Sunday Funday: The Teams Talk About Sunday At PittRace

Toni Elias leaves Pittsburgh with a 35-point lead in the championship.

The following is from Yoshimura Suzuki…

It was a great day Sunday for Yoshimura Suzuki Factory Racing at Pittsburgh Motorsports Race Complex as Toni Elias scored a come-from-behind victory aboard the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. His teammate Josh Herrin also had a strong race, moving up to finish third, putting both Yoshimura Suzukis on the podium.

The win for Elias, his seventh of the season, means that the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion now enjoys a 35-point lead with just two race weekends and four Superbike races remaining on the 2019 calendar.

Elias also rewrote the record books, moving into a tie for fourth with Miguel Duhamel on the all-time MotoAmerica/AMA Superbike wins list. He now has 32-career wins.

Both Elias and Herrin rallied on Sunday after having less success in Saturday’s race. Elias finished third Saturday, seeing his series point lead temporarily drop to 30, before turning in his winning ride on Sunday. Herrin actually crashed on the first lap in Saturday’s race, but then picked up his bike and charged back to a seventh-place finish, in spite of bent controls.

Elias was excited about his double podium weekend.

“This is one of the most difficult tracks for our bike,” Elias said. “But in the end I was there to fight. Today we made some changes that worked well in the warmup, but not so well in the race. In the beginning I was not comfortable and riders were passing me, but I kept calm and things started working better as the race went on and I started passing some riders. In the end I was fighting with my biggest rival, he made a mistake and I won.

“So this is perfect – we leave a difficult track for us with a 35-point advantage. There is still a lot of racing left in this championship and everybody is strong, but every weekend we are getting closer to the end, so we will keep fighting.”

For Herrin, Sunday was his fourth rostrum result of the year. He said the key was actually de-tuning his GSX-R1000.

“The guys did a lot of work to get the bike ready for today’s race,” Herrin explained. “And Sunday we backed off the power a bit, because the bike was just too powerful for this track. With the power tamed down it worked really well. I’m happy Toni won and we were both able to be on the podium. I’m looking forward to New Jersey coming up. I’d like to win some more races and maybe be in a position to help Toni win the championship.”

Yoshimura Suzuki and MotoAmerica will next be in action in two weeks for the penultimate round, Sept. 7-8, at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, New Jersey. The races are televised nationally on Fox Sports 2.

Kyle Wyman is looking forward to the next MotoAmerica round in New Jersey.

The following is from KWR…

Kyle Wyman and the Genuine Broaster Chicken/KWR Ducati team completed round eight of the MotoAmerica Superbike series this past weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pa.. Wyman finished up with a DNF and 8th place in races one and two respectively after running in the top-4 early on in race one.

Wyman came out of the gate solid on day one, finishing up Friday qualifying 7th fastest overall. Saturday morning showed even more promise when the Ducati rider ended Superpole 6th fastest, a season-best on the new Panigale V4 R. It would be Wyman’s first time starting on the front two rows with the Panigale V4 R.

“With high expectations heading into the weekend, I was very happy with our pace after Friday,” Wyman said. “Superpole was better yet, and we were able to put the Ducati on the second row for the first time ever. This was a really positive step for us. It was for sure the best the bike has felt since we uncrated the new Ducati in March.”

In race one Wyman got off to an excellent start, and passed JD Beach for 4th place on track. After building a gap early on following the leaders, Wyman found himself in a battle with Jake Gagne over 4th. On lap 11 of 18, a low-side crash took the Genuine Broaster Chicken Ducati out of contention in what would have been a season-best result.

“I got good start in race one and just put my head down,” Wyman added. “It took me a couple laps to get by JD and by then I had kind of lost the three leaders. I was still happy and comfortable with the bike, pulled a bit of a gap back to 5th behind me and was settling in. Gagne caught me a few laps later, got by me into turn three and I was content to sit there. I knew he had the softer tire, and I had the medium, so I wanted to just follow him and see how the race unfolded. One lap he got into turn one a little deep, and I followed him in hot. He slowed way up mid-corner, and I had to squeeze on the brakes just a little more. Unfortunately it was too much and I ended up hitting the ground.”

