KurveyGirl.com brings you the results of this weekend’s events.
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Two-time and defending Champion Jake Gagne won MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Race One Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park, in Birmingham, Alabama. Gagne got the holeshot on his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha YZF-R1 and held a modest lead for all 16 laps of the race to take his second victory of the season.
Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen kept the leader honest and closed the gap slightly in the closing stages, but the South African had to settle for the runner-up spot today.
Mathew Scholtz recovered from a bad start and moved up into third place by lap three, but the Westby Racing rider could not gain any ground on the factory Yamaha duo and had to settle for third and completing a Yamaha sweep of the podium.
Race One was shortened from its original length of 20 laps to 16 laps as a precaution due to excessive wear found so far with Dunlop’s new Superbike slicks. The length of Race Two is still To Be Determined (TBD).
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Wins Medallia Superbike Race One At Barber Motorsports Park
Defending Champion Gagne Wins The First Of Two Races In Alabama, Takes Points Lead
BIRMINGHAM, AL (May 20, 2023) – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne won his second race of the young season at Barber Motorsports Park on Saturday, and he did so in the same fashion in which he won 29 races over the course of the 2021 and 2022 seasons. He started from pole, put his head down, quickly opened up a two-second-plus lead and maintained that lead to the finish of the shortened 16-lap race.
The win, which was the 31st of Gagne’s Superbike career, moved him out of a tie with Cameron Beaubier in the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship and into the lead by himself. He now leads Beaubier by 12 points, 70-58. Beaubier finished fourth on Saturday on his Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M 1000 RR.
The man who was closest to Gagne at the finish was his teammate Cameron Petersen, the South African keeping Gagne honest from start to finish and crossing the finish line 1.8 seconds behind the defending two-time Medallia Superbike Champion.
Third place went to Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, giving Yamaha a one-two-three finish at Barber. Scholtz didn’t get a good start and by the time he got through to third, the two Attack riders had distanced themselves from the rest. Scholtz ended up 6.1 seconds behind Gagne and 2.8 seconds ahead of Beaubier.
Beaubier, meanwhile, had rid himself of the battle he found himself in early with Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin, Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante and Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen.
It was Jacobsen who worked his way through that pack to finish fifth, some eight seconds ahead of the Herrin/Escalante battle that went the distance with Herrin beating Escalante by just .289 of a second to take sixth.
Aftercare Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates got the better of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Corey Alexander by just .299 of a second for eighth with Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim rounding out the top 10 finishers.
Saturday’s race was shortened from 20 laps to 16 due to excessive tire wear and the lap count for Sunday’s race two will be announced after evaluation of the tires following today’s race.
After three races of the 2023 championship, Gagne leads Beaubier, 70-58, with Scholtz third with 43 points.
Race two at Barber Motorsports Park will begin Sunday at 3:10 p.m.
Superbike Race 1
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Cameron Beaubier (BMW)
- PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
- Josh Herrin (Ducati)
- Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
- Ashton Yates (BMW)
- Corey Alexander (BMW)
- Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
Jake Gagne – Winner
“I think that the heat this afternoon really made a difference (to tire wear). It definitely helped. I know we were suffering when the temperatures were cooler, just getting some tearing. If you saw the tires in the podium, they looked pretty dang good. Of course, they’re going to wear, especially at a track like this. The track is so hot. They (the tires) get hot. They get greasy. But that being said, temperatures like this, I think the full race distance wouldn’t have been a problem. These guys know what they’re doing and have a good feel for what’s underneath them. Dunlop always does a good job and makes the right call. But it was a fun race. Like Cam (Petersen) said, those first couple laps I was able to put my head down and kind of get that little bit of a gap. It’s a tricky spot. It was right around two seconds or so, and then that second half he was clawing back a couple tenths a lap. I think it was down to 1.5 at some point. But like we were talking about, it’s tricky. You miss your mark here just a little bit, and you’re in the marbles out there and you could push the front. Anything can happen. I just tried to play it smart. But Cam kept me honest. Like Mat (Scholtz) said, I know he had the pace and he got caught up with those guys in the beginning so I’m sure we’re in for a dogfight tomorrow.”
