Road America: What The Teams Said

Cameron Petersen had a career best weekend of Superbike racing at Road America with third and second place finishes.

The following is from Suzuki…

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC and Team Hammer reeled in another bountiful trophy harvest as the 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship wrapped up its doubleheader weekend at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

The weekend performance of M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen headlined the combined four-podium showing for Team Hammer. In addition, Altus Motorsports rider Jake Lewis took his second victory of the season on his Team Hammer-built Suzuki GSX-R1000. 

Petersen enjoyed a milestone ride on Saturday, soaring to his first career MotoAmerica Superbike podium with a hard-fought third, in his first season in the Superbike class. Despite the achievement, the likable South African came away from that battle less than completely satisfied after missing out on second place by a scant 0.04 seconds. He promptly erased any regrets with an even better showing on Sunday, briefly leading the race before locking down a clear runner-up result.

“That was the plan executed,” Petersen said. “We spoke before the race about what I needed to do and luckily I got off to a really good start. My goal was just to keep the win in sight and have a carrot to chase, and I did that for the most part.”

“Honestly, I can’t thank my team enough. They’ve worked very hard to get me to this point, they gave me the opportunity, they believed in me, and now, we’re finally starting to do it. Hats off to my whole crew.”

In the Stock 1000 class, Jake Lewis proved once again his strength as a racer with his second win of the season and he maintains control as the overall leader in the ultra competitive series. 

Race-winner Lewis said, “I honestly didn’t think I was going to be able to fight for the win. I was struggling to keep pace yesterday, but once it’s race time and the show goes down, you definitely push a lot harder. I was on the edge. I was looking at my lap timer and I was doing low 2:14s and I haven’t even been in the ‘15s all weekend long.”

M4 ECSTAR Superbike rider Bobby Fong, came away with a pair of fourths, but demonstrated the speed necessary for a sure-fire double podium weekend. After finishing 0.03 seconds off the box on Saturday following a near race-long ride in second position, Fong’s Sunday race took an entirely different shape, albeit with the identical result in the end. 

The Californian was pushed wide in Turn One at the start and shuffled back several positions. He was then caught up in numerous scraps, which severely hampered his pace before finally breaking free in fourth late in the 12-lap race. Once in the clear, Fong dramatically closed down on third position. He simply ran out of time, crossing the stripe an even narrower 0.004 seconds removed from the podium the second time around.

“It was a crazy race,” Fong said after Sunday’s contest. “Today didn’t tell the story of what place we had in us. We gambled and put a setting in that I believe could have definitely got us in the top three.”

“I’m happy to finish fourth, but the good thing about racing is we have another weekend coming to redeem ourselves. Everybody knows we don’t like losing. I’m staying positive and looking forward to the next one,” added Fong.

Meanwhile, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s talented teens, Sean Dylan Kelly and Sam Lochoff, earned a podium apiece aboard their GSX-R600s in MotoAmerica Supersport duty.

The weekend marked a new career best for Lochoff, who earned his first-ever podium in the middleweight class with a runner-up performance on Saturday. He nearly backed it up with a second podium a day later, but came home fourth at the flag, just 0.088 seconds short at the flag.

Kelly went back and forth for Saturday’s thrilling race — engaging in a shootout that saw more than thirty lead changes — before crashing on the final lap with his rival. Critically for his championship hopes, ‘SDK’ remounted and still finished in sixth.

On Sunday, Kelly lost his chance at another scrap for first after getting off to a tough start, but still managed to escape to a well-earned second. As a result, the Floridian continues to lead the early-season title fight.

“Today was much different than yesterday,” Kelly said. “Yesterday was a great race — a hard fight — but we made a mistake in the end. We wanted to build off that, but the start was not good today. I made a mistake in Turn One and a few guys got past me. After that, there was a gap to the lead that I couldn’t make back up. I wasn’t able to do what I wanted, but I know we’re going to build from here. We’ve got another shot at the next round, and we’re going to go in hard and keep on working.”

