MotoAmerica: Tight Superbike Championship Heads To “The Ridge” (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Tight Superbike Championship Heads To “The Ridge” (Updated)

© 2022, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. From a press release issued By MotoAmerica:

MotoAmerica Boasts Four Different Superbike Winners Heading To Ridge Motorsports Park Round

The Pacific Northwest Welcomes MotoAmerica Medallia Superbikes For The Dynapac MotoAmerica Superbikes At The Ridge Event
 

IRVINE, CA (June 22, 2022) – With eight of 20 MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike races in the books in 2022 and the series headed to the Pacific Northwest to begin its brief West Coast swing, only seven points separate first from second in the championship. And with a quartet of winners emerging from the first eight races, just 37 points separate first from fourth in the title chase. A look back at last year shows that after four rounds (and eight races), only two riders had tasted victory with champion-to-be Jake Gagne winning seven of the eight to lead Mathew Scholtz (who won the only race Gagne hadn’t won) by a whopping 44 points. Meanwhile, 67 points separated the top four and it was a forgone conclusion that this was just a two-horse race before the series had even reached the halfway mark. And the lead horse showed absolutely no signs of letting up.

The fact that Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci is leading the 2022 MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship isn’t a surprise. Most figured he’d win races and contend for the title. Not many, however, would have predicted that Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne would be third in the series standings and 25 points adrift with three wins, two DNFs and a podium-free visit to Wisconsin and Road America. Say what?

Petrucci will pay visit to Ridge Motorsports Park this coming weekend for the first time in the Dynapac MotoAmerica Superbikes At The Ridge event, and he will do so as the 2022 MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike points leader with 140 points from the first eight races. Petrucci started off with a bang with three-straight wins, had his first and only DNF thus far in race two at Road Atlanta, and has been on the podium in three of the last four races.

The man who is chasing the hardest at this point in the season is Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African taking his first race win of 2022 in race one at Road America a few weeks ago. Despite following that win the next day with a lackluster eighth-place outing in race two, Scholtz sits just seven points behind Petrucci after finishing on the podium in six of eight races.

Then comes Gagne. Nobody in their right mind would have bet that the defending MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Champion would win three straight races going into Road America but emerge from there without a podium finish. But that’s exactly what happened. Gagne, fresh off a doubleheader sweep at VIRginia International Raceway going into Wisconsin, had brought Petrucci’s lead back to a manageable 13 points. But with his non-podium finishes of fifth (he crashed and remounted in last to charge through the pack) and fourth (in a mostly wet race) at Road America, Gagne sees Petrucci’s lead jump back out to 25 points heading to Ridge. Still, there don’t seem to be many worried faces in the Gagne camp.

The fourth man to win a Superbike race in 2022 is Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen, the South African taking his first win of the season and his first with his new Yamaha team in race two at Road America. Petersen is now 37 points behind Petrucci with his efforts slowed a bit with a race-one mechanical DNF in Wisconsin.

Prior to Road America, Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Hector Barbera had a clean 2022 record with points scored in every round. In race one at Road America, Barbera landed on the podium for the first time in a MotoAmerica Superbike race to keep that perfect points-in-every-round tally going. But on Sunday, that was gone with the Spaniard following up his best career effort with his first non-finish of the year. Still, Barbera sits fifth, though he’s now in a heated battle or the spot.

Just four points behind Barbera is Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis with the Kentuckian just five points ahead of PJ Jacobsen on the second of the Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RRs.

Jacobsen is coming to Washington hot off his first career MotoAmerica Superbike podium with the New Yorker pressuring Petersen to the very end of race two at Road America while also holding off the advances of third-placed Petrucci.

Lewis’s teammate Richie Escalante had a rough go of it at Road America with the 2020 MotoAmerica Supersport Champion only scoring 10 points in total from the two races. Escalante now drops four points behind Jacobsen and is just six ahead of Aftercare Hayes Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates.

Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Travis Wyman rounds out the top 10 in the series standings heading to the Pacific Northwest and Ridge Motorsports Park.

Ridge Motorsports Park Pre-Race Superbike Notes…

Last year, Ridge Motorsports Park hosted round four of the 2021 MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship. This year the stop in Washington will be the fifth round of the series in 2022 after rounds in Texas, Georgia, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Ridge is the first of two races on the West Coast with WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California, scheduled for round six, July 8-10.

Jake Gagne won his sixth and seventh Superbike races in a row last year at Ridge en route to winning 17 straight and the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. Gagne beat his then-teammate Josh Herrin in both races in 2021.

In addition to winning both races, Gagne also sat on pole position after lapping at a best of 1:39.568 (a new lap record on the 2.47-mile track) on his Yamaha YZF-R1. Frenchman Loris Baz qualified second on the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC Panigale V4 R with Cameron Petersen completing the front row on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Jake Gagne hasn’t won every race this year, but he has been on pole position for all four rounds thus far – COTA, Road Atlanta, VIR and Road America.

This year’s race at Ridge will mark the third time that MotoAmerica has visited the track in Shelton. In the debut season of the series holding a round at Ridge in 2020, Cameron Beaubier won both Superbike races. With Jake Gagne winning both last year, Yamaha has won all four MotoAmerica Superbike races at Ridge.