Cameron Petersen – Second Place
“It’s tough. Honestly, I think the difference is it’s just those first few laps. I kind of always settle down into a pretty good pace, it’s just those first few laps that Jake’s (Gagne) just so good at hanging it out and riding the bike to its full potential, where it kind of takes me a little bit. Definitely tough towards the end there. I could see there was one or two laps where I kind of maybe gained just a little bit of time on him. I was like, ‘all right, man, maybe if you push that 10 percent harder you might be able to catch him.’ But I definitely had (Road) Atlanta in the back of my mind. I wanted this podium desperately. I started off the season very horribly, so for sure just when I saw three laps to go, the gap to Matty (Scholtz) kind of stayed the same. I just kind of knew, bring the bike home in second and we can build off of this. Just again congrats to these guys. Pretty cool to share the podium with some of my best friends. Good day for Yamaha.
Mathew Scholtz – Third Place
“My start was terrible. I was back in fifth or sixth place. Battled Richie (Escalante) for one or two laps. Then Josh (Herrin) was really fighting me hard. But I managed to get past him and then put in a couple decent laps. It’s not that I caught Cam (Petersen) and Jake (Gagne). I just kind of felt that if I was there, I could have actually been a part of the battle and hung onto them. So, I know tomorrow we just have to kind of clean up a few spots on the track where we were losing some serious time. Otherwise, I feel like I can be battling these boys up here next to me.”
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Mathew Scholtz Notches Another Podium Result In Superbike Race One At Barber Motorsports Park
Birmingham, AL – May 20, 2023 – It’s almost an understatement that Barber Motorsports Park is a magical race course for Mathew Scholtz and the Westby Racing team. In 14 Superbike races at Barber Motorsports Park over the past six years, Mathew has finished on the podium 11 times. That means that The Scholtz Kid has finished on the MotoAmerica Superbike podium 78.57% of the time during his career.
It’s a rather gaudy record of success, but Mathew will be the first to tell you that he’d rather those podium finishes be race victories. Such is the mentality of a professional motorcycle racer who always sees room for improvement.
On Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park, Mathew started from the outside of the front row in third, and that’s the position he was in when he crossed the finish line. He didn’t get the start he hoped for, and that immediately made it even tougher for him to catch fellow Yamaha riders Cameron Petersen and Jake Gagne. He slipped back in the pack a bit during the first few laps, but he ultimately fought his way back up to his original starting position.
All in all, a Yamaha podium sweep is clearly something that Mathew and the entire team should be proud of.
“My start was terrible,” Mathew said. “I was back in fifth or sixth place. Battled Richie (Escalante) for one or two laps. Then, Josh (Herrin) was really fighting me hard. But, I managed to get past him, and then, I put in a couple of decent laps. It’s not that I caught Cam (Petersen) and Jake (Gagne). I just kind of felt that if I was there, I could have actually been a part of the battle and hung onto them. So, I know tomorrow, we just have to kind of clean up a few spots on the track where we were losing some serious time. Otherwise, I feel like I can be battling these boys up here next to me.”
For all the action from Barber Motorsports Park, as it happens, subscribe to MotoAmerica Live+, which is MotoAmerica’s live streaming and on-demand service.
Meet Mathew, Get An Autographed Poster, And More
Mathew will be available for autographs during the Dunlop Hot Pit Walk & Autograph Session, scheduled for 11:15 a.m. to Noon Sunday on pit lane at Barber Motorsports Park. He and the team will be handing out free posters and T-shirts, so don’t miss it.