“I’m really disappointed with myself, but these things happen,” Wyman added. “It’s a shame that I couldn’t bring home a top-5 at the very least, even though I believe I could have finished up 4th. My team and the Broaster Chicken guys deserved that result and I’m so bummed that I made that mistake. On the contrary, it shows the potential of the Panigale V4 R and is a testament to our hard work this year that we were able to run up front and put down some good lap times.”

For Sunday, the KWR team made chassis adjustments to the motorcycle to help find some front-end feel for Wyman. Race two started off similarly with Wyman running in the front group, but the chassis changes proved to be the wrong direction on the bike and he could not hold the pace that he had done in Saturday’s race one. 8th place would be the result, but a much needed flag-to-flag finish was finally recorded after a few rounds of DNF and DNS marks.

“Sunday the goal was just to put together a whole race from beginning to end,” Wyman said. “I was really struggling with the front end of the bike and didn’t have the same feel that I had on Saturday. I tried to hold the pace and keep with the battle for the top-5, but it just wasn’t possible. We have a lot of positives to take away from the weekend though and I’m really looking forward to our next race weekend in New Jersey.”

The last dry race held at New Jersey Motorsports Park was Wyman’s maiden MotoAmerica Superbike podium finish, when he placed 2nd to current points leader Toni Elias in 2017.

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Sean Dylan Kelly had a perfect weekend at PittRace with two Supersport wins.

The following is from Suzuki…

In conjunction with Yoshimura Suzuki’s Toni Elias’ race two victory, Team Hammer celebrated monumental back-to-back victories from M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly and Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki’s Alex Dumas during the 2019 MotoAmerica Roadrace at Pittsburgh International Race Complex this past weekend.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rookie Sean Dylan Kelly kicked-off Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race one with his eyes focused on the finish line. Sprinting into second right off the grid on his GSX-R600, Kelly ran in tight formation over the opening four laps with Supersport points leader and teammate Bobby Fong until a crash brought out the red flag. On the restart Kelly picked up where Fong left off and fought hard to keep a four-rider pack behind him so he could hold his lead. Kelly prevailed, cementing his first-ever MotoAmerica Supersport win.

Kelly’s adrenaline continued into Sunday’s Supersport race two as he went head-to-head with Fong as the two teammates executed a series of breathtaking passes on one another. Kelly gained control of the race on the final lap, securing a back-to-back victory weekend. Despite Saturday’s highside, Fong not only competed in race two, he finished in second place. Fong’s persistence and Kelly’s achievement’s allowed Fong to remain the Supersport championship leader.

Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki’s Alex Dumas took control of the Twins Cup race one on his SV650, pushing forward through the pack while building a lead of more than five seconds that he would hold to victory at the checkered flag. For race two, Dumas proved again to be unstoppable, claiming his fourth win in five races by a wide margin. The Canadian again pushed hard early to establish his lead and then used his superior pace to break free of the pack. The win was Team Hammer’s 80th in AMA and MotoAmerica competition, and its 227th podium finish in the national series. Dumas now leads the Twins Cup championship by nine points.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis entered Saturday’s Superbike main event ready for success 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 moved into third in the race’s first corner but was hit by another rider and the resulting crash spoiled Lewis’ best opportunity of the year.

On Sunday, Lewis kicked-off race two in second place and moved his GSX-R into lead on the second lap. He held the lead for several laps before ultimately settling into fourth, less than a second behind third and just over four seconds behind the winner. As the first non-factory superbike, Lewis’ result was the best of his six top-five premier-class finishes in 2019.

Team Hammer will next head to New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 7-8 for the penultimate round of the 2019 MotoAmerica season.

Draik Beauchamp had two second-places finishes in the two Twins Cup races at PittRace.

