Team Releases Number 1: PittRace

The following is from Yamaha…

Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Beaubier capped off a perfect weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex with a win in race two to further strengthen his title defense in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. His teammate Jake Gagne held onto a third-place finish to give the team a sixth-double podium of the season.  

Beaubier led every session and set about leading the final one by grabbing his second holeshot of the weekend. The reigning Superbike champ tried to pull another disappearing act but his teammate was moving along right with him. Holding up to the pressure, he focused on putting in some fast, consistent laps in the 1:40s and ultimately crossed the line nearly 10 seconds ahead of the competition to score his seventh win in eight races. As the series nears the halfway mark, Beaubier holds a 37-point lead in the championship.

Gagne got off to a good start in third and quickly moved into second a few turns later so that he didn’t give up too much time on his teammate. He was able to stay with Beaubier for the first half of the race, but unfortunately, a technical issue arose, costing him time and his healthy gap on fellow Yamaha R1 rider Mathew Scholtz. Just after crossing the finish line with four laps to go, he got shuffled back to third. From then on, the Californian did everything he could to salvage a podium, his second third-place finish of the weekend.

The Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team heads to the Pacific Northwest in two-weeks time for round four of the championship at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington, on August 28-30. 

Richard Stanboli – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Once again the team came together to improve the performance of the machines for race two. Impressively, Cameron has won every race that he has finished and Jake has shown pace that is at the same level. We will digest what we learned and go to the Ridge race with an even better package.”

Cameron Beaubier – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“It was an amazing two weeks for me racking up some wins. I couldn’t ask for anything more. Our team has given Jake and I some amazing bikes this year and we are putting them to use. Jake was pushing me hard today up until about the halfway mark where he had a little problem. I just kept my head down to get to the checkered flag. I’m looking forward to Ridge!”

Jake Gagne – Monster Energy Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“We made some great progress with the bike this morning in the warm-up and smoothed out some of the issues that were holding us back yesterday. I got off to a good start and got in behind Cam right away. Our pace today was much faster. We managed to keep Cam pretty close to us until about the halfway point and unfortunately ran into some technical problems that got worse and worse. I’m really happy with the crew and the progress that we’ve made throughout the weekend. Thankfully we kept it on the podium. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

The following is from Jason Aguilar…

Jason Aguilar produced arguably his best races of 2020 at Pittsburgh International Race Complex this past weekend, finishing fourth in the two sixteen lap Supersport encounters.

Starting from the second row of the grid, the RiderzLaw Yamaha rider was in podium contention throughout Race One, making some aggressive overtakes, clearly at home banging bars whilst in the midst of a six-rider battle. Dropping to sixth, Aguilar dug deep, recovering to fourth at the flag on Saturday, a whisker away from third.

Sunday’s race saw Jason lose touch early on with the top three, the #96 using his head to launch an attack for fourth in the closing stages, crossing the line to add another thirteen championship points to the thirteen he added twenty four hours earlier.

The double fourth position finish consolidates Jason’s place in the overall standings, keeping him well in contention for P3 as the series heads to a new venue – The Ridge – in a couple of weeks.

Jason Aguilar: “We made some pretty significant changes on the bike this weekend, just to try a few things. The first session on Friday we found something that didn’t work but the second session (qualifying one), we found something that actually worked really well. We didn’t do the usual strategy of coming in and using two tyres, we focused on the race and I left the same tyre on for the whole session. I was able to run my fastest lap on the last lap, on a tyre that had done sixteen laps.  The race distances are sixteen laps, so it was encouraging, and we had a new tyre in the bank for final quali. I got off to a fairly good start in Race 1 and pushed hard to hang with the lead guys. Ben Smith passed me, I passed him back and we got into a bit of a scrap. I hit a false neutral and tagged him but luckily stayed upright. I have no idea how I saved it. I lost quite a bit of time, but I regrouped, caught the guys, and managed to grab P4 on the final lap. I showed a good pace and it was the closest I’ve been to the podium this year so on one hand I was satisfied but on the other I was pretty bummed. Race 2 honestly didn’t go as I wanted. Some personal stuff messed with my head a little and I felt like I wasn’t really there come race time. I did go faster than Saturday, but something was definitely off. The top three got away, so I used my head and took fourth on the last lap. Another fourth, which I guess is better than fifth, but we will regroup, and I am looking forward to Washington – a new track for us.”

The following is from Westby Racing…

At first glance Westby Racing’s results on Sunday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (PittRace) appear to be a carbon-copy of Saturday’s results. Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz raced his #11 Yamaha YZF-R1 to a second-place finish just as he did on Saturday, and Junior Cup rider Cody Wyman finished sixth on Sunday aboard his #34 Yamaha YZF-R3 to match his sixth-place result on Saturday. But, for both riders, their Sunday races were very different from their Saturday races.

For Mathew, who started from the middle of the front row, he was pounced on in the first lap by fellow Yamaha rider Jake Gagne. Jake had improved his setup from Saturday’s race, and it showed in Sunday morning’s warmup with him going second-fastest in the session compared with Mathew being third-fastest.

With Cameron Beaubier in the lead and Jake in second, Mathew knew he had his work cut out for him in running down the pair. Undaunted, Mathew put his head down and focused on doing fast, consistent laps. His efforts, combined with Jake experiencing a technical issue, enabled Mathew to catch Jake, pass him, and create a gap of more than 13 seconds over Jake, which enabled Mathew to secure a runner-up finish for the second day in a row.

