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WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca: What The Teams Said

Travis Wyman won his second Stock 1000 race of the season at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The following is from Travis Wyman Racing…

Travis Wyman struggled through practice and qualifying on Friday and Saturday at the MotoAmerica Superbike Speedfest at Monterey, but the Motul Travis Wyman Racing BMW rider had perhaps the best day of his pro racing career Sunday. The Las Vegas resident scored a hard-earned win in Sunday’s Stock 1000 race, was the top-finishing Superbike Cup rider later Sunday and bolstered his chances of securing two MotoAmerica titles.

Wyman increased his lead in the Superbike Cup title chase to 17 points and moved up from fourth to third in the Stock 1000 points while sporting a Motul-themed livery on his 2020 BMW S 1000 RR. He also advanced from ninth to eighth in the overall Superbike Class standings.

Like at the previous round, Wyman and the other top five riders in the Superbike Cup points practiced and qualified with the Superbike Class. Wyman finished Friday practice and both qualifying sessions in 13th, which was enough to secure sixth on the Stock 1000 starting grid and 16th on the Superbike Race 1 grid.

Wyman’s only race on Saturday was the Superbike contest. After failing to advance from 16th position before the race was red-flagged on Lap 3, Wyman got a good start and gradually worked his way to a 10th-place finish. He also nabbed the second-best finish among the Superbike Cup riders and missed out on top Superbike Cup honors by 0.284 seconds. Wyman’s better pace on Saturday was thanks to his crew chief, Steve Weir, giving Wyman a completely different suspension and geometry setup for the Superbike race.

The team didn’t make any changes to its BMW’s setup for Sunday’s races, and Wyman’s new-found comfort piloting his BMW helped him come out on top in the weekend’s only Stock 1000 race. Starting from sixth, Wyman had a big wheelie off the line and was running in eighth at the end of Lap 1. The BMW rider began working his way up the running order on Lap 6 of the 14-lap race. By Lap 8, Wyman has moved up to third place, and he made his move to second place on Lap 11. The only lap Wyman led was the last lap, where he got by the race leader as they exited the last corner of the last lap and took the victory by a mere 0.032 seconds.

About two hours after finishing fourth in his second race as a factory Harley-Davidson rider in the third and final King of the Baggers race of 2021, Wyman found more success in the Sunday Superbike race. Thanks to his top-10 finish in Saturday’s Superbike race, Wyman started the Sunday Superbike contest 10th on the grid. Wyman fell back to 12th on the opening lap but worked his way past three other Superbike Cup riders in the remaining 19 laps to claim a ninth-place finish. He was the highest-finishing Superbike Cup rider — his third time achieving that feat this year. It also was his sixth top-10 Superbike finish of the season.

Next up on the Travis Wyman Racing BMW calendar is MotoAmerica’s first visit to Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn., on July 30-Aug. 1.

Travis Wyman / No. 10
“This was an incredible weekend for my team and my road racing career. My goal for this weekend was to get on the podium in Stock 1000 and try to get two good finishes in Superbike. We started the weekend off the pace, but Steve [Weir] turned our weekend around by going with a radically different setup after qualifying on Saturday. It was a total gamble, but it paid off big when we needed it most. To get such a dramatic and hard-fought win in the Stock 1000 race was exhilarating, especially at a track that I’d never finished on the podium at before. This was one of the best weekends of my pro racing career, and I’m so happy to have accomplished so much at my title sponsor’s home race. It was great sporting Motul’s logo on the top step of a MotoAmerica podium, and I can’t thank them enough for increasing their support for my team this weekend.”

Sean Dylan Kelly did the Supersport doubleheader sweep at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

The following is from Suzuki…

Suzuki Motor USA, LLC and Team Hammer added to its rapidly expanding 2021 trophy collection with two more victories, four podiums, and a pole position as the MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship visited the iconic WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California this weekend.

Sean Dylan Kelly was again at the front of the charge, assembling a second consecutive perfect weekend. Despite twice being confronted with a relentless challenge from his rivals, the 19-year-old pulled off a pair of tight victories aboard his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R600 to up his MotoAmerica Supersport title advantage to an imposing 31 points.

For ‘SDK,’ the dominating weekend represented his second double win in a row, both in 2021 and at Laguna Seca. On Saturday, Kelly managed a fast pace despite closing off the traditional passing zones to any potential maneuvers. On Sunday, his rivals were even more aggressive, but the Floridian survived early attacks to consolidate the lead in the middle portions of the race and hold it until the checkered flag.

Reflecting on his seventh triumph of the season, Kelly said, “It was another hard race at the front, just like yesterday. It was a really close gap, and I just tried to be consistent. It came down to the end again and they were right on me. It was another one of those races where I had to play it smart and defend, and I think I played it exactly the right way.

“I’m really stoked. Thank you to my whole M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team — this is amazing.”

Meanwhile, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki MotoAmerica Superbike ace Cameron Petersen put together another outstanding weekend himself. The South African further established himself a genuine podium threat in the premier class, adding his fourth top three in five races on Saturday. After a red flag, he jumped into third place and held it.

Petersen backed it up with a fourth-place ride on Sunday.