Jackson Blackmon finished second in the Twins Cup race in Wisconsin.

The following is from Jackson Blackmon Racing…

Jackson Blackmon picks up another 2nd place finish in the MotoAmerica Twins Cup race at Road America. Making it three starts and three 2nd place finishes for the young gun out of South Carolina. Jackson was able to avoid chaos in the Twins Cup race Saturday where the top 3 in the championship either did not start or finish the race. Jackson is now sitting 4th in the championship just 17 points behind despite missing the first round at Road Atlanta due to a broken wrist.

“I am super happy with the weekend and how this season has started for me. It has been awesome getting more seat time on my Yamaha MT-07 and still learning and adapting every time out. Was blessed to have support from the North East Cycles guys as well as Yamaha and Finishline Machine getting the bike better and better every weekend. Thank you to everyone behind me, super excited to carry the momentum to The Ridge!” stated Blackmon.

Jackson Blackmon Racing is still learning week by week as it is their first full Twins Cup season. Nineteen year old Jackson Blackmon is not only the rider for JBR, but also runs his own program with the support from his fathers machine shop Finsihline Machine. The duo is making a name for themselves this year, will we see Jackson on the all new Yamaha R7 soon? Stay tuned to find out.

JBR would like to thank their sponsors and supporters; Yamaha Motor USA, Finishline Machine, North East Cycles, Yamalube, Trackday Winner, GP Tech, Wiseco Pistons, HJC Helmets, Roaring Toyz, Millennium Technologies, OneX, Web Cams, SBS Brakes, Vortex, and 64 Degrees.

Travis Wyman had a solid weekend of racing at Road America.

The following is from Travis Wyman Racing…

It was a busy weekend for Travis Wyman at MotoAmerica’s Superbikes at Road America round. The BMW rider competed in four races aboard two different motorcycles at the June 11-13 event, including three races on Sunday afternoon.

Wyman’s top-five finish in the weekend’s lone Stock 1000 race and top-10 in Sunday’s Superbike race helped him maintain his lead in the Superbike Cup standings and kept him in the hunt for the Stock 1000 title. The Las Vegas resident also is ninth in the overall Superbike standings.

The Travis Wyman Racing team’s first on-track session of the weekend was Stock 1000 Friday practice, which Wyman finished fifth-fastest aboard his 2020 BMW S 1000 RR. Later Friday, Wyman was the fourth-fastest rider in the afternoon Qualifying 1 session, during which he improved his best lap time from practice by more than a second.

When qualifying wrapped up Saturday morning, Wyman had secured fifth place on the starting grid for Sunday’s Stock 1000 race despite suffering a crash during the session. In Saturday’s Superbike race, Wyman battled his way through some mechanical gremlins from his crash during qualifying to finish the race in 12th overall and third among the Superbike Cup competitors.

Wyman’s fortunes proved to be better on Sunday. The Stock 1000 race was stopped after less than one lap due to an on-track incident, and Wyman got a good start when racing got back underway. Though he was held up by another rider for the opening laps of the race, Wyman was able to advance to fourth place on Lap 4 of the shortened six-lap race and had to settle for a lonely fourth-place finish. In Sunday’s Superbike race, Wyman started the race 12th on the grid and – thanks to some attrition farther up the running order – capped off the weekend with a ninth-place finish. It was Wyman’s fourth top 10 in the Superbike Class this season, and he recorded the second-best finish among the Superbike Cup riders..

The weekend also marked Wyman’s first outing as a factory Harley-Davidson rider in the MotoAmerica King of the Baggers Class. Wyman qualified fourth for the weekend’s Baggers race and was battling for the last step on the podium for the first half of the five-lap race. He ended up scoring a second-place finish when two other front runners dropped out of the race.

Travis Wyman Racing’s next event will be Round 4 of the 2021 MotoAmerica season, which is scheduled for June 25-27 at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash.

