MotoAmerica: Gagne On Superbike Provisional Pole At Brainerd (Updated Again)

MotoAmerica: Gagne On Superbike Provisional Pole At Brainerd (Updated Again)

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

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More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:

Gagne Leads Friday’s Q1 But It’s Close At Brainerd International Raceway

MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Championship Leader Jake Gagne On Top But Loris Baz Is Close

BRAINERD, MN (July 30, 2021) – Based on Friday’s Q1 from Brainerd International Raceway on Friday, we may just have a battle or two on our hands come race time on Saturday and Sunday in the MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike class.

Again, the field was led by runaway championship leader Jake Gagne on his Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha, but for the second round in a row he’s got Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz nipping at his heels.

When all was said and done on Friday, it was Gagne atop the timesheets but by just .128 of a second over Baz, the two turning laps of 1:30.572 and 1:30.700, respectively. And those two were the only two riders in the 1:30s, though M4 ECSTAR Suzuki teamsters Cameron Petersen and Bobby Fong were both less than a second off Gagne’s pace.

Petersen ended the session third with his 1:31.22, just ahead of teammate Fong’s 1:31.433 and the last rider in the 1:31s, Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz and his 1:31.614.

Scheibe Racing’s Hector Barbera and Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s JD Beach were sixth and seventh fastest with FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ Bradley Ward, Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders and FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony rounding out the top 10.

Beach is filling in for Josh Herrin on the Attack team with Herrin testing positive for COVID-19, which forced him out of racing at BIR. Another non-starter in this weekend’s two HONOS Superbike races is Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman, the New Yorker opting out due to lingering issues with the elbow he broke at Road America.

Gagne knows this one has the potential to be a battle as AMA Superbikes returned to Brainerd International Raceway for the first time since 2004.

“This has been the biggest struggle all season long, for sure,” Gagne said. “Of course, we are still right there at the front but it’s really close. “We learned a lot in this session. We did some shock changes and we kinda know what shock we want to run tomorrow. I was having some weird issues in the middle of the turn and getting the rear to feel like I want it to. This track is different than anything else that we go to. Again, we did a little testing but it’s still new and the track changes every weekend, so we have to still do a little homework and make this bike a little easier to ride. We’re just struggling in a couple of sections.”

M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Sean Dylan Kelly led Supersport Q1, the Floridian just .196 of a second ahead of class rookie Rocco Landers on the Landers Racing Yamaha YZF-R6 with HONOS HVMC Racing’s Richie Escalante just a tick over a second off the pace. Escalante also suffered a lowside crash in Q1. Kelly’s best lap was a 1:32.999 on the 2.5-mile racetrack in Minnesota’s popular resort town.

Veloce Racing’s David Kohlstaedt, who has finished third in the last four SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup races, shot to the top of Q1, .245 of a second faster than Rodio Racing’s Gus Rodio with Veloce Racing’s Maxwell Toth third.

Landers Racing’s Benjamin Gloddy, who is second in the title chase, ended Q1 in fourth – one spot better than championship leader Tyler Scott and his Scott Powersports KTM.

Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis was the fastest of the fast in Stock 1000, the Kentuckian .166 of a second faster than Chuckwalla Valley Raceway/Octane Lending’s Michael Gilbert with MESA37’s Stefano Mesa third, just .282 off Lewis’ best.

Twins Cup ended Friday with Jody Barry on top of Q1 with a 1:37.030 on his Righteous Racing Aprilia RS 660. Teagg Hobbs was second best on his Innovative Motorsports/Mike’s Imports Suzuki SV650 with Jackson Blackmon Racing’s Jackson Blackmon third on his new Yamaha YZF-R7, putting three different manufacturers on the provisional front row.

The Royal Enfield Build. Train. Race. series kicked off with its first practice session at BIR, with the all-female class led by CJ Lukacs over Trisha Dahl and Alyssa Bridges.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Loris Baz Scorches at Brainerd but it’s a no-go for Kyle Wyman

Sunnyvale, Calif., July 30, 2021 – MotoAmerica returned to Minnesota for the first time since 2004 as America’s fastest Superbike competitors were welcomed back to Brainerd International Raceway today.

It was a day of mixed fortunes for Ducati pairing Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York) and Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati), with Baz running P2 by the narrowest of margins behind runaway series leader Jake Gagne (Yamaha).

Under the watchful eye of Ducati Sporting Director, Paolo Ciabatti, who flew in from Italy for the event, Baz completed 18 laps of the 2.5 mile Brainerd venue, finishing 0.280s off Gagne in Free Practice 1 and a scant 0.128s behind in Qualifying 1.

The French ace thus has an excellent chance to capture his first career MotoAmerica victory when competition commences with race one on Saturday, July 31, at 3:00 pm CDT.

For Wyman, however, Brainerd was not a happy hunting ground as the Arizona resident made the call to withdraw from further competition due to excessive pain from his still healing broken elbow suffered in race two at Road America.

Wyman completed 40 laps in the pre-race test on Thursday and a further 15 today in FP1, but citing strength and endurance issues with holding onto the Panera Bread Ducati V4 R over a full race distance, decided to call it a day.

Wyman hopes to return to action at round seven of the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex, Pittsburgh, on August 13-15.

 

Loris Baz (76). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Loris Baz (76). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

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

“It’s been a good day,” Baz said happily. “We’ve been working a lot since yesterday. We didn’t have the best feeling, to be honest, but we tried many setting changes and now I have an idea of the limit and where I need to improve. The V4 R is a bit of a beast over the bumps so we experimented a lot with different lines and tires, and we are closing the gap—just 0.1 seconds from Jake. This is a really good thing. Honestly, I was disappointed after Q1. I wanted to improve more but I had an issue with the tire, so we’ll try again tomorrow. It’s been a good weekend so far and great to have Mr. Ciabatti (Ducati Corse Sporting Director) with us. It shows how important this project is to Ducati. Everyone in the team is pushing really hard, so let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”

 

Kyle Wyman (33). Photo courtesy Ducati.
Kyle Wyman (33). Photo courtesy Ducati.

 

Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #33)

“I did about 40 laps yesterday but I had an incident where I saved a high side that broke apart the scar tissue from the plate, which was not all that fun. I kept riding yesterday but my arm was very sore overnight with lots of inflammation and swelling. Today I was just trying to get up to speed, but I’m not riding at the level I would like and I’m not able to sustain the pace for as long as I need to. It’s not an ideal situation at all, so it’s best to call it and come back swinging at Pittsburgh in two weeks.”

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