On the final day of the MotoAmerica Championship of Virginia, the fortunes of Westby Racing’s two riders did a complete 180 compared with how things went on Saturday.
Mathew Scholtz, rider of the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike, finished fourth in Sunday’s race two after crashing out of Saturday’s race one. “Samurai Sam” Lochoff, who finished fourth in Saturday’s Junior Cup race one aboard the #57 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R3, crashed out of Sunday’s race two. The net result for the team was two race finishes just off the podium and two results categorized with the dreaded acronym “DNF,” which unfortunately stands for “Did Not Finish.”
Mathew, who tweaked his right shoulder in his crash on Saturday, literally shrugged off the injury and battled among the frontrunners in Sunday’s race. Towards the end of the rain-shortened, 18-lap event, Mathew made a breathtaking pass on Toni Elias for third and a spot on the podium. Unfortunately, however, Elias turned the tables on Mathew, passed him right back, and maintained his advantage all the way to the checkered flag.
Sam, who fought for a podium result in Saturday’s Junior Cup race, got caught up in the attrition caused by the wet track conditions in Sunday’s race. A rider ahead of him went down, and Sam got caught up in the incident. In an attempt to avoid the downed bike, Sam was forced onto the wet and very slippery grass, which caused him to tip over and his race was done.
“I think, in general, the weekend was a little bit bittersweet, but we learned a lot,” commented Chuck Giacchetto, team manager for Westby Racing. “Sam showed that he has the speed. He rode really smart in Saturday’s race, brought home points, and he was the first Yamaha rider across the stripe. Unfortunately, on Sunday, he didn’t fare as well, but the crash wasn’t his fault. Mathew’s weekend was really good. We were super-happy with the start he got in Saturday’s race, and I know he was disappointed that he fell down, but the team wasn’t because he had the pace. On Sunday, he was fighting at the front and among the factory riders, so that was great to see. Overall, we had our ups and downs at VIR, and we know what we need to do leading into Elkhart Lake. We’ll fix a couple of bikes that are dinged up, get everyone healthy again, and be ready for Road America.”
As Chuck mentioned, next up for Mathew, Sam, and the team is round four of the 2019 MotoAmerica Championship, which takes place at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on May 31 to June 2.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Toni Elias – Suzuki – 126
2. Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha – 102
3. JD Beach – Yamaha – 78
7. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 58
MotoAmerica Junior Cup Standings
1. Rocco Landers – Kawasaki – 80
2. Dallas Daniels – Kawasaki – 73
3. Jackson Blackmon – Yamaha – 46
8. Sam Lochoff – Yamaha – 29