Saturdays Are For Racing: Team Releases From NJMP

The following is from Westby Racing…

Mathew Scholtz finished second on day one of HONOS Superbike racing at NJMP.

On Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park, both of Westby Racing’s riders competed in their respective race classes, and the team came away with a second-place result for Mathew Scholtz in Superbike and a top-ten finish for Cody Wyman in Junior Cup.

After only a one-race hiatus from the podium, Mathew started from the middle of the front row after qualifying second in the morning’s Superpole session aboard his #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike. Getting a good jump off the line, he slotted into second and maintained his position throughout the 21-lap event. The finish moved Mathew even closer to taking over second place in the season points standings.

“It’s the halfway point of the season, so I’m looking forward to the championship for me, personally,” Mathew said. “I kind of knew that we had to start gaining points on Jake (Gagne, currently in second place in the season points standings), so once he crashed, I thought, now we can pick up some serious points there. Not saying that I could have kept up with Cam (Beaubier, who was the race winner) because he’s riding awesome, but I was definitely thinking second place wouldn’t slow me down as far as the championship goes. So, I kind of just chilled to there and brought it home. Really happy with how the bike is going. Just had to catch up to Jake because we were pretty far back at one point. So, I was really happy there. Tonight, we’ve got a couple things that we wanted to try yesterday but, due to the (wet track) conditions, we weren’t able to, so hopefully, we’ll try them in the warmup tomorrow morning and try to close the gap on Cameron.”

Sunday’s Superbike Race Two is at 3 PM Eastern and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and Eurosport, as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.

In Junior Cup race one, Cody, who races the only Yamaha YZF-R3 in the field, qualified eighth, which meant that he had to start from the middle of the third row. The starting position compounded things, and he found himself too far back in the pack to be able to make any draft passes to improve his result. At the checkers, he unfortunately ended up a couple of spots further back than he started, crossing the finish line in tenth and having some regrets about the setup that he and the team decided to go with for the race.

“I was struggling this morning and was trying to find a rhythm, and I ended up qualifying 8th for the weekend,” commented Cody. “Then, we decided to take a gamble on the setup and gearing in order to hopefully get a better result in the race. Unfortunately, the gamble just didn’t pay off for us. There’s another race tomorrow, though, and we get to have another go. Tomorrow morning, we’ll try out some new things. I know I’m better than what we did today, and we’ll look to get some better results on the Westby Racing Yamaha in race two.”

Sunday’s Junior Cup Race Two is at 2 PM Eastern and will be broadcast via tape-delay on FS2 (check your local listings for FS2 airtimes), in addition to being live-streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.

Toni Elias returned to the podium for the first time since 2019 with his third-place finish on Saturday at NJMP.

The following is for Team Hammer…

Team Hammer underlined its multi-class excellence by placing two or more riders on the podium for the tenth consecutive MotoAmerica race day on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

One rider who had unexpectedly yet to play a part in that remarkable feat finally broke through in a big way to contribute on Saturday; 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike champion Toni Elias earned his first top-three finish of the season aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Elias got away in fourth and picked up a position on the opening lap. It was clear sailing from there for the Spaniard, who views the third-place performance as an indication of even better days ahead.

“It feels great to get back on the podium,” Elias said. “We still have a lot of work to do, but this is the first step. Thanks to my team for all the support. Let’s continue like this and, sooner or later, we will arrive back on the top step of the podium.”

Despite still suffering from the effects of an earlier fall, Bobby Fong put forth another courageous effort to put two GSX-R1000s in the top five. The reigning MotoAmerica Supersport king was forced to gamble on his set-up but still managed to fight for fourth well into the contest before turning his attention to securing fifth at the flag.

Meanwhile, Sean Dylan Kelly scored his tenth straight podium finish in MotoAmerica Supersport competition. It speaks well of ‘SDK’ and his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team that the Floridian encountered difficulties during the race, resulting in his worst finish since the season opener, and he still finished on box.

Kelly expected more than third after earning the pole on his GSX-R600 but was grateful to collect the points that he did. He explained, “I was looking for the win, but honestly, I’m just happy we made it on the podium today. We ran into an unexpected issue during the race and had to worry about not losing the podium spot. 

“Obviously, third is not what we wanted and not what we needed, but this is racing. I’m happy we were able to salvage a podium and still be in the championship fight. We’re going to keep on fighting and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Behind Kelly, Ridge Race 2 runner-up Lucas Silva earned seventh, which extended his perfect season record of finishes inside the top ten.
SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Rocco Landers concluded the day in brilliant fashion for Team Hammer with yet another blowout MotoAmerican Twins Cup win.

Landers opened a gap by the race’s second corner and instantly demolished any hopes the field may have entertained about contending for the victory.
Landers’ fourth triumph of the season elevated him into the Twins Cup championship lead.

He said, “We weren’t sure about our tire choice, so I tried to put in a good first few laps and then go into tire management mode. It was a great race, and I had a lot of fun. I was trying to manage the gap at about five seconds and I did pretty good at that.

“I have to give it up to my SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki team. The bike worked so well all weekend long and they put a great program underneath me every single weekend.”

Team Hammer will round out the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing weekend at NJMP on Sunday.