The following is from Draik Beauchamp…

Despite relinquishing his championship lead, Draik Beauchamp left round seven of the MotoAmerica Twins Cup championship with a pair of strong 2nd place race results.  After electing to run his own racing program from the Pittsburgh round through the end of the 2019 season, Beauchamp and his crew arrived at Pittsburgh and hit the ground running.

After quickly dialing in his Yamaha FZ-07 and getting to grips with the undulating 2.78 mile Pitt Race layout, the focus was turned to getting around the circuit as quick as possible.  In the second (and final) qualifying session, Beauchamp laid down a 1:50.930, which was almost two seconds quicker than his best time from the first qualifying session.  This time put Beauchamp in a season-best 2nd place starting position.

Time to go racing!  In Saturday’s 10-lap race 1, Beauchamp took advantage of his front row start, and rocketed into the first turn with the lead.   Beauchamp held the lead until the fifth lap, when he was shuffled back to 3rd position.  Three laps later, Beauchamp advanced to 2nd position, which was where he would go on to finish the race.

In Sunday’s 10-lap race 2, Beauchamp wasn’t able to replicate his race 1 start, but was still able to take over the lead just about halfway through the first lap.  A few laps later, Beauchamp dropped back to 3rd position, and the race quickly escalated into a hard-fought affair.  Beauchamp and his rivals engaged in several laps-worth of aggressive passing, counter-passing, gesticulating, and generally very entertaining racing!  As the dust settled, and the final laps wound down, Beauchamp looked to be set for a 3rd position finish.   However, on the final corner, Beauchamp made a last-minute pass to take 2nd position by just two-tenths of a second!

With two races to go in the 2019 season, Beauchamp heads to New Jersey sitting 2nd in the championship and looking to claw back from a nine point deficit.  Game on!

Draik Beauchamp – MotoAmerica Twins Cup #77

First off, I want to say a big “thank you” to those of you who have reached out and congratulated me and shown me support. It has been tough, so those kind words mean a ton! Double deuces for the MotoAmerica Pittsburgh weekend! I had a great time on and off the track, had my best qualifying of the season, getting to start second, and continue to develop my bike. We still have some dialing-in to do but we are getting faster every time out.

Jake Gagne was a season-best fourth in race one at PittRace.

The following is from Scheibe Racing BMW…

Just two weeks after the best weekend so far at Sonoma Raceway for Scheibe Racing, the team managed another best finish at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. Undulating though the scenic, rolling green hills of Beaver County 45 minutes North of Pittsburgh, the 2.8 mile, 19 turn Pitt Race is a favorite with both riders and fans. Jake Gagne piloted the #32 Hayes Brakes BMW S 1000 RR to a fourth place finish in MotoAmerica Superbike race one, and crossed the line for race two in seventh.

Friday’s Qualifying Practices started out on a high note with strong lap times, securing a spot in Saturday’s Superpole session to duke it out for grid position. “We started off right way on practice everything was going pretty smooth” stated Gagne. “Steve made some really good calls, we had our tire decisions figured out right away and so for practice we just change a couple little electronic things and got the bike a little easier to ride. For Superpole we qualified eighth, I didn’t get the best heater in but I just wanted to worry about the race.” Team founder Steve Scheibe was also positive. “Last year we crashed, so it’s nice to come back here and see what our bike does. No issues anywhere now, we’re fully up to speed and we’re getting competitive.”

Jake lost a position at the start of race one, shuffling back to ninth in the melee going into turn one. He moved up to seventh in the first lap, assisted by a collision between two riders in the lead pack. “Didn’t get off to a great start but made some passes and a couple guys went down on the first lap so that mixed some things up, but I started feeling good and made some passes with JD and Matt rolling around with those guys.” After passing Matthew Scholtz, and then JD Beach, he caught Kyle Wyman, who had been running strong all weekend on his Ducati. “It took me a while to chase down Kyle because he was also going really good. Then I made the pass and I knew Kyle was on me for a couple laps, keeping the pressure on because I could hear his bike in every corner until he had that mistake. Then Matt started putting the pressure on again, but I ended up fourth which is the best result of the year so I’m pretty happy with that, and happy with the progress.” Fourth is the highest a BMW S 1000 RR has placed in an AMA/MotoAmerica Superbike race since Larry Pegram did the same at Daytona in 2012.

