A Saturday In Pittsburgh: What The Teams Say

JD Beach ended up sixth on Saturday at PittRace.

The following is from Attack Performance Estenson Racing…

Attack Performance Estenson Racing’s JD Beach overcame adversity at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex to score another top 10-finish in MotoAmerica Superbike race one on Saturday, August 24.  

Beach got off to a decent start from the seventh spot on the grid and advanced to fourth after an incident between two riders early on in the race. Although the Owensboro resident was in a good position behind the lead group, a technical issue had him focused on keeping the bike on two wheels. He found himself shuffled back to seventh around the halfway mark. Ultimately, his discretion in the challenging conditions worked in his favor as another rider error moved him into sixth.

JD Beach – No. 95 MotoAmerica Superbike

“The race today was tough. It did not go as well as I had hoped. We’ve been struggling quite a bit with the front end of the bike. If I tried to push a little bit more it felt like I was going to lose the front. It made for a long race, but we brought it home in sixth and got some points. The team has been working so hard. They’re trying everything and we are just having a hard time getting something sorted out. I know we have a lot of data for Richard (Stanboli) to go over tonight. We have a plan of what we’re going to try tomorrow, so hopefully he can find some more stuff on the computer and we’ll give it a shot. We’re going to fight again tomorrow.”

The MotoAmerica Superbike race two at Pittsburgh International Race Complex will be aired Sunday, August 25 at 9:30 p.m. ET. You can also stream all the action live on MotoAmerica Live+ starting at 9:45 a.m. ET. To subscribe to the live streaming click here: https://www.motoamericaliveplus.com/

Winner, winner… Sean Dylan Kelly won his first MotoAmerica Superbike race on Saturday

The following is from Team Hammer…

Team Hammer upped its weekend win streak to five consecutive rounds of the 2019 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season, emerging from an emotional rollercoaster of a Saturday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex with two more race victories.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly and Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki’s Alex Dumas did the honors, scooping a pair of victories that may ultimately prove pivotal for Team Hammer in their respective championship battles.
Teenage rookie Kelly sprinted into second off the grid at the start of Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race, ducking in behind his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Bobby Fong, on an identical GSX-R600.
The two then ran in tight formation over the race’s opening four laps, slowly stretching open a gap to third position. However, Supersport title leader Fong crashed out of the lead in a shocking highside that brought out the red flag.
While the Californian managed to return to his feet following the violent spill, he was unable to make the restart. Kelly picked up where Fong left off in his absence, storming into the lead once the race resumed. From there he managed to keep a four-rider pack of potential race winners corralled behind him for the next eight-and-a-half laps of the 10-lap shootout.
A rival finally dove up the inside of Kelly with a little more than a lap to go, but Kelly used an ideal launch onto the front straight to power back into first place just as they started the final lap.
The rising star applied the lessons learned the lap before and never provided his opponents with another invitation. Kelly locked down the position and cemented his maiden MotoAmerica Supersport win with a 0.401-second margin of victory at the checkered flag.
After completing the landmark achievement, Kelly said, “Honestly, it’s been pretty difficult all year, just because it’s been a new class for me jumping up to the 600, and most of the tracks have been new to me, too. It’s been a learning year, and every step of the way, we’ve just been trying to figure out how to improve in every session. We’ve had a couple tough weekends lately, but this is the best possible way to break through. It feels great to be on top.
“Man, we had a really nice fight for the win. Usually I like to stay behind the more experienced guys and learn from them, but today it was a bit different because I felt I had good pace on used tires. I had to ride really defensively at the end because the guys behind were really fast in the chicane. I was honestly pretty shocked how well it worked–I never even saw a wheel on the final lap.
“I’m extremely happy to have been the first one to get to the line. I want to thank the entire M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team for making this happen and believing in me.”
Kelly’s triumph also had the added benefit of allowing Fong to retain his place atop the Supersport championship race. Fong still holds a four-point advantage despite Saturday’s crash and DNF.
The gap is an identical advantage for Team Hammer in the Twins Cup title fight, as Dumas’ class-leading third win of the year saw him take over the championship lead by the same slim margin.
Over the Twins Cup race’s opening half, Dumas and Autovest Suzuki’s Joseph Blasius swapped up and down the order inside the top five on their nimble Team Hammer Suzuki SV650s. Dumas ran between second and fourth, while Blasius was positioned anywhere from second to fifth as places were constantly traded in the eight-rider lead pack.
The ascendant Dumas finally took control at mid-distance and piled it on from there, building his lead to more than five seconds en route to the checkered flag.
“I didn’t get the start that I wanted, but I made some passes and finally worked up into second and followed for a couple laps,” Dumas said. “I managed to make a pass and lead from there until the end.
“I’m really happy with how my bike worked, so I really need to thank Team Hammer and my Roadracing World Young Guns crew. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”
Blasius continued to scrap for the podium, and clawed hard to deliver a Team Hammer 1-2 on the final lap. Unfortunately, his efforts to do so opened the door behind him, and he was dropped to fourth and edged off the podium in the run to the stripe by just 0.04-second.
The extreme up-and-down nature of the day extended into the premier Superbike class. M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis entered Saturday’s main event with high hopes after consistently placing inside the top three throughout practice, qualifying and superpole heading into the race.
Starting on the front row aboard his Superbike-spec GSX-R1000R, Lewis slotted into third in the race’s first corner. However, he was stood up in a chain-reaction incident while still working the opening lap, which resulted in contact with another rider on Lewis’ outside. The two crashed out together, spoiling what had the potential to be the Lewis’ best outing of the year.
Fortunately for Team Hammer, there’s another day of racing at Pittsburgh International Race Complex tomorrow with legitimate podium chances in play across the board.
Mathew Scholtz raced his way to fight in yesterday’s EBC Brakes Superbike race.

The following is from Westby Racing…

The latter half of this 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike season has been a roller-coaster ride for Westby Racing, with adversity seemingly coming from every direction. But, thankfully, come race-time, Mathew Scholtz and his team have the talent to overcome that adversity and produce solid results when it counts the most. The race weekend so far at Pittsburgh International Race Complex has been a perfect example of that scenario.

After completing a Friday qualifying practice session with the rear brake on the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha R1 Superbike inexplicably smoking due to a technical issue, Mathew and the team regrouped on Friday only to have their Superpole session cut short by a completely different technical issue that was unrelated to the rear brake.

As a result, Mathew had to start Saturday afternoon’s race in ninth and on the inside of the third row. Despite the less-than-ideal grid position, he got a decent jump off the line, took advantage of the attrition when a couple of riders crashed, and ultimately crossed the finish line in fifth.

A top-five result was certainly not as good as what the Westby Racing team had hoped for but, given the circumstances leading up to the actual race, finishing fifth gives them hope for an even better result in Sunday’s race two.

“It’s been a little bit tougher than we thought it would be here in Pittsburgh, and we’re a little bit further off the pace than we’d like, but I think that we’ve made the bike better, and we’ve been a little bit quicker in every session. Unfortunately, we had a malfunction with the bike in Superpole, and I had to start the race back in ninth, which is the worst starting position I’ve had in a very long time. On the first couple of laps, I was sort of getting a feel for the bike since we didn’t get any laps in Superpole. I managed to pass a couple of guys pretty early in the race, and a couple of other guys went down, so I finished fifth, which I’m pretty happy about considering how things went on Friday and also this morning. Tomorrow is definitely a new day for us, and we have a few things we want to try in the morning warmup, which we’re very confident will improve our laptimes. We’re hoping for a much better result tomorrow.”

Superbike Race 2 goes green at PittRace on Sunday at 3 PM Eastern Time.

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