Travis Wyman / No. 10

“This was an extremely successful weekend for the team. We were dealing with braking issues all weekend due to the high ambient temperatures. I was really happy with the pace I was running during the Stock 1000 race, and it’s unfortunate that I got held up and wasn’t able to compete for a victory. My team did an amazing job getting our BMW S 1000 RR repaired after my crash in Qualifying 2 to be ready for Saturday’s Superbike race. We’re still leading the Superbike Cup title chase by a good margin, and I’m looking forward to having another crack at The Ridge Motorsports Park in a couple weeks time. We were still learning our new BMW when we raced there last year, and I think that experience will help us have a good start to the weekend there. I also am happy to have welcomed Klock Werks back as a title sponsor for Road America, and I look forward to continuing to grow our marketing partnership.”

Austin Miller in action at Road America.

The following is from Pure Attitude Racing…

It was another solid weekend for the Pure Attitude Racing Team in the latest round of the 2021 MotoAmerica Championship, held this past weekend at the iconic Road America circuit in Wisconsin.

With their four riders, Nate Minster and Austin Miller (Supersport), and Liam MacDonald and Trevor Standish (Twins Cup), back in action, it was another busy weekend, but one in which the squad can look back on satisfied with how they performed.

Supersport saw the return to the top ten for Nate Minster, the #99 Yamaha rider claiming a double points scoring finish, whilst Austin Miller added further points to his season tally on Saturday, narrowly missing the final point for fifteenth on Sunday after a hard-fought race aboard his Kawasaki.

In Twins Cup both Liam MacDonald and Trevor Standish were once again in the mix. Liam raced to a career best finish of fifth, once again showing great potential and speed at a circuit he doesn’t know. Trevor on the other hand failed to finish. The #16 crashed out of a potential podium early on, suffering a fractured hand in the incident. Further updates on when he will return to the track will follow in due course.

The team now head to The Ridge Motorsports Park in Washington in a fortnight.

Austin Miller“The track felt a little different in Q1 than it did on Friday morning. We made a change, but the majority of riders were slower, maybe because of the temperature. I felt good and the bike felt good, and we were able to race hard and score some more points on Saturday, but Race 2 was kind of rough. I wrongly turned the Pit Limiter on and so I was playing catch up. I made a good start and passed a few people but was too far behind to do anything really. A few people went down, and I was closing in on the top fifteen, but I ran out of laps. I was overriding a bit and made a few mistakes, but we can take the positives from the weekend. We have the test day at The Ridge, and this will definitely help us.”

Nate Minster: “We had a small electrical issue in Free Practice which came back after about four laps in Q1 which is a shame as I felt really good, even it was only for those four laps in the afternoon. Race 2 was better than race one. We figured out the suspension issue and I was able to improve my lap times by over two seconds a lap and finished in the top ten which I am happy about. We can now move on to The Ridge and hopefully keep the momentum going.”

Liam MacDonald: “Friday was a good day considering we lost most of the morning session after Jody (Barry) went down hard and they red flagged our session. The main thing is that he looks to be doing ok which is good news to hear and I wish him a speedy recovery. I was still learning the place in Q1. I was able to hang with some of the top guys but stayed out the whole session which was the plan. We ended the opening day in P8 which was my best provisional grid slot, so all things considered I was happy. I improved in Q2 and achieved my best qualifying position. In the race I made a good start and saw Trevor go down in front of me but thankfully he is not too badly hurt. I knew I was in the top six and then I just focused as other guys started to fall. I closed in on P4 and narrowly missed out on the line, but I am super happy. I have scored points in every race, and we are getting close to the podium. A big thanks to the whole Pure Attitude Racing team. They are really giving me the tools to do a good job!”

Trevor Standish: “I struggled with the feeling on the bike in Q1 but the times we did were still decent which pleased me. We made some changes for Q2 which worked, and I was able to qualify fourth. I made a great start, but my race was over pretty much immediately. I knew I had the pace to run at the front, but I made a small mistake and went down. I have fractured my hand but thankfully it is not too bad, and we will be back on track stronger than ever really soon. It’s disappointing to score no points but the season is long, and we have shown that we have the potential to fight for podiums every race and this is what I have to remember as we move on to The Ridge, Laguna and the rest of the tracks.”

