Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha rider Jake Gagne is planning to have surgery on his right arm this week in California.
During the opening round of the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship this past weekend at Road Atlanta, two-time and defending Superbike Champion Gagne said he was hindered in both races by “arm pump,” which is also known as compartment syndrome.
Arm pump is a condition common in motorcycle racers where overly developed muscles in the forearm restrict blood flow to and from the hand, resulting in pain, numbness, and/or a lack of strength. This obviously creates an extra challenge for someone trying to race a 220-plus-horsepower Superbike at speeds in excess of 185 mph.
The symptoms of arm pump can be diminished by surgery that involves cutting and/or removing the fascia around the forearm muscles, giving the muscles more room to expand and relieving the blood flow restriction.
While he was able to fight for the win in both races at Road Atlanta, taking a first and second, Gagne feels something must be done to fix the situation and the time to do it is now.
“I’m going to go see Dr. [Thomas] Bryan on Wednesday [April 26] and get surgery on my arm, because now is the time,” 29-year-old Gagne exclusively told Roadracingworld.com. “This is the biggest break. We have three and a half weeks until the next race [May 19-21 at Barber Motorsports Park], so I’m not worried about getting recovered in time.
“It was really, really holding me back this weekend. We managed to get a second and a first, but I just couldn’t ride the bike nearly like I wanted to. Anyone who’s ridden these things knows it gets sketchy when you’re pumped up. And especially because it’s my right arm, so working the throttle was bad and I could only brake as hard as I could pull the lever, which is tough in a battle with these guys. I couldn’t really make passes on the brakes. It was just being creative with my drives and stuff.
“I’m cool with getting it done. I got it done twice earlier in my career, but it’s been a lot of years since then. I just want to be comfortable on the bike. The bike was awesome this weekend, but two, three laps into the race I was just hanging on.
“We got lucky. We got creative. The bike was working awesome. It was all on me, and I want to ride this Yamaha the way it wants to be ridden.”
Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen had surgery to relieve arm pump symptoms prior to the start of the 2023 season.