This weekend’s results are brought to you by 6D Helmets.
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Gets It Done In Race One At VIR
Fresh N’ Easy Yamaha Rider Dominates HONOS Superbike Race In Virginia
DANVILLE, VA (May 22, 2021) – Jake Gagne turned in a very Cameron Beaubier-esque performance today in the first of two MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike races at VIRginia International Raceway, the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha rider leading from start to finish to earn his second win of the season and his second in a row.
Gagne, who broke five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Beaubier’s lap record earlier in the day during final qualifying, shot from pole position to the lead and was never headed, topping Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz by 11.8 seconds.
“Everybody likes to get a win every now and again,” Gagne said. “I’m just thankful for the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance team. Having a year under you on the same bike with the same team coming back the next year, I just feel really comfortable. I worked a lot in the off-season on my riding and my thought process when I’m out there. Like I said, hats off to my team because these guys work so hard. They were up late swapping another motor last night. It seemed like one thing after another, but to make it and pull it off here today is awesome. Obviously, I wanted to get off to a good start. I’ve been struggling with my starts and I think that was one of my better starts. I was surprised that I didn’t see Mat (Scholtz) or Loris (Baz) or Josh (Herrin) or somebody come up the inside. I just wanted to get out front and try to throw down consistent laps. I knew this would be a long, hard race on these tires. These Dunlops are holding up well for how hot it is out there. Hats off to the team. Hats off to all these boys again. We’ve got a Yamaha and a sweep for Yamaha, so that’s really nice. We’ll go back and try to work on a couple little things. Try to make the bike a little easier to ride. I know Mat, Josh, the Suzukis, probably the Ducati, they’re all going to be on it tomorrow. So, hats off to the team and hats off to the fans for being out here. Let’s see what we can do tomorrow.”
Scholtz didn’t win, but he was the next best thing and it kept him at the top of the points table with his 65 points leading Gagne and his 50 points. Josh Herrin, third today, is third in the title chase with 48 points.
“Obviously, after winning in the first race we were confident that we should be at least challenging Jake (Gagne) all the way through until the final lap,” Scholtz said. “I just kind of feel like we have more to gain, and Jake is definitely stronger than us now. So, we just need to try and figure a couple things out. I was able to kind of follow him for the first four or five laps and already figured out where we could recover a couple of tenths and where I was catching him slightly. So, it’s not like we were miles off. We just have to fix one or two things and we should be challenging Jake. Overall, I’m happy to finish second and carry on as the championship leader. Everyone keeps talking about being championship leader, but it’s way too early on to be thinking about that. It’s always nice to be the one that you don’t have to risk everything at every single corner, every single lap. You can settle for those seconds sometimes. I know Jake is definitely coming. I know Josh Herrin, Cameron Petersen, (Loris) Baz, all those guys are picking up their pace. So just going to go back to where we were losing time and try to focus on getting a stronger pace towards the end and not worrying about being in front every single corner. I want to say thank you to my team. They’ve been great. Like I said, we need to maybe try and challenge Jake and get in front of him the first couple laps. He’s setting a really crazy pace, so just try to get it up the inside of him.”
Third place for the third race in a row was Herrin on the second Fresh N’ Easy Attack Performance Yamaha – 15.478 seconds behind his teammate. Although he was third again, Herrin was happier with this one than the previous two at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta.
“It feels better because we had a scrap, and I could at least see Mat (Scholtz) in second,” Herrin said. “I’m happy with it, but for sure, no matter who you ask it’s difficult being that far back from Jake (Gagne). I don’t want to be finishing third every race, but we’re collecting solid points. I feel like every session I’m on the bike, I’m improving. I was hoping for a better race today. I thought I would have been closer to the front, but I just didn’t have the pace at the beginning. I thought I had it and Bobby (Fong) kept coming underneath me and I just couldn’t keep fighting to get around him. I was just wasting time. So, I let him lead and then I couldn’t even hang onto him. I don’t know what was going on, but I just couldn’t hang. Like I said, I’m happy with the points. I’m happy overall, but we need to improve. Like I said, we’re improving every session. We got a lot of data from this and tomorrow will be better, hopefully.”
The battle for third was a good one with Herrin, Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz and M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen swapping the spot for the majority of the race. It came down to the final laps with Baz pushing Petersen wide in turn one and Herrin ultimately taking full advantage. The trio crossed the line in formation and with just .8 of a second separating Herrin from Petersen with Petersen just .006 of a second behind Baz.
Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera continued to show progress, the Spaniard having his best result of the young season with a sixth-place finish. Barbera led Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman across the line by some five seconds.
FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ Jayson Uribe, Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis and Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman rounded out the top-10 finishers. Lewis, who earlier won the Stock 1000 race, earned full Superbike Cup points for his top finish among those riding Stock 1000-spec motorcycles.
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong, meanwhile, was knocked out of third place early on with a mechanical issue but managed to salvage 12th (and four championship points) at the conclusion of the 20-lap race.
