MotoAmerica Invades NJMP With Gagne On The Verge Of Title
Jake Gagne Can Clinch MotoAmerica Title In New Jersey This Weekend, September 10-12
IRVINE, CA (September 8, 2021) – If things play out like they have all season long, Jake Gagne will be crowned the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion after the second of three HONOS Superbike races at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Sunday morning.
With three HONOS Superbike races scheduled for the penultimate round at NJMP (one on Saturday, two on Sunday), there are 75 points up for grabs in New Jersey. Ditto for the season finale at Barber Motorsports Park, September 17-19, where another three Superbike races will be held and thus another 75 points available. That’s 150 points. After race one on Saturday at NJMP, that number drops to 125, and on Sunday it becomes 100 and then 75 when the series heads south.
The bottom line is this: Gagne is currently 93 points ahead of Scholtz in the title chase, 325-232. If Gagne wins race one on Saturday and Scholtz finishes second, Gagne leads by 98 and he would need to have 100 points in hand to clinch. If he wins race two on Sunday morning and Scholtz is second, the lead is 103 points and Gagne can celebrate. Obviously, if Gagne wins and Scholtz finishes worse than second, all of this changes in favor of the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha rider.
But first things first, we race. After 14 of 20 races, the HONOS Superbike Series arrives in the Garden State with Gagne in complete command and on the verge of making history. Three more victories out of the six remaining races and Gagne will tie Cameron Beaubier and Josh Hayes for the record of 16 AMA Superbike wins in a season. Based on the season thus far, it would be tough to bet against Gagne ending the season with 19 victories out of 20 starts. Amazing.
Westby Racing’s Scholtz and M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen are the only riders in the HONOS Superbike class who haven’t been mathematically eliminated going into the NJMP round. Scholtz has put together a nice consistent little season for himself and the team and he is still the only rider other than Gagne to win a round. That came in the very first race of the year at Road Atlanta when Gagne’s YZF-R1 failed him on the opening lap. Scholtz has nine podiums in addition to that lone victory and remains the only, albeit slight, threat to Gagne’s title hopes.
Petersen has had a breakout year on the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki in his first year in the HONOS Superbike class on a real Superbike and the non-defending Stock 1000 Champion sits in a fairly solid third place in the series standings. Petersen has four podiums in total but has gone five races without a top-three finish.
Petersen’s teammate Bobby Fong went through a rough patch midseason, but he’s turned that around with two trips to the podium in the past four races. Fong is 19 points adrift of Petersen in fourth and 16 clear of fifth-placed Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz.
Baz’s rookie MotoAmerica season has been marred by five non-finishes and highlighted by six podiums – four of which were runner-up finishes to Gagne, a number that matches Scholtz’s second-place tally.
With four non-starts in a row, Josh Herrin arrives in New Jersey sixth in the title chase and a whopping 180 points behind his Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Gagne. With COVID-19 behind him, Herrin is hoping for a late season run of success, beginning at NJMP. Herrin is just four points behind Baz.
Twenty-one points behind Herrin is Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera, the Spaniard seventh in his debut MotoAmerica season. Barbera has been consistent with finishes in the fifth to eighth-place range at every round he’s finished, and he only has one DNF on his record.
Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis, the first of those fighting for the MotoAmerica Superbike Cup that goes to the top-finishing Stock 1000-spec racer, is eighth overall and that puts him 14 points ahead of Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman in the chase for the $25,000 bonus that the Superbike Cup pays.
Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman rounds out the top 10 in the HONOS Superbike point standings with the New Yorker missing six races due to a broken elbow suffered at the Road America round in June.
HONOS HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander is 11th overall and 19 points behind Lewis in the Superbike Cup standings.
The first of three HONOS Superbike races will take place on Saturday at 3 p.m. On Sunday, the two races will take place at 11:10 a.m. and 3 p.m.
NJMP Superbike Notes…
Seven different riders have won AMA Superbike races at New Jersey Motorsports Park in the 12-year history of the series in the Garden State and only two of them will be racing this weekend. Ironically, those two will be teammates for the weekend – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Josh Herrin (two wins) and Toni Elias (three wins).
