Mathew Scholtz Bounces Back From A Rough Saturday To Finish Fifth On Sunday At Sonoma Raceway2018-08-13 07:03
Sonoma Raceway is arguably the most-technical, most-challenging track on the MotoAmerica schedule. The 2.52-mile, 12-turn undulating road course is difficult to master, particularly on a Superbike with more than 200 horsepower. And, for Mathew Scholtz, that seemed to be the case in Saturday’s Race 1, if not Sunday’s Race 2.
Saturday got off to a great start for Mathew and his Yamalube/Westby Racing team as they qualified second in Superpole and earned a front-row start. But, when the race went green, Mathew struggled off the line, and as he tried to make up positions on the opening lap, he crashed and damaged his #11 Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike’s steering components. Determined to continue, he got back under way, but the damage to his bike caused him to crash a second time, which created additional damage, resulting in the South African bringing the bike back into the pits and calling it a day.
The team repaired the bike, regrouped overnight, and Mathew was third-fastest in the Sunday morning warmup session, restoring his confidence for the afternoon’s Superbike Race 2. At the start, Mathew got one of the best jumps he’s had all year and immediately looked to be headed for a podium finish on the day. Unfortunately, though, as the laps wound down, the challenging track’s hard-braking zones created arm-pump problems for Mathew, and he faded but still managed to finish fifth on the day.
The weekend’s results moved Mathew from third place down to fourth in the Championship standings with three rounds and six races left to go in the season.
Commenting on his weekend, Mathew said, “Yesterday, we didn’t get too much data from the race (because of the crash), so we were concentrating on having a solid finish to Sunday’s race. The morning warmup was really positive for us, and I was confident going into Race 2. I got a good jump off the line, which hasn’t been the case too much this year, so it felt good that I didn’t have to try to pass a bunch of guys in the early laps of the race. We got to lap seven or eight, and I started getting arm pump really bad, which is a problem that I’ve had at Sonoma in the past. I just couldn’t hang on to the bike very well, and I began dropping back. All in all, I’m pretty happy that we managed to finish fifth. The guys worked really hard all weekend long, and I’m sorry to them that I crashed on Saturday because I gave them a lot of extra work to do. I’m looking forward to Pittsburgh where we did well last year on the Superstock 1000 bike. We’ve got more horsepower with this Superbike this year, and Pittsburgh is one of my favorite tracks.
As Mathew alluded to, Round 8 of the 2018 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship will take place at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania on August 14 through 26.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Cameron Beaubier – Yamaha – 298
2. Toni Elias – Suzuki – 235
3. Josh Herrin – 187
4. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 163
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