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Jul 15, 2019

MotoAmerica: More From The Races At WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Mathew Scholtz (11). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Westby Racing Concludes Its Monterey Weekend With Mathew Scholtz Finishing Sixth In Sunday’s MotoAmerica Superbike Race

Monterey, CA – After unfortunately crashing out of Saturday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, the Westby Racing team came back strong on Sunday, with Mathew finishing sixth aboard the gold-liveried #11 Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike.

Starting from the middle of the second row on the grid, Mathew got off to a good start and set about moving towards the front. However, sometimes when dissimilar brands of tire rubber meet each other on a racing surface, chassis setup problems can be the result. And, with a World Superbike (WSBK) race occurring just prior to Sunday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race, Mathew and the team were left wondering if residual rubber left on the track from the Pirelli tires that are mandated by WSBK may have affected the setup of Mathew’s Dunlop-shod Yamaha.

With Mathew feeling a lack of confidence almost from the onset of Sunday’s 23-lap race, he took a cautious tack in order to avoid a repeat of Saturday’s crash and crossed the finish line safely in sixth.

“We learned from race one where we needed to improve the bike, and we made some changes for the morning warmup, which were positive,” Mathew said. “We saw the direction that we needed to go with the bike, and we did a little bit more before the race, and I think some of it was positive, but I wasn’t getting good feedback from the bike. I don’t know, maybe it was because the track surface wasn’t as hot or the Pirelli rubber on the track from the World Superbike races changed the way the bike felt, but I wasn’t feeling my usual confident self in the race, and the bike just didn’t feel right. I made a couple of mistakes in the opening laps and almost tossed it away so, with yesterday’s crash, I decided to take things easy. I’ve got to thank the Westby team. It’s been a difficult weekend for us, and they worked really hard to give me the best bike possible. Luckily, we’ll be staying through tomorrow for the trackday, and hopefully, we’ll be able to test one or two things for our next round at Sonoma. That track definitely suits our bike better, so I’ll use this break to train hard, and we’ll come back our strongest.

The Westby Racing team will get ready for round seven of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which will be a two-day event at Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California on August 10th and 11th.

MotoAmerica Superbike Standings

1. Toni Elias – Suzuki – 246

2. Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha – 207

3. Garrett Gerloff – Yamaha – 181

7. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 110

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More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Garrett Gerloff Gets His First Career Superbike Win

(Above) Garrett Gerloff (95).

The Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing team’s Garrett Gerloff finally checked that bucket list item off this weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca with his first career MotoAmerica Superbike win on Sunday, July 14. It was a solid weekend for the team as a whole with Gerloff and reigning Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier making podium appearances in both race one and race two.

It was almost a perfect weekend for Gerloff. The Texan took Superpole and got off to a great start in race one. He led the first lap, but it was an intense battle for the lead, and he ultimately took second at the end of the 23-lap race. His teammate Beaubier followed behind in third, his ninth podium of the season, and the fifth double podium for the team this season.

In race two, Gerloff didn’t waste time. He took the lead in the corkscrew on the first lap and knocked down fast laps to create an insurmountable lead while the others fought for podium positions behind him. That battle behind him was absolutely fever-pitched and went down to the wire. It was a frustrating battle for his teammate Beaubier, but being a multi-time champion, he kept fighting to the finish to try to finish ahead of his title rival. Although he fell short in third place, a pair of podiums was an important points haul going into Sonoma Raceway, a track where he has a history of being dominant.

Up next on the schedule for the Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing team is round seven of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Sonoma Raceway, August 10-11.

Tom Halverson

Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing Team Manager

“It was a really fantastic weekend for us here at Laguna Seca. We had the introduction of the new 2020 YZF-R1 and YZF-R1M, and to have a win as well as two double podiums is spectacular. Our entire team did an incredible job. Garrett took the Superpole on Saturday, which is awesome. He was fast here from the very beginning, and so was Cameron.

“In the first race, we had both guys on the podium. It was kind of frustrating that we couldn’t win because we had the pace. Then, in the second race, Garrett took his first Superbike win, which was an incredible feeling, I think, for the whole team. Garrett’s been right there for so long, and for him to get his first race here on the world stage was just fantastic. Congratulations to the whole team. Congratulations to Garrett. Both riders are super fired up to get to Sonoma.”