“Hats off to the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki team,” Petersen said following his Saturday third. “They keep working hard and keep giving me the best possible bike every weekend. That’s allowing me to show that I can do my thing and get on the podium in the Superbike class.”

Stock 1000 championship contender Jake Lewis added a fourth podium of the weekend for the larger effort. The lanky Kentuckian dipped as low as eighth at mid-distance, but put in a spirited charge aboard his Team Hammer-built Altus Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the late stages of the race to work his way into winning contention by the final lap.

Lewis ultimately finished third, just 0.286 seconds behind the win. As a result, he is now just 12 points off the title lead.

Lewis said, “It was my and the team’s decision to run the harder rear tire and I think we were the only one in the top eight running it. I just couldn’t get going in the beginning. They were smoking me. I just did the best I could, charged the whole race, and made some good passes. I wish I would have rewarded the Altus Motorsports Suzuki team with a win, but third is not bad. It was a good points weekend for us.”

Superbike race winner Bobby Fong gritted out sixth- and seventh-place rides on his M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R.

Meanwhile, rising star Sam Lochoff still ranks third in the MotoAmerica Supersport standings despite a tough weekend in California that saw him finish seventh on Saturday and crash from contention on Sunday.

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Wyatt Farris earned his sixth top-ten Stock 1000 result of the year with a run to tenth.

Team Hammer will next return to the Midwest with a long-awaited return to Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota, on July 30-August 1.

Liam MacDonald at speed at Laguna Seca

The following is from Pure Attitude Racing…

The latest round of the 2021 MotoAmerica series took place at the iconic Laguna Seca circuit, home of the famous Corkscrew, this passed weekend, and Pure Attitude Racing was once again in the mix throughout, thanks to their competing riders Nate Minster, Austin Miller, and Liam MacDonald.

With tens of thousands packing the venue, the team, who were once again on track in both Twins Cup and Supersport, also took part in the first ever Party at The Podium on Saturday evening, entering the #MotoAmericanIdol contest as a group – with hilarious results.

Liam MacDonald: “I started ninth and finished ninth. It took me a while in the race to find my rhythm and that cost me time in the beginning. I don’t know why but I felt like I wasn’t hitting my marks and that stopped me from potentially finishing higher, but that’s racing, and it can happen sometime. Able to set my fastest laps in the last laps which the team and I were happy with, we found a really good direction with the bike. It was a bit of a lonely race, but it was another top ten which is really positive. I am looking forward to Brainerd in a few weeks which is a circuit not many people have been to. A big thanks to the team – see you at the next one.”

Austin Miller: “It was another great opening race for me. I made a good start and as everyone went to the inside I went around the outside. I rode my own race and was able to stick with the group. This meant that I was in a position to pick them off one by one and I took P12 in a photo finish on the last lap to take my second-best result in MotoAmerica Supersport. Race two wasn’t the result I wanted but I was able to drop lap times and went faster. I lost grip towards the end of the race but overall, I am happy with my performance this weekend and am looking forward to Brainerd.”

Nate Minster: “Race 1 was a struggle, but I managed to dig deep and take the last point. Race two was a pleasing step forward. We found the issue that had been affecting us all weekend and I was able to improve my lap time quite a lot. I made a good start but faded a bit towards the end. I’m happy though as we now have the right direction, and the next race is my home race so see you all there.”

Mathew Scholtz finished third in Sunday’s HONOS Superbike race in Monterey.

Following his fourth-place finish in Saturday’s Superbike race one at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz returned to the podium in Sunday’s race two. For Mathew, it was his sixth podium finish of the season, and he maintained second in the championship point standings.

After making a couple of changes to the bike’s setup overnight and testing the new settings in the Sunday morning warmup session, Mathew got off to a good start in the afternoon’s race. In the opening laps, he challenged Jake Gagne and Loris Baz for the lead in a dramatic skirmish that occurred while the three riders were going through Laguna Seca’s iconic Corkscrew. Ultimately, Mathew settled into third and tenaciously hung onto his podium position all the way to the checkered flag.

Reflecting on his weekend, Mathew said, “Yesterday was good. Finishing just 4.8 seconds behind Jake (Gagne) is the closest we’ve been to him. Last night, we made some changes, and it definitely helped today. The past two rounds have been difficult, so we came here and just reset everything, worked our way up slowly Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and just got quicker and quicker. I think I hung onto Baz and Jake for the first 12 (of 20) laps or something like that. I didn’t think it would be possible running low to mid 24’s for most of the race. I got a nice surprise for myself there. Just a huge thank you to the Westby Racing team. These have been difficult times, but we persevered and managed to work our way back up to the podium here. We definitely have our work cut out for us to catch (Gagne and Baz). I feel like the bike is now going where I feel comfortable riding it. I’ve had to change how I go into corners, slightly. I feel like if we carry on working in the direction that we are now, we should be able to hopefully catch them soon.”

Westby Racing’s Junior Cup rider Jack Roach had a solid weekend aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3. He followed up his sixth-place finish in Saturday’s race one with another sixth-place finish in Sunday’s race two. In both races, Jack was in a group of riders who were competing for the podium. Also, on the strength of his two sixth-place results over the weekend, he moved up to 11th in the championship point standings.

Next up for Westby Racing is round seven of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota, on July 30 through August 1.