This weekend’s results are brought to you by Blud Lubricants – Racing Is In Our Blud!!!
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
An Even Dozen For Gagne In MotoAmerica Superbikes From Pitt Race
12 HONOS Superbike Wins In A Row For Jake Gagne
WAMPUM, PA (August 14, 2021) – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne continues his record-setting season of MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike racing as he made it an even dozen today at Pittsburgh International Race Complex with his 12th straight victory of the year.
As is the norm for the runaway championship points leader, Gagne hit the front from pole position, was never headed, and ended up crossing the finish line 11.3 seconds over second place.
“It went really smooth for me,” Gagne said. “I could tell there was a bit of drama behind me. There were those laps where my pit board would grow all of a sudden. After yesterday, we had a lot of weird weather and I think we all were kind of caught by surprise at how hot the track was. When these Dunlops get that hot, they almost don’t last quite as long as you think. I had a couple moments there. I was trying everything I could to try to break that gap. If I got off the first lap in first, I had to try to go because I know these guys are coming. I knew they were going to be close in the race, looking at times. I had just a couple tenths here and there, really, but come race time anything can change. So, I had to be ready for these guys to be right on my neck. But it was a smooth race. I saw, like I said, there was some drama behind me, and I could kind of just inch away a little bit. Half second here, half second there. But this is the type of track, even though I had a nice lead right there, not too far in the beginning, you can’t lollygag around. You can’t let up, because that’s when something bad happens, especially this place. It is tricky. It can catch you out. So, I just tried to keep my zone and focus and at the same time kind of try to think what we can do a little bit better tomorrow, because these boys are going to be coming. They don’t want to finish second or third. Hopefully, we’ll keep the progress going. Hats off to this team because Yamaha 1, 2, 3 is amazing. It shows how awesome these boys are rolling.”
It takes a lot for someone to overshadow 12 wins in a row, but on a sunny Saturday at Pitt Race, Toni Elias came pretty close to doing just that. In just his second race of the year and his first-ever outing on a Yamaha YZF-R1, Elias came off the couch to finish second on Josh Herrin’s Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha. Elias, who first threw his leg over the Yamaha on Friday, slotted in behind his temporary teammate Gagne and finished there.
“Honestly, I don’t know,” Elias said when asked how he did what he did. “It’s been a strange year because I really wanted to race this year since the first race, but I was fighting for an option. I put everything on the table to make it happen. In December, they said they didn’t want me, so I’ve been a little pissed off for months. At the end, Kyle Wyman gave me the opportunity to come back. I just wanted to have fun, to ride the bike, to ride in Laguna, and that motivates me. After that, I told my wife I want to race again. I’m angry. I need to fight again for wins and fight for the championship, but I need an opportunity. So, now arrive. The opportunity is here. Last year was difficult. Many people doubted about me. This is the confirmation I’m still competitive. I received this phone call from Attack Yamaha. I said yes in the second one. I didn’t ask for anything. Just yes, I want to come, I want to ride, I want to try it. It’s been amazing. I arrive here, I feel at home. The bike gave me a super good feeling. I felt safe. I felt I could push since lap one. This bike has a big potential. Just right now I’m not used to it yet. I think with more opportunities or more time I could be much better. I couldn’t think the first race I would be on the podium, so it’s amazing. I cannot ask for more. Congratulations to Jake. He is one step closer to close this championship. Thanks to the team. They treat me so good and all the sponsors who support me, my family during this time. Tomorrow we will have another one, enjoy, and that’s it. After this race, we will see. Josh Herrin will come back, so looking forward to the future. I want to continue racing. I’ll be ready.”
Elias ended up some three seconds ahead of Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz. The South African had survived a hectic first lap with nemesis Loris Baz, the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York-backed Frenchman slamming into Scholtz at least twice in the first handful of corners. Baz would come under attack from M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen straight away with France clashing with South Africa for a third time in three corners. On the third lap, Baz was gone after crashing out of third place.
From there, Petersen held the spot for a few laps before being passed by Scholtz, who would hold on to third for the rest of the race with Petersen finishing fourth.