Sunday’s race started out better, and by lap two Gagne was in sixth until a hard charging Scholtz passed both Jake and Beach. Jake settled in behind Beach, losing ground to Scholtz, fighting for an opportunity to pass which unfortunately didn’t happen before the checkered flag flew. “Sunday we made a couple forward steps with the bike and had a little bit better start for sure. I was behind JD and riding around with him after Matt passed me early on. I was a little frustrated because I really wanted to make a pass on JD since I felt like we had a little more pace but he was really tough to pass out there. We were back and forth a little and it was a really fun race riding with JD. Last couple races at Sonoma were pretty boring with nobody to ride with, so the time flies by when it’s full of action.”

Despite the mid-pack finish, lap times showed Jake finishing the race 10 seconds closer to the leaders than the day before, meaning there is still a progression forward towards the stacked field of the series’ top riders and factory teams. “We’re closer to the front, we made progress from yesterday even though we were back in seventh. We’re happy and it was a great weekend full of learning. The part is that we’re getting closer to the front and we’re getting closer to the battle with those guys and getting more action and we’re learning a lot more about the bike and each other. Results will come.”

Scheibe was also encouraged by the result. “I was very pleased on Sunday that we finished within 18 seconds of the leader. JD is a very good rider, and he was fast in our passing zones so we couldn’t get around him, but there was more there for us. Our speed was pretty even with other bikes, so more power didn’t help us here. The bike has to work and turn, which it did. The chassis is working well.”

Jake’s pre-season ankle injury is finally at a point where he’s not thinking about it during the races anymore, improving even more since the previous round in Sonoma. “Sonoma was a big step, and then here it was even better. It’s the first time all year that I didn’t really feel it while I was riding. It’s not always fun nursing an injury and toning it back here and there. I’m feeling more like myself again.”

The two solid past weekends have moved Jake into 8th place in the championship, 34 points behind Jake Lewis. With only two race weekends left in the season, the team is anxious to see if they can improve on finishing position yet again before the season ends at Barber in September. Jake is looking forward to it. “The team’s been working really hard, and it’s fun working with these guys and it’s a good atmosphere, so I’m really happy. I’m looking forward to Jersey. It’s an interesting track, the weather’s always a little iffy, but I’ve had some good results in the past there.”

Next race for the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Series is September 7-8th at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, NJ, home state of BMW Motorrad North America.

Alex Dumas took over the championship points lead in the Twins Cup in Pittsburgh.

