Yamalube/Westby Racing reflects on title-winning season
Dane Westby left an indelible mark on the American motorcycle road racing community. The Oklahoma native was an exceptional rider and a fine human being, which made his death two and half years ago in a traffic accident even more difficult to comprehend.
Less than a week prior to his death, the 28-year-old Westby had been fourth fastest overall in combined Superbike/Superstock 1000 testing at Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas. I interviewed him just before he went out for his blistering final run of the day.
“We’ve had this vision, the 1000, for a long time,” he told me. “When we club raced years ago, we rode big bikes. Some of the teams I’ve been on have promised me a big bike but it never materialized. It’s going to be as hard as ever, but we have a really good weapon.”
Earlier this month at New Jersey Motorsports Park, Round 9 of the 2017 MotoAmerica Series, Dane’s vision was realized in full when South African Mathew Scholtz clinched the Bazzaz Superstock 1000 title on the Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1.
“It’s something we wanted to do—Dane wanted to do, the team wanted to do,” Tryg Westby recalled in the accompanying video. Looking toward the heavens, he added, “So I know Dane’s happy. He made it all happen, really. I feel him. He’s close. I know. A dad would.”
Scholtz recognizes he is part of something special. “We came into the 2017 season knowing that we could fight for the championship,” he said. “We were pretty confident, but to actually do it was something else.
“The Westby story had some difficulty in the last few years, but we really turned things around. Everyone is so happy that over the last two or three years the struggles they’ve had turned into a championship. It’s just brilliant.”