MotoAmerica: Gagne Fastest In Superbike Q1 At VIR (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Gagne Fastest In Superbike Q1 At VIR (Updated)

© 2021, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

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More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:

Gagne Leads MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike On Day One At VIR
Top Seven Superbikes Covered By Less Than A Second As Round Two Gets Started

DANVILLE, VA (May 21, 2020) – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne picked up where he left off from the opening round of the 2021 MotoAmerica Series two weeks ago, the race-two winner at Road Atlanta leading an ultra-close Q1 session on a stunning Friday afternoon at VIRginia International Raceway.

Gagne set the best lap on his fourth go-around, a 1:24.103 that was just .155 of a second faster than his teammate Josh Herrin with Herrin doing his best on his 17th lap and while chasing Gagne.

The top seven riders circulated VIR on the same second.

Gagne’s best lap was just .313 of a second off five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier’s lap record which was set during Superpole in 2018.

“It was a good start,” Gagne said after putting his Yamaha YZF-R1 on provisional pole. “After Atlanta, I knew we would roll out the bike with the same settings and different gearing, obviously, for a different track, but the track felt really good right away. Couple little kinks here and there and this race will be different. These tires are gonna be a little tougher in the heat, they will wear a little more. In Atlanta we saw those tires held up good almost the whole time, but I think this week will be a battle of keeping the pace up and keeping the tires in decent shape and trying not to get too much out of it. This Yamaha is working good right off the truck. We will try a couple little tweaks tomorrow to see if we can get make the bike a little easier to ride. I’m happy and we have a great pace so it’s all good.”

If Gagne was having fun at the top of the charts, the happiest rider still looked to be M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen, the South African all smiles as he ended the session third and .458 of a second behind in just his second outing on the GSX-R1000 Superbike.

Behind Petersen came countryman Mathew Scholtz, the HONOS Superbike Championship points leader .532 of a second behind Gagne in fourth.

Petersen’s teammate Bobby Fong completed the top five, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider narrowly ahead of Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz, who in turn was just ahead of Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman.

Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera, FLY Racing ADR Motorsports David Anthony and Thrashed Bike Racing Max Flinders rounded out the top 10 heading into tomorrow’s Q2.

In Junior Cup action, it was Road Atlanta race one winner Tyler Scott who led the way, the Pennsylvanian riding his Scott Powersports-backed KTM RC 390 R to a best lap of 1:37.235. That bested Veloce Racing’s Maxwell Toth and Bauce Racing/Cybersafe Solutions/JL62 Racing’s Joseph LiMandri Jr.

Given the speed he showed in the season opener, it wasn’t a huge surprise that Benjamin Smith could lead the way on Friday in Supersport Q1, but he did just that. Lapping at a best of 1:27.654, the North East Cycle Outlet Racing Yamaha rider led championship points leader Sean Dylan Kelly by .093 of a second on Friday afternoon. MESA37’s Stefano Mesa ended up third with HONOS Racing Team’s Richie Escalante and MESA37’s Xavier Zayat rounding out the top five.

Escalante was riding with a broken collarbone that was plated a week and a half ago after the defending class champion crashed his bicycle in Los Angeles in the days following the Road Atlanta race.

HONOS HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander rebounded from a tough opening round at Road Atlanta to lead Q1 in the Stock 1000 class, besting Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman by just .054 of a second. Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis ended up third.

The Twins Cup Q1 session was hotly contested on Friday afternoon with Teagg Hobbs lapping at 1:31.471 to best Jody Barry by .614 of a second with Toby Khamsouk third, 1.188 seconds off Hobbs’ pace.




More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:

It’s Close at the Top as Ducati Stars Aim for the VIR Podium

Sunnyvale, Calif., May 21, 2021 – Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati) and Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York) were right at the pointy end of an ultra-competitive day at VIRginia International Raceway as round two of the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship got underway.

Just under a second separates the top seven riders, with Baz completing 36 laps across the first practice and qualifying sessions to go P6 at the end of the day. Wyman completed a mammoth 42 laps on the green and black Ducati Panigale V4 R and is right behind Baz in seventh.

The two Ducati pilots will now turn their attention to the all-important Q2 session tomorrow morning before taking aim at the podium in race one, scheduled to start at 3:00 p.m. EDT.


Loris Baz (76). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati North America.
Loris Baz (76). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati North America.


Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)

“Today was my first day at VIR with the Superbike, but I did a track day last month on the Ducati Panigale V4 S so the layout is familiar,” Baz said. “Obviously, it’s completely different when on the racebike, and this is something that we will have to get use to as we will need to figure out many things at the new tracks (for me) this year. We have to find a base set up, base gearing, etc. We’re not yet at the pace we want to be, but we’re working on the bike, trying different tires, gearing, and suspension changes. I am confident we can be on a strong pace for tomorrow and put in a good lap time. I’ve done a lot of laps today and I’m sure we will be in a much better spot tomorrow with the Panigale V4 R.”



Kyle Wyman (33). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati North America.
Kyle Wyman (33). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati North America.

Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #33)

“Today was one of the best days I’ve had on the bike, we put in so many laps,” Wyman enthused. “Each time we went on track, we made progress, going quicker and quicker. It’s pretty rare when you don’t take steps backward and today was one of those days where we just kept getting better, so I have really positive feelings with the bike. It’s really close on the times. We’re better than we’ve been towards the end of last year and also at Road Atlanta. The bike is feeling really solid. We’ve got a plan for tomorrow where we have a couple of electronic changes and a different compound front tire to try, but overall, we’re just going to play with a couple of little things and try to keep this momentum rolling.”

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