Jake Gagne was unbeatable in HONOS Superbike action from Road America.

The following is from Yamaha…

Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne continues to dominate, breaking another track record en route to victory in today’s MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2 at Road America. Teammate Josh Herrin overcame adversity to score his second top-five finish this weekend in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin.

Once again, Gagne grabbed the holeshot from pole position, but this time around, the competition was hot on his heels and made the pass in Turn 5. The 28-year-old quickly reclaimed the lead and then upped the ante by breaking Cameron Beaubier’s track record in a Superbike race, an impressive 2:10.998. From there, Gagne put in some consistently fast times to win his fifth consecutive race by a 6.7-second margin, expanding his lead in the championship to 18 points.

Herrin lined up fifth for today’s grid and got a great start from the second row to third. Unfortunately, he got shuffled back to seventh in the opening laps, but the 2013 Superbike Champion kept pushing to fight his way back. He made the pass for fifth going into the first turn on Lap 5, and then advanced to fourth a lap later. The battle heated up with five laps to go, and Herrin was pushed wide in the chicane and shuffled back to sixth. He was able to move back into fifth a lap later, where he ultimately finished.

The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team heads to The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington, for Round 4 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on June 25-27.

Richard Stanboli – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“Road America is a special track, and the fans were awesome! It was another great day for the Yamaha R1. Jake once again was in complete harmony with the machine and led every lap for the win and set another race record. As a matter of fact, the R1 has every track record on our circuit with the exception of Brainerd, where we haven’t raced but will be testing there next week. We look forward to the next race at The Ridge where we will see if Josh or Jake can break Cameron’s track record from 2020. It should be good fun.”

Jake Gagne – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Yamaha R1 was on rails all weekend! I’m super happy for the team and that we were able to put everything together to have two great wins here at Road America. We’ll keep this momentum going and keep working hard for more great weekends like this. It was amazing to see the great fan turn out this weekend as well. I’m looking forward to the next one.”

Josh Herrin – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing

“It was a tough weekend, but we still managed to leave with some decent points. We will get back to work and come back swinging at The Ridge.”

The following is from Westby Racing…

After finishing sixth in Saturday’s Superbike race at Road America, Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz bounced back with a podium finish on Sunday. With his third-place finish, Mathew has reached the podium in five out of the six races thus far in the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.

Starting on the outside of row two based on his sixth-place finish in Saturday’s race, Mathew got off to a good start and quickly went to work moving towards the front. He raced the #11 Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 all the way up to third place by lap three and maintained his podium position all the way to the checkered flag, while also successfully holding off a strong challenge from Bobby Fong on the run up the hill to the finish line.

“We made some pretty huge changes with the traction control just to try to drive out of the corners better,” Mathew said. “Yesterday, we could see that the top speed wasn’t bad, but it was that third, fourth, fifth gear coming out of the corners where we were losing big time. So, we decided to turn off the traction control, which made it really hard, but it definitely drove better. You could see the lap times were better for the first couple of laps. It worked out perfectly that I got past (Bobby) Fong, (Josh) Herrin, Kyle Wyman, and just rode my own race from there. Then, with maybe four laps to go, something started happening. There was liquid shooting back up at me, and the clutch lever was bouncing backwards and forwards. Everything wasn’t really working well, but I managed to hold on. I’m happy to be third and back up here on the podium. Thank you to the Westby team. Everybody has been working hard. We have our work cut out for us to try to catch up to Jake, but we’re ready for the challenge.”

Westby Racing’s Junior Cup rider Jack Roach’s weekend could be summed up as a learning experience. After qualifying 7th, but finishing 14th in the race on Saturday, he ran off the track in Sunday’s race and ultimately finished 18th.

Next up for Westby Racing is round four of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington, on June 25 through 27.

Kaleb De Keyrel won the Twins Cup race at Road America.

