great seeing Garrett get his second win in a row, and in a really commanding way. It was an unfortunate day for Cameron, but today it all turned around for him as he took the win we expected him to get. In the end, we ended up gaining five points out of this weekend, so we’re still in the championship hunt. Being 1-2 on the podium today was fantastic, both guys rode great. I think our strategy was great, the team worked flawlessly, so overall it was a really strong weekend for us.”

Cameron Beaubier

Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team

“I was really bummed throwing it down only three laps into Saturday’s race. I feel like I was getting a little impatient. I was trying to get to the front because I felt like I had really good pace. After that race, I was just kind of thinking the championship was kind of out of reach. I just put that out of my mind and was just focused on trying to win some races and to take it race-by-race and do the best I can. Then everything kind of flip-flopped today. It was pretty crazy. We still have a lot of work to do in out of the championship, but we’re still in sniffing distance.

“All in all, I’m just really happy to leave Sonoma with a win. It feels really good. Like I said going into the weekend, I feel like we’ve been in kind of a little rut lately. We’ve been really fast in practice and qualifying but not when it counts in the race. We just haven’t been able to put good races together. It just feels good to stand on top of the box again and carry some good momentum going into Pittsburgh.”

Garrett Gerloff

Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team

“Race one, I felt really good going into it after qualifying and everything. I felt like we had a good bike and good pace. After a good start, riding right there with Toni and Cameron. I was looking forward to a good battle with everybody. Then, when Cameron crashed, I was like, ‘I knew that we had a little bit of pace on Toni.’ So I tried to make the pass as soon as I could. When I made the pass, I knew I could put my head down and maybe get a little bit of a gap. That’s luckily what happened. It was awesome to get that second win.

“I had a little bit of a problem in the first race with my front tire shredding, because I went with the softest compound. This morning I tried a little bit stiffer compound to try to have a little bit more life during the race, but the softer compound gave me the best feel. So we went back to the softest compound again for the race today knowing that there was a pretty high potential that it would shred again, even though the temperature was hotter. That’s what ended up happening. I’m disappointed about that, but at the end of the day, I can’t be too disappointed because the championship has kind of come back to us a little bit. I have felt really good the past two weekends. I’m ready to keep this kind of rhythm going the last few rounds.”

2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Sonoma Race One Results

1. Garrett Gerloff

2. Toni Elias

3. Mathew Scholtz

4. JD Beach

5. Jake Gagne

6. Max Flinders

7. Sam Verderico

DNF. Cameron Beaubier

2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Utah Race Two Results

1. Cameron Beaubier

2. Garrett Gerloff

3. Josh Herrin

4. Mathew Scholtz

5. JD Beach

6. Jake Gagne

7. Cameron Petersen

9. David Anthony

10. Sam Verderico

2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings

1. Toni Elias 266

2. Cameron Beaubier 232

3. Garrett Gerloff 226

4. JD Beach 159

5. Josh Herrin 148

6. Mathew Scholtz 139

7. Jake Lewis 121

8. Cameron Petersen 90

9. David Anthony 84

10. Jake Gagne 83

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