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Apr 15, 2019

MotoAmerica Superbike: More From The Races At Circuit Of The Americas

Yoshimura Suzuki's Toni Elias (24) and Josh Herrin (2) in action at Circuit of The Americas. Photo by Brian J. Nelson.

Epic Weekend for Yoshimura Suzuki at COTA

The team wins both MotoAmerica Superbike races and Superpole

Austin, TX (April 15, 2019) -- You couldn’t have written a better script for Suzuki in the combined MotoGP/MotoAmerica weekend at the Circuit of the Americas. At the biggest motorcycle racing event in America, Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing came away with all of the first-place trophies, winning both MotoAmerica Superbike races as well as Superpole.

Icing on the cake came in the form of Suzuki also winning the MotoGP race, with Alex Rins, giving Suzuki a clean sweep of all races it participated in this weekend.

Toni Elias got the Texas party started by winning MotoAmerica Superpole aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. He then followed up with a thrilling victory in Superbike Race One on Saturday, with a last-lap, last-turn pass on rival Cameron Beaubier, bringing the crowd to their feet.

Then on Sunday’s Superbike Race Two it was Yoshimura Suzuki finishing 1-2, with newest team member Josh Herrin breaking through to score his first win of the season. Elias was second.

All of that winning added up to Elias extending his series lead to 13 points after four races in the 20-race series. Herrin rocketed up from ninth to third in the standings after collecting a huge cache of points in Sunday’s victory.

“It was just a great weekend for Yoshimura Suzuki,” said team president Don Sakakura. “It was good to see Josh to get his first win with the team, I’m certain more will come. And for Toni to win Saturday’s race and finish second Sunday, it’s just one of those weekends where everything came together with the performance of the bike and the riders.”

A roar came up from the crowd on Saturday with Elias’ daring pass in the final corner heading to the checkered flag. It marked his second win of the season, and his sixth victory in seven starts at COTA dating back to 2016.

“It is amazing, two wins and two seconds,” Elias said of his 2019 campaign so far. “Our consistency is good. Saturday’s race was one that was fun for the fans. Cameron [Beaubier] was so strong, but I was able to get back by him in the last corner and hold on to the victory. Today we finished second even though we had a minor issue, so I am happy with the results. We’ve added to our championship lead and you cannot ask for more. Overall a very good weekend.”

Herrin was incredibly excited to get his first win of 2019. It was a tremendous comeback from the troubles he experienced just a week ago at Road Atlanta.

“I didn’t expect it to feel this good,” Herrin said of Sunday’s victory. “I mean I have seven Superbike wins, but this one feels way different. I’m happy to get a win for Suzuki. We took two wins in MotoAmerica and the win in MotoGP, so it’s something super special.”

Yoshimura Suzuki heads back east to Virginia International Raceway for round three of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in Alton, Virginia, on May 4-5. You can watch the action on Fox Sports 2 and special behind-the-scenes views of the series on NBCSN. Check your local listings for showtimes.

More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:

At The Circuit Of The Americas, Westby Racing Superbike Rider Mathew Scholtz Finishes 7th and 13th In A Texas-Sized MotoAmerica Adventure

Austin, TX – April 15, 2019 – For Mathew Scholtz and his Westby Racing team, the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship of Texas at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas was a weekend adventure that they will not soon forget.

In Friday’s Superpole final qualifying session, Mathew put the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike in fifth position and on the second row of the starting grid. Early on Saturday, a massive storm replete with torrential rainfall, lightning, and high winds forced the cancellation of the morning’s free practice session, which prevented the team from fully testing the changes that they had made to the bike’s setup on Friday night.

In Saturday’s Superbike race one, Mathew felt that the setup he and the team chose on Friday night was a little bit off. Early in the race, he ran wide and slightly off the track, but he was able to quickly rejoin the race. However, a few turns later, he lowsided the bike and slid gently into the gravel. Quickly remounting his essentially undamaged Yamaha, Mathew got back underway and recovered to finish seventh, which was a very solid result considering how much worse things could have been if he hadn’t been able to continue on in the race after the crash.

After some more tweaks to the setup on Saturday night, Mathew recorded the fifth-fastest time in Sunday morning’s warmup session, which was encouraging for him and the team.

In Sunday’s race two, things were going well until MotoAmerica race officials inexplicably signaled to Mathew that he needed to come into the pits. He dutifully rode his gold-liveried Westby Racing Yamaha in for the team to check over, but they didn’t find anything wrong with the bike. The race officials agreed with the team’s assessment and cleared the bike to return to the race. By then, however, Mathew was a lap down, but he faithfully soldiered on despite the disappointing situation and salvaged as many championship points as he could, ultimately crossing the finish line in 13th place.

About the weekend at COTA, Westby Racing team manager Chuck Giacchetto said, “All in all, round two was a positive experience for us because we learned a lot and still left with valuable points, a tight program, and most importantly, a rider who is extremely motivated to take charge at our next round of the championship.

“As I look back on the efforts of other teams that have not garnered success when switching to advanced electronics packages, I have to say I’m extremely pleased with how fast Herschel has made the bike comfortable and compliant for Mathew. That’s not to say that it isn’t a huge team effort. All of our crewmembers contribute to the awesome package that Pop (team owner Tryg Westby) decided to move forward with in the offseason. The whole effort has matured to a new level that is positioned to accept new challenges ahead.

“I’d like to give a very special thanks to Ronald Kabella and Pat Riley of MOTOREX for joining us at the second round of the MotoAmerica series this weekend in Austin, Texas.”

Mathew and the team will regroup and come back strong for round three of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which takes place at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia, on May 4 through 5.

MotoAmerica Superbike Standings

1. Toni Elias – Suzuki – 90

2. Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha – 77

3. Josh Herrin – Yamaha – 49

4. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 45

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