The following is from Robem Engineering…

Kaleb De Keyrel had lots of friends and family cheering him on Friday and Saturday at MotoAmerica’s Superbikes at Road America round, and the Minnesotan didn’t let his audience down. The Robem Engineering rider piloted his Aprilia RS 660 to a dominant win in Saturday’s Twins Cup race, claiming his second victory of the 2021 season.

De Keyrel’s teammate, Hayden Schultz, also had a positive weekend. The Arkansas rider scored a fourth place in Saturday’s race and held onto seventh place in the Twins Cup standings.

The win allowed De Keyrel — who was the runner-up in the 2020 MotoAmerica Twins Cup — to move up from fourth to first in the class’ points standings, and it was his second victory in five races aboard the newly-homologated-for-2021 Aprilia RS 660.

The team’s third rider, Toby Khamsouk, did not take part in the Road America round to attend to a personal matter.

Part of the team’s success at Road America can be attributed to the test day it conducted after the previous MotoAmerica round at VIRginia International Raceway had concluded. The additional track time allowed the team to gather much-needed data about its trio of Aprilia RS 660s and greatly improve its baseline setups for all three riders.

De Keyrel and Schultz got very little track time on Friday at Road America due to the morning Twins Cup practice session being red-flagged and later canceled because of an on-track incident. De Keyrel finished the session at the top of the time sheets, and Schultz posted the third-fastest time. Later Friday during Qualifying 1, De Keyrel laid down the second-fastest time of the session, and Schultz finished the session seventh-fastest.

De Keyrel’s commanding pace was on full display when qualifying wrapped up Saturday morning, as he claimed pole position by a margin of 0.852 seconds. Schultz finished qualifying in sixth place, posting a time of 2:31.583 around the 4.048-mile circuit.

It was De Keyrel’s time to shine in the weekend’s only Twins Cup race, and he delivered an impressive performance. After getting a good start and claiming the holeshot, De Keyrel gradually built a lead over the pack of riders battling for second place. He led all eight laps of the race, taking the win by a margin of more than 7.9 seconds. Schultz also had a good race on Saturday. After getting shuffled back a couple positions at the start, he worked his way to a fourth-place finish.

The Robem Engineering team will be back in action at Round 4 of the 2021 MotoAmerica season, which takes place June 25-27 at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Wash.

Kaleb De Keyrel / No. 51

“We only got two laps in during Friday practice, but I felt comfortable right from the start aboard my Aprilia. It felt great being able to go out and put down quick laps right away. We made some changes to our setup from what we used at VIR, and we learned a lot about what I needed out of the bike during Qualifying 1. That helped me feel comfortable to push the bike more at the start of Qualifying 2 on Saturday, and we were able to go quite a bit faster than everyone else. Drafting is a huge factor here at Road America with its long straightaways. I knew I was going to have to put my head down from the start and try to break the draft. I was able to do that pretty quickly and was able to focus on just being smooth and smart with the lead I had. The Aprilia RS 660 handled like a dream: it was easily the most comfortable I’ve felt on the bike. I’m extremely excited to be leading the championship now and am looking forward to bringing this momentum to Washington.”

Hayden Schultz / No. 49

“I was happy to come away from the Road America round with good points, although the result isn’t exactly what I was hoping for this weekend. I worked incredibly hard to try to get to the front, but with limited track time – due to the length of the track and losing most of the first practice session – I struggled to give the team the feedback it needed to find an ideal setup. I unfortunately wasn’t able to run up front with my teammate in the race, but we’re going to carry what we learned here at Road America into the next round. We’ll have time to test the bike at the Ridge to improve our setup and, hopefully, we’ll be able to join Kaleb on the podium at The Ridge.”

Robem Engineering’s technical partners for 2021 include The Center for Plastic Surgery, Velocity Calibrations, Bitubo Suspension, Dunlop, Woodcraft Technologies, Dymag, Vesrah, DNA Filters, Magura USA, Sara Chappell Photos, NGK/NTK, Blud Lubricants, Millennium Technologies and SC-Project.

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