UPDATED Team Releases: Day One From The Ridge

Cameron Beaubier won his eighth HONOS Superbike race of the year on Saturday at the Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington.

The following is from Yamaha…

Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Beaubier scored a flawless victory, leading from start to finish in Saturday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race one at The Ridge Motorsports Park. Teammate Jake Gagne managed a solid fourth-place finish in challenging conditions on the 2.5-mile track in Shelton, Washington.

Gagne began the weekend in strong form, breaking Beaubier’s Superpole streak. When the lights went out, he made a run for the holeshot from pole position, but the four-time Superbike Champion swiftly countered into turn one. A few corners later, the race was red-flagged after a crash at turn two. As the grid reformed for the restart in their original starting positions, Gagne once again got off to a flying start before Beaubier stormed down the inside into turn one. He didn’t look back, charging ahead to build a comfortable gap and crossed the line eight seconds ahead of the competition in the shortened 13-lap race. His eighth win of the season in nine races, Beaubier continues to fortify his title defense with a 49-point lead.

Lapping within a few tenths of the champ, Gagne kept his teammate honest. Unfortunately, as the race wore on, the conditions were not ideal for the softer-option tire choice. He gradually lost pace as he went into conservation mode to keep it on two wheels. After a brief battle, he eventually crossed the line fourth to score some valuable points in the championship. Gagne sits second in the standings, 15 points ahead of third.

The Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing team heads into Sunday’s race two looking for another strong race result at the Ridge Motorsports Park.

Richard Stanboli – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Our team continues to work hard to make sure that the riders have the most competitive machines, the Yamaha R1. We were pleased to see both riders dramatically gap the rest of the field early in the race. Cameron went on to a commanding victory and happily found the off button for the wheelie control to celebrate his win with a nice stand-up wheelie. Unfortunately for Jake, today’s conditions were tough on the softer option tire, and he was unable to maintain the pace up front and eventually finished fourth. We’ll keep working, and both riders and machines will be ready for combat in Sunday’s race.”

Cameron Beaubier – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“The start was tricky today, going through the chicane right off the bat with the pack. I knew I needed to try to get off the start as good as I could to try and lead it out of there. I put my head down, and I was able to pull out a gap slowly at the beginning and then all of a sudden, there was a good chunk. I felt really comfy out there on my R1. We’ve had a great start to the season. I just want to keep it going and not get too excited yet. I’m looking forward to tomorrow.”

Jake Gagne – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“We’ve been working hard all weekend with the team. This is a tough track and putting all the pieces together is key. It was nice starting from pole position because Turn 1 is tricky. We got off into second behind Cam and pushed to keep him in view. Unfortunately, about six laps in we started losing grip, which hasn’t happened all weekend. It was really tough to keep it on two wheels and we ended up fourth. It wasn’t the best day, but we’ll come back stronger tomorrow!”

Mathew Scholtz finished second on Saturday in the HONOS Superbike class.

The following is from Westby Racing…

Since moving to the U.S. from South Africa, Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz has developed a special knack for learning new racetracks quickly. After all, Mathew had to learn ALL the tracks on the MotoAmerica schedule a couple of years ago when he first started racing in MotoAmerica. This weekend at the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington, Mathew brought new meaning to the term “quick study,” as he finished second in Saturday’s MotoAmerica Superbike race one.

Starting from fourth place and on the second row of the grid, Mathew got off to a decent start and safely negotiated the tricky chicane at the end of the front straight, but unfortunately, there was a pile-up further back in the grid, and luckily, no one was seriously hurt, although the race had to be restarted.

On the restart, Mathew got an even better jump off the line than he did on the first start, and he maintained his fourth-place position while he developed a plan to move himself up in track position. Mathew bided his time and passed a fading Jake Gagne on lap 11. And then, on lap 13, which was the final lap of the race, going into the final set of turns before crossing the finish line on the front straight, Mathew made a daring pass on Bobby Fong and took over second place, which he held onto across the finish line.

For Mathew and the Westby Racing team, it was their third runner-up result in a row, their fifth-consecutive podium finish, and their sixth podium result out of nine races so far this season.