Garrett Gerloff

Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing

“It’s hard to put into words. It feels so good to get that first win because I’ve had a tough kind of year-and-a-half or so, and to finally do it, it just brings up a lot of emotions. It just feels so good.

“The weekend was perfect! Well, not perfect, but it feels that way right now. Getting the Superpole, that was really awesome. It’s something that I’ve always wanted to do here more than any other track, so I was really happy to be able to do that. From then on, the bike just felt really good, the R1. In the first race, I didn’t have the tire I felt like to be able to battle for the win, or to actually make the pass for the win, at the end of the race, but today everything felt perfect. Honestly, it was just kind of a perfect day. So I couldn’t be happier. Big thanks to the team and everybody who has been behind me. I’m ready to go on to the next one. I hate to have to wait a month.”

Cameron Beaubier

Monster Energy Yamalube Yamaha Factory Racing

“This weekend was a rough one. I was pretty confident going into the races. I felt really good in practice and had good pace, but in Saturday’s race that all went out the window. We did our homework and made some adjustments for Sunday’s race. I had a really good bike but got caught up in a battle for second and was unable to get up front early. All in all, two podiums is important for the championship. We will keep working and move forward!”

2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Laguna Seca Race One Results

1. Toni Elias

2. Garrett Gerloff

3. Cameron Beaubier

4. JD Beach

5. Jake Lewis

6. David Anthony

7. Cameron Petersen

8. Sam Vederico

9. Jeremy Coffey

10. Max Flinders

2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Laguna Seca Race Two Results

1. Garrett Gerloff

2. Toni Elias

3. Cameron Beaubier

4. Josh Herrin

5. JD Beach

6. Mathew Scholtz

7. Jake Gagne

8. Jake Lewis

9. Cameron Petersen

10. Jayson Uribe

2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings

1. Toni Elias 246

2. Cameron Beaubier 207

3. Garrett Gerloff 181

4. JD Beach 135

5. Josh Herrin 132

6. Jake Lewis 116

7. Mathew Scholtz 110

8. Cameron Petersen 81

9. David Anthony 76

10. Jake Gagne 62

More, from a press release issued by Suzuki:

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias Wins, Extends MotoAmerica Points Lead

A Victory in Race One and Runner Up in Race Two Pushes Lead to 39 Points

Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias celebrated a race one victory with his son.

(Above) Toni Elias (24), Josh Herrin (2), Cameron Beaubier (1), and JD Beach (95) during MotoAmerica Superbike Race Two. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Brea, CA (July 15, 2019) -- Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing’s Toni Elias had a highly successful weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca during the combined FIM Superbike World Championship/MotoAmerica event in picturesque Monterey, California.

Elias took victory aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 in Saturday’s race one. It marked his sixth win of the season. He then finished second in Sunday’s race, but most importantly he kept his closest series rival behind him in both races. That means Elias, who came into the weekend with a 26-point lead, leaves the Monterey Bay with a commanding 39-point lead in the MotoAmerica Superbike standings after six of 10 race weekends.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Josh Herrin crashed out of Saturday’s race while battling near the front, but came back strong Sunday, ran with the leaders most of the race, and finished fourth. It was his sixth top-five finish of the year.

Elias qualified third in Superpole, but in Saturday’s race got another of his patented great starts, and rocketed to the lead early. He was then involved in a fierce battle, which saw four riders officially lead laps, including Elias and Herrin. As the race progressed Elias gradually gained control of the race in the final laps and won by 0.778 seconds. He celebrated on the podium bringing up his infant son.

In race two Elias was locked in a great last-lap battle for second and came through with impeccable racecraft in the final turns leading up to the checkered flag.

“This was an incredible weekend,” Elias said. “We worked hard on setup and in Saturday’s race when I went out on the track I knew we hit it perfectly. I was so confident with the bike. I knew I was in a good position to win the race, even from the first lap. My team did an amazing job. My family is here. My son is here. It’s his first race ever for him.

“Then today Garrett (Gerloff) had a great race. I congratulate him for his first win. Finishing second was important for the championship. Of course I would like to win every race, but we are building a lead again and that’s all I can ask for. I am happy and excited about our progress, but I must stay calm. There are still many, many races to go.”