“I got off to a pretty decent start,” Scholtz said. “I was behind Jake (Gagne). I was thinking about diving him, but in corner one the outside of the track comes up quickly. So, if you kind of over-try to slide there, you’ll end up running off. So, I was a little bit worried about that. I was going to try to maybe slipstream Jake and get him up into corner three, but Toni (Elias) passed us, and I had to check up slightly. I kind of just thought from there, let me tag onto these boys. They had a pretty decent pace. Going from corner three into corner four, (Loris) Baz T-boned me. We both lost time. Out of the seat going down into corner five again I broke so late. Got to the apex, knee on the floor. The guy just kind of T-boned me a little bit. Kind of shuffled me back. I kind of caught up to Cameron (Petersen) and chilled with him for a couple of laps then managed to pass Cam, I forget which corner. I could see Toni was a couple seconds up, and I really thought I was going to catch him, but it just seemed that if I pushed harder, I just kept on getting kicked out of the seat, almost losing the front. We have to go back and try to figure out why I wasn’t able to drop down to those practice times. Otherwise, I’m pretty happy to be back up here. It’s nice to obviously gain points in the championship over the guys in third, which is positive for us, but I’m not really too happy because we weren’t doing times that we should have, and it was just a difficult race. But overall, I’m taking the positives and looking forward to the second race.”
With Petersen fourth, fifth place went to a lonely Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera with the Spaniard 17.9 seconds behind Petersen and eight seconds ahead of Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman in sixth. FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ Bradley Ward was seventh and M4 ECSTAR Bobby Fong was eighth after starting the race on pit lane and finishing lap one in 26th place.
Ninth place went to Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis, the Kentuckian winning the Superbike Cup race in the process as the top finishing Stock 1000. Hayden Gillim, in his first Superbike race of the year on the Franklin Armory/Disrupt Racing Suzuki, was 10th overall and second in the Superbike Cup.
Gagne now has an even 300 points after his 12th win of the year and that puts him 88 points clear of Scholtz, 300-212. Petersen is third with 174 points, 25 more than Fong. The absent Josh Herrin, who is missing his second consecutive race weekend due to COVID-19, drops to fifth in the title chase.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha Racing:
Gagne Dominates at Pittsburgh for 12th-Straight MotoAmerica Superbike Victory
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne put on another masterclass performance to score a record-breaking 12th-consecutive MotoAmerica Superbike victory in Race 1 at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex. New stand-in teammate Toni Elias had a superb debut, taking second place in his first race outing on the R1.
The 2.8-mile track in Wampum, Pennsylvania, saw the story of the season continue to unfold as series leader Gagne took his seventh-straight pole position of 2021 and led every session of the weekend. The Colorado rider made a smooth getaway from the line, easing into a lead ahead of the fast-starting Elias. He then got into a groove and set the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2 with a 1:40.781. His teammate for the weekend kept him honest for the opening stint, but the points leader kept a cool head and lapped consistently quick times to cross the line with an 11.3-second margin. Gagne’s dominant victory stretched his and the series’ consecutive win record to 12 races and extended his lead in the championship to 88 points.
Taking over for Josh Herrin, who remains sidelined with Covid-19, Elias made an early impression by qualifying fourth and never finished a session outside of the top five. At lights out, the Spaniard made the best getaway of the grid, leaping into second and keeping Gagne on his toes for the first few laps. His teammate soon lost his shadow, leaving Elias to ease away from fellow Yamaha rider Mathew Scholtz back in third to bring home an impressive second-place result in his first race for the team.
The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team lines up tomorrow at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex for Race 2 of Round 7 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on Sunday, August 15.
Richard Stanboli – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“It has been an enjoyable weekend working with two great riders, Jake and Toni. Jake once again rode a flawless race, winning from the front, and Toni showed how easy it is to adapt to the Yamaha R1 quickly. He basically had one day to learn the bike and quickly understood what was needed to race at the front, and ultimately finished second. Tonight, we will look at the information and data we received to make the bikes better for tomorrow. We are looking forward to a repeat of our result.”
