Aboard the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1, Mathew Scholtz made a welcome return to the MotoAmerica Superbike podium with a solid third-place finish in Sunday’s race two at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
Mathew qualified on the front row on Saturday and finished fifth in the afternoon’s race one, but after conferring with his team and making some changes in the bike’s setup overnight, he got off to a better start in Sunday’s race two, fought hard to stay in sight of the race leaders, and tenaciously held onto his third-place position all the way to the checkers to complete an all-Yamaha podium.
“I think the season has been a little bit up and down for us,” commented Mathew. “Pittsburgh was the first race weekend where we kind of thought we had something. Our practise times weren’t bad, but I was dropping one to two seconds off every single lap, and I finished thirty-some seconds behind (Yamaha Factory riders) Cam (Beaubier) and (Garrett) Gerloff. So we really thought that we needed something because things were looking bad. The team worked hard to give me a good bike for Sunday in Pittsburgh and that put us in a really good place with our setup, so that was looking good. Obviously, yesterday’s fifth-place result wasn’t what we wanted. We were kind of hoping to at least hang onto the guys in the first five, but that wasn’t the greatest, either, other than the fact that the Westby guys worked really hard and gave me a bike that was really good. This morning’s warmup wasn’t the greatest, but we could tell that our lap times were really consistent. I think, at this track, you have to worry about consistency.
“In Sunday’s race, I banged bars a couple of times with (Jake) Lewis and (Kyle) Wyman in the beginning. I got up to a third, and I could see that I was catching JD (Beach) and Cam (Beaubier), but then, they would gap me and I’d catch back up to them and mess up. It was back and forth. Then, with eight laps to go, I was almost tucking the front in every corner, so I just had to settle for third. It’s great to be back on the podium. It’s really, really great for the team. I think it’s going to really boost them and get us going for 2020, pushing everybody.
“Barber is one of my favourite tracks. I’ve been told that they resurfaced it. I’m thinking that the lap times are going to be really, really quick there. So I’m looking forward to it. Hopefully, end the season off strong and come back fighting for podiums in every race in 2020.”
After a week off, Mathew and the Westby Racing team will be back in action when they travel to Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, for the final round of the 2019 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, which takes place on September 20 through 22.