Herrin leaves Laguna Seca looking for better results in the upcoming rounds.

“I had a pretty serious crash on Saturday and thank goodness my Alpinestars airbag really saved me,” Herrin explained. “I didn’t feel a thing when I fell and that gives you confidence when you get up, that you can go out and ride hard again. On Sunday I had a pretty good race going. I was battling with Toni and Cameron (Beaubier). I lost them about three-quarters of the way through the race. I finished out with some good lap times, but couldn’t reel them in. I’m looking to Sonoma to have a good weekend from start to finish. Right now my hope is to get things figured out and have a strong finish to the year.”

Yoshimura Suzuki and the MotoAmerica Series next visit Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California, on August 10-11. The races are televised nationally on Fox Sports 2. Check your local listings for times.

More, from a press release issued by Attack Performance/Estenson Racing:

Beach Fights on for a Good Showing on Day Two at Laguna Seca

(Above) JD Beach (95). Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Five Superbike races in two days was automatically understood to be a difficult task. After mixed results on day one, a DNF due to a technical issue in World Superbike and a solid fourth-place finish in MotoAmerica, Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s JD Beach was looking to come out swinging on day two. Unfortunately, he got collected in a crash caused by another rider in Laguna Seca’s famous corkscrew during the 10-lap World Superbike Superpole race.

A bit beat up, Beach got the go-ahead from his team to sit out the race in order to focus on his national championship effort in MotoAmerica, but he chose to race the entire weekend as planned. He rode in a championship point-paying position for most of the race, but the gamble to go with a softer rear tire didn’t pay off, and he ultimately crossed the line 16th.

Shortly after, Beach lined up for MotoAmerica Superbike race two. The two-time Supersport Champion got off to a solid start and was right there in fifth, in touch with the lead pack for the whole race. In the final laps, Beach made his move to take fourth, but he had to settle for the top spot as a non-factory finisher.

Next up on the calendar for MotoAmerica is Sonoma Raceway on August 10-11, but before then, Beach will be strapping on his steel shoe for an American Flat Track doubleheader during the Sturgis Rally at the Buffalo Chip TT on August 4 and the Black Hills Half-Mile on August 6.

JD Beach -- MotoAmerica Superbike #95:

“In the World Superbike Superpole race, I felt like I was in a pretty good spot going up into the corkscrew. I braked like I normally would before I went to turn left to go into the corkscrew. The next thing I knew, I was flying off the track and went over the bars, which really sucked. I got my knee really good into the bars and kind of messed up my shoulder a bit.

“After the Superpole race, we were kind of on the fence about World Superbike race two. Since we weren’t really going for points there, I kind of thought about not doing it, but the team did a great job to get the bike back together quickly. Richard [Stanboli] and I talked about it. He said, ‘If you want to race, the bike is ready to go.’ I went back in the truck, and I had about 30 minutes to get dressed. I’m like, ‘You know what? This is what I’m here for. I signed up for it and we’re going to finish this race.’ I got my suit on and went back in the garage, and the team was actually a little surprised to see me. I was definitely beat up, but we were there to race. I got off to a decent start. I was running about 14th or so. I felt okay. I got passed by one person, so I went back to 15th. I was glad with that, because we’d still get a point. With about five or six laps to go, the rear tire dropped off a lot. We kind of gambled going with the soft tire, and it didn’t work, so we ended up 16th and missed that point, but it was good to get to finish the World Superbike race.

“I think it was good that I didn’t at least just sit around waiting for the MotoAmerica race. I was definitely sore, but I think if I had just sat around, it would have made it worse. I knew we had a great bike at the front. I got off to a really good start, but just kind of got stuck on the outside of a few people and got shuffled back to about sixth or so. I made my way back up and was fighting for the lead. Then Garrett got out front and broke away. I just kept battling throughout the race. Then it came down to me and Josh [Herrin]. I tried to pass him a couple times and I got by him once, but then he got back by me. We got into a lapper and Josh got enough of a gap in the last three or four laps that I couldn’t really do much. I just brought it home safe and. with how the day went and how I was feeling, I’m happy with that. I think we made a good improvement with the bike, so I’m really looking forward to Sonoma.”