The following is from Team Hammer…

Team Hammer enjoyed a near-perfect conclusion to a phenomenal weekend of MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship competition at Pittsburgh International Race Complex on Sunday.
Rising stars Sean Dylan Kelly and Alex Dumas each backed up their Saturday victories to complete the double double for the squad, while the team’s veteran riders, Bobby Fong and Jake Lewis, put in highlight performances of their own.
Despite hobbling around on crutches with injuries to his left ankle, foot, and back from Saturday’s terrifying highside, Fong not only made the start of Saturday’s MotoAmerica Supersport race, he actually got away in second place, running right behind his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teammate Kelly.
The two ran 1-2 aboard their identical GSX-R600s through the race’s first five laps before a red flag brought the action to a short halt while a crashed bike was removed from the track surface. When the action got back underway, the courageous Fong actually put a quick pass on Kelly and controlled the race from the front until the final lap.
At that point, the teammates executed a series of breathtaking passes on one another with the final pass coming from Kelly entering the final section. The two powered down the front straight side-by-side, with Kelly edging out Fong by just 0.005-second at the finish line.
“I want to say massive respect to my teammate,” 17-year-old Kelly said after scoring his second career MotoAmerica victory a day after earning his first. “I really can’t believe Bobby was riding that fast with how injured he is. I saw how much pain he was in all yesterday and all of today. He rode his heart out.
“I still can’t believe I won it, to be honest. I’m super pumped to get this double win. It’s still hard to take in. I’m just happy for the whole team, doing the 1-2. They all deserve this, so we’ll keep rolling like this.”
Fong, who didn’t think he could even ride and then was only hoping to minimize the championship damage on Sunday, actually stretched out his Supersport title lead with his gutsy effort. He now leads by 11 points with four races remaining.
After taking what was the most memorable of his 10 podium finishes this season, Fong said, “I woke up this morning, and I didn’t want to tell my team, but I was like, ‘No way am I going to be able to ride.’ Honestly, this is my first chance at a real championship, so I had to do it for my team. They’ve been fighting for a #1 plate for a long time. My team backed me the whole time. And congrats to Sean — he rode an awesome race. I didn’t know who had it at the line, but kudos to him. I’m looking forward to more battles yet this season.”
Roadracing World Young Guns Suzuki’s Alex Dumas proved unstoppable in Twins Cup action yet again, claiming his fourth victory in five races by a near double-digit margin.  The Canadian pushed hard early to establish himself out front and then used his superior pace to break free of the pack. The win was Team Hammer’s 80th in AMA and MotoAmerica competition, and its 227th podium finish in the national series.
Dumas now leads the championship fight by nine points. He said, “My strategy was to try to lead and build a gap early. To do that, I knew I had to get a good start. I did, but I got passed. I managed to get back by pretty quickly and from there it all worked out to plan.”
After crashing in a chain-reaction incident in Saturday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis demonstrated the depth of his potential in Sunday’s rematch.
The talented Kentuckian got away in second place aboard his GSX-R1000R and moved into the lead on the second lap. He held the position for several laps before ultimately settling into an intense race-long scrap for the podium, running second, third, and fourth at various points of the race.
Lewis would take the checkered flag in fourth, less than a second behind third and just over four seconds behind the winner. The result was the best of his six top-five premier-class finishes in 2019.
The only stinging disappointment the team suffered on an otherwise standout Sunday was a nasty warm-up lap crash suffered by Autovest Suzuki’s Joseph Blasius prior to the Twins Cup race. Blasius was able to get up to his feet and walk off the track but was in obvious pain afterward. He was loaded up in the ambulance, and checked out at the track medical center before being taken by car to a local hospital for X-rays. He was then treated for a broken metacarpal bone in his left hand and released.
Team Hammer will next head to New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 7-8 for the penultimate round of the 2019 MotoAmerica season.
Mathew Scholtz says the team made great progress over the course of the weekend in Pittsburgh.

Then following is from Westby Racing…

After a challenging Friday and Saturday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex resulted in a respectable fifth-place result for Mathew Scholtz and the Westby Racing team in Saturday afternoon’s Superbike race one, Sunday dawned with new optimism for Mathew and his squad.

Changes to the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike overnight and also after the morning warmup led to Mathew getting a good start from the inside of the third row in Sunday afternoon’s race two. Quickly moving up from ninth to seventh in the first couple of laps, he felt good with how the bike was handling on the undulating 2.78-mile, 19-turn road course. On lap five, Mathew moved into sixth, and one lap later, he got into the top-five. For the rest of the 18-lap race, Mathew kept a stranglehold on his fifth-place position and ended up the second-highest-finishing Yamaha rider in the field.

“We made some great progress with the bike this weekend,” Mathew said. “I know that two fifth-place finishes are not quite up to the standards that the Westby Racing team is accustomed to, but yesterday’s fifth was partially the result of a couple of riders not finishing the race. Today’s fifth was so much better than yesterday’s. We had much better pace, and I felt a lot more comfortable on the bike. The changes we made were encouraging, and we think they’ll give us some good results in two weeks when we go to New Jersey Motorsports Park.”