The most successful AMA Superbike racer at NJMP is far and away Josh Hayes. Hayes, who is currently a rider coach in the MotoAmerica paddock, has won 11 of the 26 Superbike races held at NJMP. Fittingly, Hayes won the first two Superbike races held at NJMP in 2009 and followed that up with two more wins in 2010. In fact, the four-time AMA Superbike Champion won seven of the first eight races held in New Jersey. Hayes also won the first two Superbike races of the MotoAmerica era at NJMP in 2015.
Five-time AMA Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier won both HONOS Superbike races last year at NJMP for his fifth and sixth career Superbike wins in New Jersey. Beaubier, who is now racing in the Moto2 World Championship, topped Mathew Scholtz in race one last year and his then-teammate Jake Gagne in race two. Toni Elias finished third in race one with Scholtz taking the final podium spot in race two.
With his 13 successive AMA Superbike wins coming into the NJMP round, championship points leader Jake Gagne is now tied for 14th on the all-time win list with Blake Young and Doug Polen. A win in New Jersey this weekend would move Gagne up to a tie for 12th with Scott Russell and Eddie Lawson. If Gagne were to win all three races this weekend, he will vault to ninth all-time and that will tie him with MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey on the win list. Rainey will be in attendance this weekend at NJMP. The all-time AMA Superbike win leader is Mat Mladin with 82 career victories.
Stat of the week: Believe it or not, Jake Gagne has led every single lap of the HONOS Superbike class since lap nine of race two in the opening round at Road Atlanta. All told, Gagne has now led 213 consecutive laps.
Cameron Beaubier holds the Superbike lap record at the 2.25-mile NJMP with the Californian setting a best of 1:19.806 to earn pole position in the Superpole session. The fastest lap set in a race last year was Beaubier’s 1:20.310 from race one.
Much to his chagrin, we bring this up every year: Roger Hayden, who won twice at NJMP during his Superbike career, finished second five times. Included in those five second-places were a .044 of a second loss to Josh Hayes in 2015, .156 of a second loss to Toni Elias in 2016 and a .039 of a second loss to Elias in 2017. Hayden currently excels in his color commentary of MotoAmerica’s races on MotoAmerica Live+, the series live streaming and on-demand platform.
More, form a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Westby Racing Is Ready For A Superbike Trifecta In New Jersey This Weekend
Tulsa, OK – September 8, 2021 – Round eight of the 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship starts this Friday at New Jersey Motorsports Park (NJMP) in Millville, New Jersey, and it’s the first of two consecutive race weekends that will see the season wrap up at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
For Westby Racing’s Superbike team, featuring rider Mathew Scholtz, three races at NJMP will be a thorough test of skill, conditioning, and determination as they fight to maintain their second-place position in the Championship, as well as add to their 10 podium finishes so far this season.
“It’ll be nice to be back on the bike after this long break that we had since Pittsburgh,” Mathew said. “We’ve made a lot of progress during these last few rounds, so it’ll be great to get back to business, put our heads down, and challenge up front. Last year at New Jersey, Jake (Gagne) and I had a really close race, and he just barely managed to pass me on the final run to the finish line. New Jersey is one of the better circuits for me, so I expect to be challenging him in all three races this weekend. As a side note, I’m also excited that my parents will be at NJMP to watch me race. It’s been a long time since they’ve been able to do that, so it will make this weekend extra-special.”
Crew chief Ed Sullivan commented, “We’re all really excited to get the weekend started. After a couple of strong rounds, we have a really good direction with the bike, and I’m confident that we can be right in the mix for wins over the next two weeks. With the three-race format, there are a lot of points up for grabs, and I know Mathew is feeling good and is keen to finish the season on a high note.”
Team manager Chuck Giacchetto added, “Jersey is a place we love to come to. The fans are always awesome, and we have a large contingent of “tri-stater” fans from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. When you get them all together and give them a show to cheer about, you can never predict what might happen during the podium celebrations, and that’s where we plan to be.
