South African Mathew Scholtz will make his MotoAmerica Motul Superbike debut this weekend at Road Atlanta. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

After winning the 2017 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Championship, Mathew Scholtz and the Yamalube/Westby Racing team begin their quest for the 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship this weekend at Road Atlanta. Scholtz and the team have had a solid off-season preparing for the step-up to MotoAmerica’s premier Superbike class, and everyone is excited to get the season under way.

Last year at Road Atlanta, Scholtz notched his first MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 win for the team in Saturday’s race one, and he’s hoping that he and his #11 Yamalube/Westby Racing/Yamaha YZF-R1—now in full Superbike trim—will be able to repeat the success they had in 2017 on Road Atlanta’s 12-turn, 2.54-mile, undulating, natural road course.

“Obviously, we’d like to win, but we’re also realistic,” Scholtz said. “We’re racing at the pinnacle of the sport here in the U.S. now, so, first off, we want to be part of the lead pack. Finishing on the podium, or in the top five would be brilliant for us. We had a very productive off-season. We worked hard and got in a good bit of testing on our Superbike, so we know we’re well-prepared. We had a good test last month at Barber (Motorsports Park), and we’re anxious to see how we fare against a full Superbike grid this weekend. I got my first victory for the Yamalube/Westby Racing team last year at Road Atlanta, but this Superbike is completely different from last year’s Superstock-spec R1. Better forks, better wheels, and a lot more horsepower.

“I love the layout of the Road Atlanta track. It’s got some really hard-braking zones, which I really like. And, it’s close to our race shop, so it’s kind of like a home track for the team and me. Plus, my parents and my girlfriend are coming over from South Africa, so it’ll be great to have my family with me.”

Superbike Superpole (Qualifying) is on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. EST, Superbike race one will go green on Saturday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time, and Superbike race two is on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.