Check Out The Westby Racing Sponsor Showcase
Attack Performance, Puig USA Inc, and Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., are the featured team sponsors on display in the Westby Racing paddock area this race weekend, so be sure to stop by to say hello and learn about some of the companies that support the team.
For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit www.WestbyRacing.com
Also, follow “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media sites.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Gagne Claims Championship Lead with Back-to-Back Superbike Victories
Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing score a stellar 1-2 finish in MotoAmerica Superbike Race 1 at Barber Motorsports Park
MARIETTA, Ga. – May 20, 2023 – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne rode superbly, scoring his second-consecutive MotoAmerica Superbike win of the season in today’s Race 1 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama. The victory also strengthened the reigning champ’s title defense, giving him a 12-point lead over his rival. Teammate Cameron Petersen finished comfortably in second to give the team a decisive 1-2 finish.
Gagne showed strength straight away, topping all three sessions and earning his second pole position of the season. When the lights went out, he got a flying start to take the holeshot and threw down some fast laps early to build a gap up front and remain unchallenged. His 31st-career Superbike victory brought in a valuable points haul, giving him a 12-point lead after starting the weekend tied in points.
Petersen also got a great start from the number-two spot on the grid and was right on the heels of his teammate. Although Gagne was able to put some distance on him, the South African ate away at the gap in the final laps. In the end, Petersen crossed the line in the runner-up spot, four seconds clear of his countryman Matthew Scholtz on the Westby Racing Yamaha R1.
The Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team is looking for a repeat in tomorrow’s MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2 on Sunday, May 21, at the Barber Motorsports Park.
Richard Stanboli – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“Today went exactly as planned. The cooler weather made the tire choice a bit challenging, but the decision became very easy when the sun came out, and the track surface reached 40º C (104º F). Jake and Cam, of course, rode a perfect race to finish 1-2, and Mat Scholtz did a good job to finish third, making it a Yamaha R1 sweep. We will work tonight to make another step forward and look to do more of the same tomorrow.”
Jake Gagne – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing
“It was kind of a crazy day. This morning I think everybody expected it to be a wet race, but the weather cooperated. It warmed up a lot right before the race, so it was a last-minute decision on the tires, but I got off to a great start, put in some good laps, and brought it home. Cam rode awesome and kept me honest the whole race. I know both he and Scholtz will step it up, but hopefully, we’ll get another one tomorrow. It was a great day for the team with a 1-2 finish and a good day for Yamaha with a podium sweep.”
Cam Petersen – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing
“It was a great day for Yamaha and the team. For myself, it was just really nice to bounce back from Atlanta, finish on the podium, and get second place. Obviously, I want to be in this championship, and Jake’s leading it right now. So he got some more points on me, but again, it’s just really nice to get some confidence back and get the season rolling and started the way we wanted to. We’re just going to build on this momentum and keep the ball rolling.”
About Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA
Yamaha Motor Corporation, USA (YMUS), is a recognized leader in the outdoor recreation industry. The company’s ever-expanding product offerings include Motorcycles and Scooters, ATV and Side-by-Side vehicles, Snowmobiles, WaveRunner Personal Watercraft, Boats, Outboard Motors, Outdoor Power Equipment, Power Assist Bicycles, Golf Cars, Power Assist Wheelchair Systems, Surface Mount Technology (SMT) and Robotic Machines, Unmanned Helicopters, Accessories, Apparel, Yamalube products, and much more. YMUS products are sold through a nationwide network of distributors and dealers in the United States.
YMUS has a corporate office in California, two corporate offices in Georgia, facilities in Wisconsin and Alabama, and factory operations in Tennessee and Georgia. Additional U.S.-based subsidiaries include Yamaha Marine Systems Company (YMSC) with divisions Bennett Marine (Florida), Kracor Systems (Wisconsin) and Siren Marine, Inc. (Rhode Island), Skeeter Boats (Texas), with division G3 Boats (Missouri), and Yamaha Precision Propeller (Indiana).