More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Leads Day One At VIR, Half A Second Covers Top Five In Medallia Superbike
It’s Oh-So Close At The Top On Opening Day At VIRginia International Raceway In All Classes
IRVINE, CA (May 20, 2022) – With two pole positions from two races in his pocket already in 2022, Jake Gagne went out and put his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha on provisional pole on a smoking-hot day at VIRginia International Raceway on Friday.
Gagne lapped at a best of 1:24.371 in Q1 and that was just .031 of a second ahead of Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, .105 faster than Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci, .357 of a second ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and .584 of a second clear of his teammate Cameron Petersen as the top five were covered by a scant half a second.
The lap record at VIR is a 1:23.594, set in Q2 last year by Gagne who went on to dominate both races with his biggest margin of victories of his 17 race wins in 2022.
But thus far, this year’s two races promise to be much closer than that. At least if Friday is any indication.
“I still expected that,” Gagne said of the top five being ultra-close. “Especially at this track. It’s tight, it’s technical, it’s kinda short, but it’s close out there. It’s going to be a brutal race. Twenty laps in the heat like that. We just have to focus and do our job. We’ve got another qualifier in the morning, so we’ll see what happens. Just try to put it up there on the grid and go race in the heat. This track gets to a point where it starts to be pretty greasy in the heat, tire temps, tire pressures go up. We’re gonna have to have a smart race and understand what these tires are gonna do in the afternoon tomorrow. We’ll go for it and have some fun.”
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante ended the day sixth, just barely ahead of the first of the BMWs ridden by Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen. Scheibe Racing BMW’s Ashton Yates was eighth with Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Hector Barbera and Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim rounding out the top 10.
Class rookie Tyler Scott rode his Vison Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R750 to the fastest lap of the day in the Supersport class, his 1:27.898 besting his teammate Sam Lochoff by just .068 of a second. Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers ended up third with four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes fourth on the Squid Hunter Yamaha YZF-R6. Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin rounded out the top five in Q1 and was just .252 of a second off Scott’s best.
Bicknese Racing’s Hayden Bicknese put his Kawasaki Ninja 400 on provisional pole in the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup, besting SportbikeTrackGear.com’s championship points leader Max Van and his teammate Joseph LiMandri Jr. The top three were covered by just .082 of a second and the top seven were within a second of each other.
The first of two Stock 1000 qualifying sessions went the way of Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Cory Alexander, the New Yorker lapping at a best of 1:26.289 to lead Cycle World/Octane/Chuckwalla Racing’s Michael Gilbert by just .102 of a second. Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim filled the provisional front row, just .180 of a second ahead of VisionWheel/DiscountTire/KWS’s Geoff May.
Veloce Racing’s Twins Cup Championship leader Jody Barry put his Aprilia RS 660 on provisional pole with a 1:31.016 lap of VIR, just .205 of a second ahead of Cycle Tech’s Hayden Schultz with Robem Engineering’s Teagg Hobbs filling the provisional front row.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati North America:
Danilo Petrucci Up to Speed at VIRginia International Raceway
Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC Star Petrucci On Pace at VIR Friday
Sunnyvale, Calif., May 20, 2022 – Heading into round three of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at VIRginia International Raceway, Danilo Petrucci (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC) had only one practice session at the Alton, Va., track—and that was in the wet.
But this didn’t prevent the former MotoGP rider from getting up to speed Friday during the opening sessions ahead of this week’s double-header at the 3.27-mile circuit. Under sweltering conditions, the Italian completed 29 laps aboard his Panigale V4 R Friday. During the opening practice, he completed 15 laps, posting the third quickest time, a 1:25.411, 1.072 seconds behind Yamaha’s Jake Gagne.
He got nearly a second faster during Qualifying 1, completing 14 laps with a best of 1:24.476. That was once again third fastest and 0.105 of a second behind Gagne. The results were impressive for Petrucci, who has limited track time at VIR.
Qualifying 1 Results—Top 5
P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:24.371
P2 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:24.402
P3 – Danilo Petrucci (Ducati) 1:24.476
P4 – Jake Lewis (Suzuki) 1:24.728
P5 – Cameron Petersen 1:24.955
Petrucci, who won three out of four races in two rounds, enters this weekend’s race with a 15-point lead over Scholtz.
Danilo Petrucci (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC – Ducati #9)
“It’s unbelievable hot weather here in Virginia. It’s like Malaysia, and I’m sweating like crazy, which takes its toll on the body while riding at pace. With minimal time here, I’m not so used to this track with this different type of tarmac that’s super greasy. The bike is still not perfect, but we did get it close to the top, although we need to tweak a few things. Qualifying and racing will be tough Saturday with this hotter weather. We need to use a softer tire option which means I must manage tire wear more. It’s going to be a tough weekend of racing, but we will do whatever is needed to get the Panigale V4 R on top once again.”
Qualifying 2 will be held on Saturday, May 21 at 10:15 a.m. EDT.