NEWS AND UPDATES
Scholtz Crashes, Still Finishes Second In Rain-Drenched Superbike Race At Barber
Birmingham, AL – September 18, 2021 – Saturday’s Superbike race at Barber Motorsports Park is one that Mathew Scholtz and the Westby Racing team—not to mention everyone who witnessed it—will never forget.
In the pouring rain, Mathew took the lead and looked to be headed for his second Superbike win of the season. However, on lap 15 of the 17-lap event, the standing water on the track proved to be too much for his #11 Yamaha YZF-R1. The bike hydroplaned, Mathew and the bike went down, and both slid along the wet track—with Mathew still holding on—for what was the longest distance pretty much anyone has ever seen a road racer slide.
While Mathew was getting himself and his bike back under way, Cam Petersen—who led the race early until he crashed and handed the lead to Mathew—came by, re-took the lead, and won the race. Mathew was able to rejoin the race in second, which he maintained to the finish line for his fifth consecutive runner-up finish and 14th podium result out of 18 races so far this season.
“I came over turn four, same as I’d done every single lap prior, and the puddle was just bigger than it had been, and the front washed out,” Mathew said. “I was basically riding and just hydroplaned and crashed. Not much to it. The track was just way too wet for us to be riding. I don't think there was a single rider that was holding it flat-out on the start/finish line. We were in fourth gear spinning, second, third, fourth down the whole straight. I’ve got mixed emotions now. Obviously, second is good. I’m really, really happy finishing second. I’m really happy for Cam, winning his first Superbike race. It was a little bit rough that, when three of the four lead guys, had all crashed, and I was in front putting my hand up like, ‘Guys, we’ve been hydroplaning.’ We are on Superbikes, fourth and fifth gear flat-out spinning the rear tire. I just had to keep on going, and unfortunately, I crashed. It is what it is. We’re going to have to come back tomorrow and just try to hang on. We’ll try to change a couple things and come back swinging tomorrow.”
Ed Sullivan, Westby Racing Crew Chief said, “Well, I’m not sure there has ever been a Superbike race like that before! Congrats to Cameron (Petersen) on his first Superbike win. The conditions deteriorated over the race to the point that, in my opinion, it should have been stopped. Whether we were at the front or not, if the majority of the top Superbikes have hit the floor, the safety of the track surface has to be questioned.
We have made some changes and look forward to having another try tomorrow!”
Chuck Giacchetto, Westby Racing Team Manager, added, “I have to agree with Ed in regard to the race, I’m nearly positive we’ve never had the top three crash and podium all in the same race. While it would have been a great victory, we will settle for P2 today. I feel it was a valiant effort by the crew and rider but, in the end, Mother Nature had her way.
“With the championship over for us, I know Mathew left nothing on the table today. He rode very well, and I don’t think anyone could ask for a better effort from their rider or the aforementioned crew. Thanks very much to every Westby Team member and our diehard fans who braved the elements today. See you tomorrow on the podium for ‘brunch.’”
Sunday’s Superbike race two is at 10:15 a.m. CT, and Superbike race three starts at 3 p.m. CT. Race two will be broadcast via tape delay Sunday at Noon ET on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), and race three will be broadcast via tape delay Sunday at 6 p.m. ET on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). Both races will be streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.