“I kind of figured that something happened to him,” Mathew said about Jake. “Looking at the morning warmup times, we saw that they had upped their pace. I was a little bit disappointed in the warmup that we didn’t break into the 40s. My whole game plan was just to kind of follow Cameron and Jake and just sort of hang onto them and try to see, maybe from the halfway point, if I could consistently run low 41s and try to catch up to Jake, but something happened and he fell back. I’m just really happy to be back up on the podium and finish second for the Westby Racing team again today. We’ve been working hard. I feel like we’re getting better every time we go out. Just when we kind of think that we’ve caught up to Cameron, he pulls something out. So, we’ll just carry onward and find something more.”

Cody started fourth on the grid in his race and rode a consistent race in a pack of closely bunched riders, which has been the recurring theme this season. He ran no lower than seventh due to the shuffling of positions within his group, and he was in sixth place and planning his strategy for the finish line when the red flag was displayed due to an incident on the track that didn’t involve Cody. The race was declared final instead of being restarted, which spoiled Cody’s plan to move up in the results.

Cody said, “This morning, we tried new gearing, and I thought that was the right move for the race. I knew we were in our own battle for fourth place. I tried to study the other riders, and I thought I was in a good spot. But then, a red flag ended our race early. I was bummed because I really wanted a short sprint race to the finish. Two sixth-place finishes aren’t the worst, though. I really wanted a podium yesterday, but it’s a long season. Thank you to my team, family, and friends who came out to PittRace. On to a brand-new track on the West Coast. I’m always stoked to learn a new course, and I can’t wait to get out there.”

Next up for Westby Racing is round five of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place (without spectators in attendance) at the Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington, on August 28 through 30.

The following is from Bradley Ward…

Just missing out on Superpole, he lined up fourteenth of the grid for the two races. Improving several positions after a strong race one start, the FLY Racing ADR Motorsports Kawasaki mounted Ward once again showed his ability to learn from those more experienced riders around him, consistently lapping within a few tenths of those in the top six, as his adaptation to Superbike continues.

Buoyed by another top ten finish on Saturday, the #57 was in fine form on Sunday morning but the expectation of another hard fought race was short lived as Bradley suffered a clutch issue on the sighting lap ruling him out of contention before the race had even begun.

Bradley Ward: “From the word go I felt pretty good and really comfortable on track. Last year Pitt Race was one of my favourite tracks and to be honest we didn’t really change much in the way of setup from what we had in Atlanta. I struggled with rear end grip in Atlanta and so went a little bit softer on the front to help me with the flip flop section of the track this weekend. It didn’t help me too much even though I was still in Superpole at that time, but we didn’t improve, and I just missed on making it into the top nine. Despite being fourteenth on the grid I was ready to give it everything in the race. Race 1 was decent. I made a great start and was running sixth or seventh for the first lap. A few laps in and I was having a real good scrap. I was able to hang on to the back of Jake Lewis who has led races in Pittsburgh and was riding the new Ducati. I learned a fair bit and was able to finish 0.2s behind him at the flag. We had a small issue which I was sure we could fix for Sunday and the target was the top eight! Sadly, I never got to show what we could do. We had a brand-new clutch but as I set off for the sighting lap the revs went sky high, exactly as it did at Atlanta. Back to the drawing board we go. I am really gutted and hope that we can come back strong in Washington!”

The following is from Team Hammer…

For the sixth consecutive race day this season, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki placed multiple riders on the podium as the 2020 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing picked right back up this weekend at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania.

And for the sixth consecutive race day, Sean Dylan Kelly was one of the riders to help put the team in that position. Kelly continued his six-race streak of first- or second-place outings in the MotoAmerica Supersport class with yet another runner-up finish on his 599cc M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600.

Kelly, who scored a memorable double victory one year ago at this venue, registered a determined ride at the front over the race’s opening half despite an engine displacement disadvantage of 37cc in what is a 600cc class in every other series running under FIM sanction. ‘SDK’ executed a number of slick moves to slide into the lead before eventually settling into second just after half-distance, which is where he would remain until the checkered flag.

“We showed a good fight today,” Kelly said. “I’ve just got to be happy because I gave my 100%. We are still falling a little short at the end of the races, but we continue to show that we’re right there. We’ll just keep on fighting. 

“Thank you to my entire M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team, they’re pushing really hard. I learned a few things during the race. So the good news is we’ve got tomorrow. We’re going to do our homework, get some sleep, and come back stronger tomorrow.”

Kelly’s Supersport stablemate, Lucas Silva, continued his steady season, notching up a third consecutive sixth-place run while keeping his perfect season top-ten streak intact. 

Silva rallied after a tough start to climb back to sixth as he continues to show promise.

Meanwhile, Kelly was again joined in the day’s trophy collection by the fast-rising Stock 1000 title contender Alex Dumas. After stringing together finishes of seventh, fourth, third, and second in his first four 1000cc class races, the French Canadian had only a win left in front of him to keep rising up the charts. 

And he very nearly pulled it off. Dumas twice slashed his way up through the field aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000  in the once red-flagged and restarted affair, finally taking control of the lead with just over two laps remaining.

Dumas was displaced back to second just as the final lap began and was unable to find another way through before taking the stripe.

“I was pretty fast coming out of Turn 14 and coming onto the back straightaway, but I almost highsided,” Dumas said. “I tried my best on the last lap but there wasn’t anything else I could do.”

“I gave it my best and we’re going to work hard on the bike for tomorrow and look to come back and get that win.”

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki Superbike ace Bobby Fong showed the pace to add to the celebration in the MotoAmerica Superbike race. Unfortunately, the Californian crashed out of the fight for second on lap 9 of 17.

Teammate Toni Elias did manage to put the team in the premier-class top five, taking over fifth position on the race’s final lap aboard his GSX-R1000.