After a week off, Mathew and the Westby Racing team will be back in action for round nine of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which is a two-day race weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park on September 7 and 8 in Millville, New Jersey.

The following is from Attack Performance Estenson Racing…

In spite of challenging conditions, JD Beach managed another six-place finish at round eight of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on Sunday, August 25, at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex. 

JD Beach leads Jake Gagne and Mathew Scholtz at PittRace.

Over the past few rounds, Beach and the Attack Performance Estenson Racing team have been working hard on the set-up of their Superbike racer. While they were aiming to better their result, progress was made. Beach was able to advance from his seventh-place position on the grid to fifth, but ultimately settled in to take a solid sixth-place finish and maintain his position of fourth in the championship standings.

The focus is now shifted to the penultimate round of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park, on September 23-25.   

JD Beach – No. 95 MotoAmerica Superbike

“Even though we got another sixth today, I can be a bit happier. With all of the struggles we’ve been having the last couple of weekends, I think we’ve finally made some headway. I can almost see the light at the end of the tunnel now. With the issues that we were having with the forks, it made it hard to even try to push through it. The changes we made for warmup before the race weren’t anything crazy. They were pretty simple, really. I really wish we would have thought about it earlier this year. But together, the team and Richard have done an amazing job and we have not given up and keep pushing through it. I’m looking forward to New Jersey and hoping that we can carry this progress forward.”

The following is from Andrew Lee Racing…

Andrew Lee won the Stock 1000 class and has a firm grasp on the title.

Andrew Lee took a step closer to retaining his MotoAmerica Superstock crown after bagging his fifth win of the season, his fourth in succession, in today’s Pittsburgh International Race Complex encounter.

Starting from the Pole after a superb display in qualifying the #1 looked to be having this all his own way as the lights went out but the Kawasaki mounted rider was made to work for his twenty-five points after a late rate charge from Ashton Yates.

Relinquishing his race long lead momentarily on the final lap a quick-thinking Lee responded immediately with two corners to go to secure win number five of 2019, extending his overall points lead after the demise of his closest championship rivals who all crashed out early on.

Lee can now wrap up the title next time out in New Jersey.

Andrew Lee: “Qualifying went well. I did a personal best right at the end of Q1 to take Provisional Pole by six tenths. I was really happy with that although I did feel we could improve in some small areas. The team and I have really started to dial the bike. I made a big mistake in the final sector so could have been even quicker. Final qualifying came and went in the blink of an eye and I held on to P1 so was pumped for the race. I got off to a good start. I got my head down as I wanted to run my own race. About halfway through the race my tyre fell off and I was in my own grove and didn’t really notice the gap to the chasing pack dropping. I started to slide but the main goal was to get as many points as possible so didn’t panic as I had seen my nearest rival had fallen. After I saw that I figured it would be better to play it safe and not do anything silly. Fair play to Yates, he kept me honest and, in the end, it was a last lap shootout. I knew where I was stronger. He made a move, but I took it back immediately to seal the deal. I’m so happy to put the Franklin Armory Graves Kawasaki back on top of the box and to give us a forty-eight-point advantage with two rounds to go!”

The following is from Tuned Racing…

Tuned Racing had our best weekend of the year. The past weekend at Pittsburg International Race Complex for round 8 of the Motoamerica series Bryce Prince on the Tuned Racing Yamaha R6 came out swinging. Even though our finishes were not our best of the year our team worked work well together and Bryce rode the wheels off the bike all weekend. Setting fastest lap times and claiming pole position. We are proud of the advancements the team has made and look to finish the season off strong! Would like to thank Yamaha Champions school for the training that has made Bryce a better rider and Apex Assassins for the track time and support to apply those teachings. We are fortunate enough to be partnered with the best people and products in the business.