When asked how he likes Ridge Motorsports Park, Mathew commented, “Some of the corners are really fun. There are a couple of corners that are a little bit hard and a little bit bumpy. For the most part, it’s a really fun track. From corner 5 until the entrance of corner 13, it’s really awesome. It’s fast with long, flowing corners, and they all kind of link up well. It’s a really cool, fun track. I’m definitely loving it here.”

Continuing, Mathew explained his plan to try to pass Bobby Fong on the final lap, saying, “I was going to try to pass him in every corner that I got up next to him. I passed him into corner 11, but I ran a little wide. Then, in corner 12, I was planning to dive up the inside of him, but he went inside so I kind of went out wide and set up the apex going into corner 13. I got really close to actually running off the track, but I managed to save it and bring it home in second place.”

Sunday’s Superbike Race 2 is at 3 PM Pacific and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1) and Eurosport, as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.

The following is from Team Hammer…

Sean Dylan Kelly finished second in MotoAmerica Supersport race one on Saturday at Ridge Motorsports Park. Photo by Brian J Nelson.

Team Hammer put on another display of paddock power on Saturday at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington, placing multiple riders on the podium for the eighth straight race day during this MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing season.

Even with a win and a runner-up result for the squad on the day, the highlight may have very well been the third-place finish of M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong in the premier MotoAmerica Superbike class.

The Californian came into the weekend far less than 100% and still on the mend after injuring his left wrist at the previous round, and crashed again on Friday, aggravating the injury. 

Still, the reigning Supersport champ managed to qualify his GSX-R1000 on the front row. Fong then executed two stellar starts in the once stopped-and-restarted race and not only gritted it out for full race distance, but battled it out up front. He defended third position deep into the contest, made a pass into second, and held the position before being passed late on the last lap and ultimately finishing third.

When asked how he managed the brave ride despite the pain, Fong said, “I knew my guys have been working hard all weekend just to get this bike to where it is. These guys give me motivation to do what I do because I know they’ve put this thing together plenty of times for me. Hats off to my M4 ECSTAR Suzuki crew. We’re looking forward to tomorrow.”

SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki’s Rocco Landers rode his Team Hammer-built SV650 to a Saturday win and did so in emphatic fashion. Landers blitzed the MotoAmerica Twins Cup field in qualifying, taking the pole by over two-and-a-half seconds. He then put that superior pace to good use, assembling a massive advantage before the race was finally called complete following a late red flag.

Landers said, “My SportbikeTrackGear.com Suzuki SV650 has been awesome this weekend. The team worked super hard prepping the bike and getting it ready for the race and we made the right tire choice. It’s only due to a few small hiccups that we’re not leading this championship right now, so we’re just going to keep pushing and keep pushing and see what we can do.”

MotoAmerica Supersport title contender Sean Dylan Kelly guided his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 to a top-two finish for the eighth consecutive race. The teenager stormed to pole position and then spent the bulk of the race’s opening half leading an intense three-rider fight for the position.

He was displaced to second with five laps to go and then shifted his attention to holding onto the spot. ‘SDK’ swapped second and third back and forth with a rival before finally claiming the runner-up spot at the checkered flag.

After the race, Kelly admitted, “I’m disappointed because we’ve been getting a lot of second places and we’re here to win. But at the end of the day, we have to be happy that we’re still getting 20 points for the championship and we’re fighting. We didn’t have quite what we needed to fight for the win until the very last lap but we know what to work on for tomorrow. We’re going to sit down and do our homework and there are some things we saw in the race that we were lacking. 

“I think we still gave a very good fight. I want to give a huge thank you to my whole M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team. We’re working extremely hard and we’re going to come back strong tomorrow.”

2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Toni Elias made it two M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000s in the Superbike top five with a run to fifth.

Fong and Elias were joined in the Superbike race by Stock 1000 ace Alex Dumas. Dumas lined up for the race after qualifying on the front row for Sunday’s Stock 1000 contest but was taken out in a multi-rider lap one incident. The French Canadian suffered a broken bone in his right elbow and was unable to make the restart.

Lucas Silva rounded out an impressive day for the team with another strong effort alongside SDK in Supersport action. Silva pounced from his second-row grid position and momentarily controlled third position before eventually finishing in sixth. The result was Silva’s fifth finish of sixth or better and extends his season-long streak of top-10s.

Team Hammer will look to add more wins and podiums to its extensive tally as the MotoAmerica weekend at “The Ridge” concludes on Sunday.