Following the tragic passing of Dane Westby, his father, and principal of Yamaha/Westby Racing, Tryg Westby, has decided to continue racing in Dane’s honor this weekend at the Circuit of the Americas, the debut of the new MotoAmerica series. Taking Dane’s place aboard the numer 00 Yamaha YZF-R1 in the Superstock 1000 class will be Geoff May, who most recently finished third at the Daytona 200.
“After thinking about what Dane would do, I decided to keep pushing forward this year,” Tryg said. “We brought Dane to the top, so why not give another guy the same chance? When in doubt, I ask myself, ‘WWDD? What would Dane do?’ Dane would push on, and finish strong. That’s what we’re going to do this weekend at COTA.”
Geoff has raced professionally for more than a decade and a half with some of the biggest teams in the AMA road racing paddock, including Team Hammer, Michael Jordan Motorsports, and Erik Buell Racing. In 2014, he competed in World Superbike on a factory EBR 1190RX for Team Hero Erik Buell Racing. Last month, Geoff won the pole for the Daytona 200, and finished a strong fourth in the race aboard his #99 Project Mayday Yamaha YZF-R6. It was a grass roots effort put together by Geoff himself, with financial support from fans who contributed to Project Mayday through GoFundMe.com, a fundraising Website.
Commenting on the announcement, Trevor Kemp of Yamalube, the team’s title sponsor, said, “It has obviously been an emotion-filled couple of weeks since Dane Westby’s passing. This was Tryg Westby’s decision to have the team race at COTA, to honor his dear son Dane, and to help everyone heal from this terrible tragedy. I admire Tryg greatly for making this decision. Tryg is a racer at heart, as was Dane, and having a rider as talented and experienced as Geoff May aboard Dane’s #00 R1 is a testament to the strength of the Yamalube/Westby Racing team.”
Chuck Giacchetto, team manager of Yamalube/Westby Racing added, “I’m both proud and honored to be able to serve the Westby family. Even as tragedy struck, Tryg knew he needed to press on like the Daner always did. With Geoff May racing for us at COTA, it will keep Tryg, the family, and the team members together like the close-knit group that we’ve always been. Riders of Geoff’s caliber are few and far between, and the entire team is excited to have him on board. Geoff knows how committed we are to being one of the best-prepared teams in the paddock, and I know he’ll return the gesture tenfold. Yamalube/Westby Racing is all about integrity, hard work, and dedication, and so is Geoff. I have no doubt that our combined efforts will serve us well at COTA.”
Geoff May said, “First and foremost, my thoughts go out to the Westby family and the team. I am humbled and honored to help carry the Yamalube/Westby Racing flag. During my racing career, I’ve had the privilege of watching Dane rise through the ranks in the AMA paddock. I am positive that he was on the verge of having a huge year. I hope to honor him with my results and to possibly bring some peace to Tryg, the Westby family, and Yamalube/Westby Racing.”
Geoff and the Yamalube/Westby Racing team will be on track at COTA beginning this Thursday, April 9, starting with Superbike/Superstock 1000 practice at 1 PM CST. Superbike/Superstock 1000 Race 1 will go green at COTA on Saturday, April 11, at 5 PM CST. Race 2 is scheduled for Sunday, April 12, at 3:30 PM CST.