This weekend’s results are brought to you by Blud Lubricants – Racing Is In Our Blud!!!
Editorial Note: The MotoAmerica Superbike all-time lap record at Road Atlanta was a 1:23.844, set by Garrett Gerloff in 2019.
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Leads Opening Day In HONOS Superbike At Road Atlanta
Jake Gagne Breaks Lap Record En Route To Top At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
BRASELTON, GA (April 30, 2021) – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne ended his Friday afternoon at Michelin Raceway with his YZF-R1 in the gravel trap on the outside of turn 10-B. But he also ended it on top of the timesheets in the HONOS Superbike class as the MotoAmerica Series opened its season on an overcast day in Georgia.
Gagne’s best lap in Q1 was a 1:23.746, which was under the Superbike lap record of 1:23.844 set by Garrett Gerloff during Superpole in 2019. Gagne’s best came on his 16th lap and it was .359 of a second faster than Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African lapping at 1:24.105 on his 18th lap.
“It was a good day,” said Gagne. “The Yamaha came off the truck working really, really good. We got right up to a good speed this morning in the first practice and really only got one stint because we had some clutch issues and we had to bring the bike back. We didn’t get a lot of laps in that first session but in the second session we got going and tried some other tires and we threw down some pretty good times at the end there. Unfortunately, I ran wide in 10-A and was way too tight in 10-B and tried to hold it and lost the front. So, I threw it down, but it was easy for me. I scratched up the bike a little bit, but that’s racing. We learned a lot today and we can still fine tune some things for tomorrow and make things a little easier, but it will be a battle because these guys are all rolling good.”
As for setting a new lap record, Gagne said: “It’s good. For race tires, that made us happy. Obviously, it’s not as hot and greasy as it was last year so I think the tires are getting along a little bit better, but it was a good start.”
The provisional front row was filled by Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz, the Frenchman making his MotoAmerica debut and turning in a 1:24.269 on his first visit to Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
Next in line were the two M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000s with Bobby Fong besting his new teammate Cameron Petersen with the pair turning in bests of 1:24.810 and 1:25.571, respectively.
Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman ended the day sixth with Gagne’s Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Josh Herrin seventh. Herrin missed the entire morning session with mechanical issues bringing his YZF-R1 to a screeching halt.
Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera, in his MotoAmerica debut, FLY Racing ADR Motorsports David Anthony and his teammate Jayson Uribe rounded out the top 10 on day one. Uribe, however, had a big crash at the close of the session.
In support class action, M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly topped his rival Richie Escalante in the first qualifying session, the Floridian topping HONOS Racing Team’s Escalante by just .023 of a second. MESA37 Racing’s Stefano Mesa was third fastest and just over half a second behind Kelly.
N2 Racing’s Blake Davis came away with the fastest time in the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Q1 with the Yamaha R3-mounted Virginian lapping at 1:42.461 to best Veloce Racing’s Maxwell Toth and Rodio Racing’s Gus Rodio.
Geoff May Racing/VisionWheel.com’s Geoff May topped the timesheets in Stock 1000 during Q1, lapping at 1:27.470 to best Michael Gilbert Racing’s Michael Gilbert by .359 of a second. Jones Honda’s Ashton Yates ended the day third fastest.
In Twins Cup, it was Innovative Motorsports/Mike’s Imports Teagg Hobbs leading the way with his 1:34.951 on his Suzuki SV650, putting him ahead of the Robem Engineering Aprilia RS 660 of Kaleb De Keyrel. Righteous Racing’s Jody Barry ended up third fastest on his Aprilia RS 660.
Tyler O’Hara, the winner of last year’s King Of The Baggers Invitational, was the fastest of the big V-twins on Friday, the Californian riding his Mission Foods S&S Cycle Indian Challenger to the best lap of the first practice session for the Mission King Of The Baggers. Harley-Davidson Screamin’ Eagle’s Kyle Wyman was second with DTF Performance/Hoban Brothers Racing’s Michael Barnes third.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:
MotoAmerica 2021 kicks off with Baz and Wyman in the top six on Friday at Road Atlanta
Sunnyvale, Calif., April 30, 2021 – MotoAmerica kicked off its 2021 season with day one at Road Atlanta in the Honos Superbike category with Ducati riders Loris Baz and Kyle Wyman both posting competitive times across the day’s two sessions.
Baz and his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York Ducati Panigale V4 R SBK took third overall in both Free Practice 1 and Qualifying 1 after a mammoth 38 laps as the French ace became accustomed to the rigors of Road Atlanta, ending the day a mere 0.523 behind Yamaha’s pacesetter Jake Gagne.
Wyman’s day saw the Arizona resident card a pair of sixth places in FP1 and Q1, as he and the newly rebranded Panera Bread Ducati team get to grips with a new, higher specification of Ducati Panigale V4 R than he rode in 2020.
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“Overall today was really good,” Baz enthused after Friday. “It’s tough to learn a track during a race weekend, especially this kind of track, but I’m super happy with how today went. My Ducati is a beast! It has also been good working with the team, even if we don’t know each other so well because this is only the second time we have all worked together.
“I did a lot of laps this morning, a lot a lot of laps, just trying to learn and improve, and I really didn’t expect to be in that good of a position on the first day. I still have areas to improve—I’m losing five tenths in the first section and I’m five tenths away in the standings, so I’ll work on that and be ready for race one.”
Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #33)
“Towards the end of the second session we got to put in some fast times,” Wyman said, who put in a total of 26 laps across both sessions. “We were just trying to get our heads around the new bike but we got about 11 good laps in at the end of the day, so we’re feeling good out there.
“The bike is absolutely all new for 2021. There’s a new tank, swingarm, seat, forks, and for us to end the first day of the year in P6 was a good result. We’ll go back tonight and go over the data and be ready for qualifying and the first race tomorrow.”
Race one for the opening round of the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship starts at 3:00 pm EDT