Mike Pond from Tuned Racing, “ This weekend was a great success! The other teams know how hungry we are and the focus Bryce Prince has to win. Unfortunately the win did not happen in the races this past weekend but it did in the pits and with our team. Tuned Racing grew to the next level this weekend and the overwhelming support of the paddock and fans is amazing. Thank you to all of our sponsors that are part of what make us great!”

“What a weekend… After a podium at Sonoma two weeks ago team Tuned Racing and Bryce Prince were very optimistic about heading to the East Coast as Bryce runs good out east!!!

It was great being fastest out of the box, reminiscent of 2016 when Bryce won the super stock championship…

We’ve all seen the results and seen the races; Bryce’s run in race number one was heroic, Unfortunately In a crash on the last lap…

Red flags seemed to be Bryce’s demise at Pittsburgh, as his rear tire was never the same on the restart Bryce soldiered on to finish six…race number two!!

Bryce’s head never hung low as he was always positive and his positive outlook towards next weeks race in New Jersey will surely prove that he has the ability to win as we hope for a podium if not a win!!!” Alex Eisner, Team Manager

“What a weekend we had in Pittsburgh! First, I have to thank all of my family, friends, and new fans made this weekend! The weekend started off extremely well, leading every session and capturing pole position! We definitely had the pace to fight up front and win both races. In race one, I was in 2nd place and crashed out last lap last corner. I was trying really hard to get a good drive down the front straight and I lost the front unexpectedly. Thankfully my bike and I were in great shape. My crew worked hard to give me a great bike again on Sunday. Again on Sunday we had a difficult race. We were up to pace immediately and I had just gotten into 3rd place after the tire started to feel really good on lap 5. Unfortunately a rider fell which caused a red flag. We pitted and when we went back out the rear tire just wasn’t the same. I had to work very hard to hold the pace of the leaders, ultimately causing me to make another mistake in the last corner and almost high side. Luckily I did not crash and was able to finish the last two laps to bring home a 6th place 2 seconds behind the lead group. I know the results don’t reflect how we feel as a team, but I think we really proved what we could do this weekend. There are two weekends left (New Jersey and Barber) and both are tracks that I really like! It’s safe to say that the entire Tuned Racing team is excited for the last rounds of the season!” Said Bryce Prince.

Jason Aguilar wheelies at PittRace

The following is from Aguilar Racing…

Jason Aguilar had previously had good results and good pace and good results at Pittsburgh International Raceway. The 3-Day race format would allow Jason more time to work on bike setup, which was needed as the new team continues to learn and make progress this season. The first practice session ended with Jason in 11th place. Suspension changes were made for the first qualifying session, and Jason went 2 seconds faster than the first practice session. However, other riders were making similar progress and Jason was left in 12th place at the end. Fortunately, Jason would have a second qualifying session Saturday morning before Race 1.

In the second qualifying session, Jason moved up 3 positions to 9th place and improved almost a full second from the first qualifying session. Race 1 started with Jason dropping to 10th at the start, but the leader crashed out causing a race stoppage and red flag restart. The restart again did not go well, and Jason fell back to 10th place. Jason worked his way up to 6th place with 2 laps to go, and was battling in a 5-rider group. With one of the leaders crashing on the last lap, Jason was in position to finish in 5th place, but got pushed out wide before the chicane and dropped 4 positions to a disappointing 9th place.

Race 2 began with Jason losing several positions at the start, and then several more after still another red flag restart. Battling from 14th place, Jason started pushing hard, but was only able to salvage a 10th place finish in the shortened race.

Jason Aguilar: “This was not our best weekend, but we learn every time out. I got roughed up and beat up all weekend, but by the last lap of the last race we finally saw some progress. In the second race today, I struggled getting into a good rhythm, but as the tire went off, I felt better and by the last lap, I was getting into good lap times again. I ran my personal best lap time on the last lap and had way more in me. We are trying as hard as we can and look forward to the next round in New Jersey.”


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