Jake Gagne – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“It was another great race! This R1 has worked really well all weekend, and I couldn’t be happier. I got off to a great start and just put my head down to click off the laps we wanted. Thanks again to the team, and we’ll try again tomorrow!”
Toni Elias – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“I’m just so happy to have the opportunity to ride with this team and on this bike that straight away put me on a podium. It wasn’t easy, and it was an intense race after some time without riding, but I could keep a decent pace. It’s a great feeling after some difficult times and people doubting me last year. Having more laps and the info that we got from Race 1 will help me for sure in Race 2. I’m looking forward to testing some new ideas tomorrow in the morning warmup to continue improving. Thanks again to the whole team for a great job!”
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Scholtz Notches Superbike Podium Number Nine, While Teammate Roach Is Seventh In Junior Cup, At Pitt Race
Wampum, PA – August 14, 2021 – Westby Racing’s Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz is making quite a habit of standing on the podium during the 2021 MotoAmerica Championship. On Saturday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Mathew recorded not only his ninth podium result of the season, but it was also his fifth top-three finish in a row. What’s more, he has only finished outside the top five in one of the 13th races thus far. That’s consistency.
Saturday’s third-place finish was also the result of toughness and determination as Mathew withstood the physicality of fighting for track position. Undeterred by the incidents, Mathew stayed in the race, maintained his position, and completed an all-Yamaha podium.
“I got off to a pretty decent start,” Mathew said. “I was behind Jake (Gagne). I was thinking about diving him, but in corner one the outside of the track comes up quickly. So, if you kind of over-try to slide there, you’ll end up running off. So, I was a little bit worried about that. I was going to try to maybe slipstream Jake and get him up into corner three, but Toni (Elias) passed us, and I had to check up slightly. I kind of just thought from there, let me tag onto these boys. They had a pretty decent pace. Going from corner three into corner four, (Loris) Baz T-boned me. We both lost time. Out of the seat going down into corner five again I broke so late. Got to the apex, knee on the floor. The guy just kind of T-boned me a little bit. Kind of shuffled me back. I kind of caught up to Cameron (Petersen) and chilled with him for a couple of laps then managed to pass Cam, I forget which corner. I could see Toni was a couple seconds up, and I really thought I was going to catch him, but it just seemed that if I pushed harder, I just kept on getting kicked out of the seat, almost losing the front. We have to go back and try to figure out why I wasn’t able to drop down to those practice times.
“Otherwise, I’m pretty happy to be back up here. It’s nice to obviously gain points in the championship over the guys in third, which is positive for us, but I’m not really too happy because we weren’t doing the lap times that we should have been, and it was just a difficult race. But overall, I’m taking the positives and looking forward to the second race.”
Ed Sullivan, Westby Racing Crew Chief said, “While today’s race was a bit disappointing, especially considering how close we were during practice and qualifying, we have to look at the big picture and take the positives. We were on the box, and we scored solid points in the championship. We have work to do tonight, but I am confident that Mathew will come back even stronger tomorrow.”
Chuck Giacchetto, Westby Racing Team Manager, added, “We certainly had an exciting opening lap in race one today, and hungry riders all fighting for position makes it even more exciting. That being said, I feel that tomorrow’s race will suit Mathew and his R1 Superbike even better. And, even though they finished P3 today, Mathew and the team are even more motivated to make their mark in race two. I would encourage the fans to watch the action any way they can because I promise it will be a barn-burner.”
Sunday’s Superbike race two is at 2 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
In Saturday’s Junior Cup race, Jack started from the inside of the third row in seventh and moved up to sixth on the opening lap. He dropped back to seventh again on lap two, but then, he put himself back into sixth for most of the remaining laps. Unfortunately, on the final run to the checkered flag, he lost one position and ended the 11-lap race back in seventh place where he started.
Sunday’s Junior Cup race two is at 3 p.m. ET and will be streamed on MotoAmerica Live+, as well as broadcast via tape-delay on FS2 this Tuesday, August 17, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit http://www.WestbyRacing.com
Also, follow “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media sites.