Thirty-eight Superbikes will attempt to qualify for the two MotoAmerica Medallia races at Ridge. The most popular bike in the field is Yamaha’s YZF-R1 with 12 entries. BMW is next up with 10, followed by Suzuki with seven, Kawasaki with five, Honda with three and Ducati with Danilo Petrucci’s lone Panigale V4 R.

Two riders are currently tied for the lead in the Superbike Cup, the class within a class for those riders competing in Superbike on Stock 1000 machines. Ezra Beaubier and Danilo Lewis are tied for the lead with 110 points with Hunter Dunham and Jeremy Coffey only two and five points further adrift, respectively, heading into the round at Ridge.

About MotoAmerica

MotoAmerica is the North American road racing series created in 2014 that is home to the AMA Superbike Championship. MotoAmerica is an affiliate of KRAVE Group LLC, a partnership that includes three-time 500cc World Champion, two-time AMA Superbike Champion, and AMA Hall of Famer Wayne Rainey, ex-racer and former manager of Team Roberts Chuck Aksland, motorsports marketing executive Terry Karges, and businessman Richard Varner. For more information on MotoAmerica, visit www.MotoAmerica.com. Also make sure to follow MotoAmerica on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:

Just Seven Points Back, Mathew Scholtz And Westby Racing Look To Ridge For An Edge In Superbike Championship

 

Mathew Scholtz (11). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Westby Racing.
Mathew Scholtz (11). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Westby Racing.

 

Tulsa, OK – June 22, 2022 – Round five of the 2022 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship starts this Friday at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. Everyone on the Westby Racing team, especially Mathew Scholtz, rider of the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike, is motivated to make up the narrow, seven-point deficit in the season point standings.

Among the things that weigh in Mathew’s favor is his familiarity with Ridge’s twisty, 16-turn, 2.47-mile road course. This will be his third visit to the Pacific Northwest track, while current championship leader Danilo Petrucci will be visiting Ridge for the very first time in his career this weekend.

“I’m seeking a little bit of redemption at Ridge since we struggled there quite a bit last year,” Mathew said. “We’ve got a completely different package this year, so I am really looking forward to much better results this weekend. Coming off a win at Road America, we have a lot of confidence going into Ridge, and I feel great on the bike and with what we’re doing. The team is working well.

“Sunday’s race at Road America was a bit of a disappointment, but I know we will bounce back from that. The weather (in Washington) looks a lot cooler than it was last year, which is going to make things a little bit easier. Usually, the tighter, twistier tracks are the ones that suit me, so this weekend should be really good for us. I can’t wait to get back on the bike, keep this momentum going, and keep on challenging for the championship. We’re not too far behind Petrucci, so we need to keep our heads down and keep working hard.”

Superbike final qualifying is on Saturday morning at 10:25 a.m. PT, Superbike race one will go green on Saturday afternoon at 3:10 p.m. PT, and Superbike Race 2 is on Sunday afternoon also at 3:10 p.m. PT. Both races will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2 (FS2).

For all the action from Ridge Motorsports Park, as it happens, subscribe to MotoAmerica Live+, which is MotoAmerica’s live streaming and on-demand service.

Meet Mathew, Get An Autographed Poster, And More

Mathew will be available for autographs during the Dunlop Hot Pit Walk & Autograph Session, scheduled for 11 to 11:30 a.m. Sunday on pit lane at Ridge. He and the team will be handing out free posters and T-shirts, so don’t miss it.

Check Out The Westby Racing Sponsor Showcase

Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A. and Pro-Bolt USA are the featured team sponsors on display in the Westby Racing paddock area this race weekend, so be sure to stop by to say hello and learn about some of the companies that support the team.

For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit https://www.WestbyRacing.com

Also, follow “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media sites.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:

MotoAmerica Round 5 – Petrucci Leads The Charge Heading to The Ridge

Washington State beckons for Danilo Petrucci as MotoAmerica Superbike heads to The Ridge

Sunnyvale, Calif., June 22, 2022 – Danilo Petrucci (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC) heads to the half-way point of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at The Ridge this weekend with competition focused on the series points leader.

The Italian sits on 140 points, seven clear of Mathew Scholtz and 25 ahead of defending champion Jake Gagne. However, the Italian is under no illusions of the task at hand in his first visit to the scenic, undulating venue located among the pine trees of Shelton, Washington.

Two races with a possible 50 points up for grabs this weekend in Washington gives Petrucci a chance to solidify his title lead heading into round six at the world-famous Laguna Seca July 8-10.

Danilo Petrucci (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC – Ducati #9)

“I’m happy to be back racing on my Ducati,” Petrucci said. “For me, The Ridge is a completely new track and I recently had a look at some videos from the race last year but I can’t wait to ride this track. It’s really flowing, and there’s a lot of fast and blind corners so this will be good for the Panigale.  I’m not looking at the championship. We’re not even at the middle of the year so I just want to win again and stand on that top step of the podium.”

Round five of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship kicks off with practice on Friday, June 24 with race one scheduled for 3:10 pm (PDT) on Saturday, June 25. Race two is scheduled for 3:10 pm (PDT) on Sunday, June 26.

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