“Mathew and the team have continued to adjust and move forward together. The past weeks off have given the technical crew some time to get bodies and minds rested for the final run to the championship. We will absolutely hit the ground running and look to close out 2021 in grand fashion.
“Mathew has a very clear head about him, and I feel he will attack the three-race format at these final two rounds like a championship fighter. Remember, it ain’t over till it’s over.”
Superbike final qualifying is on Saturday morning at 11 a.m. ET, and Superbike race one will go green on Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. ET. Superbike race two is on Sunday morning at 11 a.m. ET and Superbike race three starts at 3 p.m. ET. Saturday’s race one and Sunday’s race three will both be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), while Sunday morning’s race two will be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports 1 (FS1). All three races will be streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
For Westby Racing’s Junior Cup rider Jack Roach, the young Brit has had a season in which he has learned a lot about racing among close-knit packs of riders, using the draft to his advantage whenever possible, and maintaining corner speed. His learning will continue this weekend at NJMP’s 12-turn, 2.25-mile Thunderbolt Raceway.
“I’m excited to get back to racing again this weekend,” said Jack. “I want to thank Chuck (Giacchetto) and the whole Westby Racing/N2 Racing team for putting my bike back together. I love racing at NJMP, and I can’t wait to see all the fans out there, too.”
Junior Cup race one starts on Saturday at 4 p.m. ET, and Junior Cup race two is on Sunday at 2 p.m. ET. Both races will be streamed on MotoAmerica Live+ and also broadcast via tape-delay on FS2 this Tuesday, September 14, beginning at 12:30 a.m. ET.
Meet Mathew and Jack, Get Some Autographed Posters, And More
Mathew and Jack will both be available at the Westby Racing transporter in the paddock at NJMP with free, autographed posters and other team items to hand out, so be sure to check the schedule and stop by during those autograph sessions.
Check Out The Westby Racing Sponsor Showcase
Fast Frank Racing, SBS Friction A/S, Suter Racing Products, and Worldwide Bearings will be the featured team sponsors on display in the Westby Racing paddock area, so be sure to stop by to say hello and learn about some of the companies that support the team.
For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit https://www.WestbyRacing.com
Also, follow “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media sites.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:
Loris Baz and Kyle Wyman Set to Bring the Thunder to the North East for Round Eight
Sunnyvale, Calif., September 8, 2021 – MotoAmerica gets set for a double header to finish off the 2021 season, with the first half being round eight this weekend at New Jersey Motorsports Park, followed one week later by the grand finale at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.
The intensity of the final two rounds has also been increased by there being three Superbike races on the cards at each event compared to the usual two, giving Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati) and Loris Baz a golden opportunity to seal top 10 finishes in the championship, with Baz in particular in with a shot of third place overall in 2021.
After some time at home in France over the past three weeks since round seven at Pittsburgh, Baz is ready to attack in what will be the home race for his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York team. The Frenchman needs two good rounds to seal a championship top three, with a 35 point deficit to make up to current third place rider, Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen.
For Wyman, this weekend marks the first time that he can count himself as almost fully fit since his Road America race two crash that broke his elbow. The gritty Arizona resident also has close ties to the North East, originally hailing from New York himself, and will no doubt be on for a good showing on his beautiful green and black Panera Bread Ducati in front of his home fans.
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“I’m ready to run in this double header, which should be fun,” Baz said. “This is the home round for the team. We’ve run some laps during a track day at New Jersey so we have an idea about gearing and general bike set up, which should mean we won’t struggle as much early in the weekend like last round. It’ll be nice to ride close to New York. We’ll have a lot of people on the team coming and we’ll be trying our best to finish the season with a strong performance.”
Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #33)
“I’m really looking forward to getting back to New Jersey,” said Wyman. “It’s a track I have had a lot of success at in the past, and with a few extra weeks under my belt for my injured arm to heal, I’m physically in a better place than I’ve been for a long time. The recovery process has been a bit of a saga but I’ve finally got some good strength back and I’m looking forward to closing out the season on a strong note with two good tracks and six more races on the schedule.”