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Superbike Championship Leader Scholtz’s Saturday Runner-Up Finish In Virginia Extends His Points Lead
Alton, VA – May 22, 2021 – To win a motorcycle road racing championship, consistently finishing on the podium is critical. And, on Saturday at VIRginia International Raceway, Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz took another important step towards achieving his first MotoAmerica Superbike title when he finished second in Superbike race one. It wasn’t a win, but he and the team will take it, especially at this early point of the season when there are so many races left.
Starting from the front row, Mathew got a good jump off the line, and he immediately went to work and overtook Loris Baz, who started from second on the grid. Running his fastest circulation of the 14-turn, 2.25-mile natural road course on the second go-around of the 20-lap race, Mathew solidified his second-place position, which he maintained all the way to the checkered flag.
“Obviously, after winning in the first race, we were confident that we should be at least challenging Jake (Gagne) all the way through until the final lap,” Mathew said. “I just kind of feel like we have more to gain, and Jake is definitely stronger than us now. So, we just need to try and figure a couple things out. I was able to kind of follow him for the first four or five laps and already figured out where we could recover a couple of tenths and where I was catching him slightly. So, it’s not like we were miles off. We just have to fix one or two things and we should be challenging Jake. Overall, I’m happy to finish second and carry on as the championship leader. Everyone keeps talking about being championship leader, but it’s way too early on to be thinking about that. It’s always nice to be the one that you don’t have to risk everything at every single corner, every single lap. You can settle for those seconds sometimes. I know Jake is definitely coming. I know Josh Herrin, Cameron Petersen, (Loris) Baz, all those guys are picking up their pace. So just going to go back to where we were losing time and try to focus on getting a stronger pace towards the end and not worrying about being in front every single corner. I want to say thank you to my team. They’ve been great. Like I said, we need to maybe try and challenge Jake and get in front of him the first couple laps. He’s setting a really crazy pace, so just try to get it up the inside of him.”
Sunday’s Superbike race two is at 3 p.m. ET and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
In Saturday’s Junior Cup race, Jack Roach started from the front row after going third-fastest in final qualifying earlier in the day, but unfortunately, his bike developed a technical issue in the race, which forced him to retire on lap 8 of the 12-lap event.
“It was not the race we wanted,” Jack said. “But I’m starting on the front row in P3 again tomorrow, so that will be a big advantage and, for sure, you’ll definitely see me up front. Thank you to Shiloh (Salopek) and the whole N2 Racing team for working hard to get my bike race-ready for tomorrow. I can’t wait for race two.”
Junior Cup race two is at 2 p.m. ET and will be streamed on MotoAmerica Live+ as well as broadcast via tape-delay on FOX Sports 2 (FS2) this Tuesday, May 25, beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit http://www.WestbyRacing.com
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More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Gagne Dominates Superbike Race One at VIR
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne led from start to finish to earn his second-consecutive MotoAmerica Superbike victory in today’s Race One at Virginia International Raceway. Teammate Josh Herrin came out on top in a hard-fought battle for third to give the team their second double podium at round two of the championship.
Gagne has been on fire in the hot conditions in Alton, Virginia, leading every session and breaking more track records aboard his Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha R1. Earlier in the day, he threw down a 1:23.594 on the 2.25-mile track to take his second-consecutive pole position and then backed that up with a flying start to grab the holeshot. From there, Gagne never looked back, setting the fastest lap of the race on Lap 2 and then stretched the gap to cross the finish line with an 11.8-second lead.
Herrin got off to a good start from the second row to match his qualifying position in fourth. He soon found himself in a three-rider battle that continued to heat up as the race wore on. Before the halfway mark, one of the frontrunners dropped back through the field, making it a fight for the final podium spot. Despite the pressure, Herrin was holding down third until five laps to go when he was passed on the inside and shuffled to fifth. He then lost a bit of ground on his competitors, but as their battle intensified, Herrin closed the gap back to within striking distance. The 2013 Superbike Champion made his move on the final lap to reclaim third and keep his podium streak rolling in 2021.
Gagne’s win moves him up to second in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, with his teammate Herrin right behind in third. The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing duo return to action tomorrow for Race Two at the Virginia International Raceway on Sunday, May 23, and look to keep climbing up the points standings.
Richard Stanboli – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“It was another great day and a podium sweep for the Yamaha R1 and Attack Performance products. Jake rode great, winning by nearly 12 seconds, and Josh is starting to get more comfortable with his return to Yamaha. Mat and the Westby Racing team did a great job to finish second. We are looking forward to putting both of our riders at the top tomorrow.”
Jake Gagne – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“We knew it was going to be a hot one which makes this track pretty tricky and greasy. We had a great setup with the R1 and got off to a great start, so I was able to click off my laps and be smooth and consistent. Hats off to the team for giving me a winning machine. It’s great to notch another win, and we’re ready to try again tomorrow!”
Josh Herrin – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“Today was a great day for Yamaha and the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Yamaha team! Jake and I both got on the podium, and it was another Yamaha sweep with Scholtz joining us too. I am content with a solid finish on the podium, but I won’t really be happy until I am fighting for the win. Every time I get on the bike, I feel like I am getting more and more comfortable and confident. Hopefully, tomorrow we can make another step forward and be closer to the leader at the finish.”