Monterey, CA – June 23, 2018 –
Following a tough weekend during the previous round of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, Mathew Scholtz got off to a better start to his weekend at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca during Round 5 of the series as he finished fifth in Saturday’s Superbike Race 1. And, almost more important than the result is the fact that Mathew’s confidence in the handling of his #11 Yamalube/Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 has returned.
It was a solid result for Mathew, and one that he and his crew can build upon as they acclimate to the new, larger Dunlop rear tire that debuted for the first time in racing conditions at Road America, which was Round 4 of the series.
“After Friday’s practice sessions, we made a few changes overnight, and this morning’s practice was really positive for us,” Mathew commented. “We really felt like we made the bike a lot better. Superpole wasn’t that great for us, and we ended up in eighth place, but that didn’t really matter too much because we knew our race pace was really good.
“In the race, my jump off the line was alright but, because I was further back on the starting grid, the first few corners were just mayhem. Guys were trying to make passes everywhere, and it was a bit of a mess. I passed a couple of guys, and I was in sixth place behind (Garrett) Gerloff and Danny (Eslick), and I managed to reel in Danny. We got to about the halfway point, and we hadn’t put together lot of fast laps consecutively, and the bike started to behave differently than it had been all weekend long. I kind of dropped off the back of Garrett. But then, I started getting used to how the bike was sliding, and how to handle it, and my laptimes started getting quicker. Over the final five or six laps, I was doing pretty decent times, so that was a really positive step for us. Now, we can see pretty clearly where we made the bike better and where we need to make it better. I’ve gotten my confidence back in the front end, which we lost when we switched to the new (larger) Dunlop (rear) tire. So, I’m very happy, considering how the first couple of races (with the new Dunlop tire) have gone. Finishing fifth is nothing to have a massive party about, but I’m just really happy that we have the bike back in a place where I feel confident. So, we’ll do some more work overnight, look at the data, and hopefully be part of the podium battle tomorrow.”
Superbike Race 2 is set to go green at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday at 3:15 PM Pacific Time.
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