MotoAmerica: Medallia Superbike Race Three Results From PittRace (Updated)

MotoAmerica: Medallia Superbike Race Three Results From PittRace (Updated)

© 2023, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. By David Swarts.

KurveyGirl.com brings you the results of this weekend’s events.

 

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Jake Gagne won MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Race Three Sunday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex (a.k.a. PittRace), in Wampum, Pennsylvania. Gagne led from start to finish on his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha YZF-R1 and won the 17-lap race by 1.868 seconds.

With the race win, Gagne clinched his third consecutive MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship.

Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz broke free from the pack late in the race to secure a runner-up finish on his Yamaha YZF-R1.

Josh Herrin had to push his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R hard all the way to the checkered flag to earn third place.

Richie Escalante, riding his Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki GSX-R1000R, fought to get his first Superbike podium finish but had to settle for another fourth place, just 0.6 second behind Herrin and 0.4 second ahead of fifth-place PJ Jacobsen and his Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW.

Jacobsen’s teammate Cameron Beaubier did not start Race Three after crashing and suffering facial injuries in Race Two.

 

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More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:

Gagne Wins His Third Straight MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Title

Jake Gagne Wraps Up Superbike Championship Number Three With Two Wins On Sunday at PittRace

 

Jake Gagne (1) leads the second of three MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike races over PJ Jacobsen (99), Josh Herrin (2), Mathew Scholtz (11), Richie Escalante (54) and JD Beach (95). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.
Jake Gagne (1) leads the second of three MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike races over PJ Jacobsen (99), Josh Herrin (2), Mathew Scholtz (11), Richie Escalante (54) and JD Beach (95). Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.

 

WAMPUM, PA (August 20, 2023) – In case anyone had forgotten, Jake Gagne reaffirmed that he’s the best Superbike racer in the country on Sunday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex with his two decisive victories earning him his third successive MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship.

Gagne and his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Superbike were perfect in both of today’s races, holding back all of the challenges the top men threw at him. In the first of the two Superbike races held on a sunny Sunday at Pitt Race, Gagne was challenged to the bitter end and came up just .264 of a second ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen. In the second Superbike race of the day, Gagne had it a bit easier as he topped Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz by 1.868 of a second.

Not even Gagne would have predicted that he would come out of Pitt Race with his third title as most believed the title fight would at least go to round eight at Circuit of The Americas in a few weeks’ time.

But, today was the day with Gagne’s eighth and ninth wins of the season and the 37th and 38th wins of his AMA Superbike career clinching the title with two rounds and four races left on the 2023 schedule.

Superbike Race 2 – Gagne On The Verge

Race two was red-flagged early on when Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cameron Beaubier was involved in a scary crash when he ran into the back of Ashton Yates’ Aftercare Scheibe Racing BMW. With the two in a battle and Beaubier looking to make up spots after an off-track excursion, Yates led him through the chicane but on the exit his BMW had a mechanical issue that caused him to slow suddenly. With nowhere to go, Beaubier ran into the back of Yates and crashed heavily. Beaubier was transported to the infield medical center and was treated for facial lacerations.

 

The battle for victory came down to Gagne (1) vs. Jacobsen (99) with Gagne emerging victorious. Herrin (2), meanwhile, ended up third. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.
The battle for victory came down to Gagne (1) vs. Jacobsen (99) with Gagne emerging victorious. Herrin (2), meanwhile, ended up third. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.

 

By this point, Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong was already out of the race with the pole sitter crashing his Yamaha YZF-R1 in the opening laps.

Although he was pushed the entire way by Jacobsen, it was Gagne taking the victory, his eighth of the year, over the New Yorker.

Third in race two on Saturday went to Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin, 1.4 seconds behind Jacobsen and a second ahead of Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz.

JD Beach was impressive in riding the injured Cameron Petersen’s Fresh N Lean Progressive Racing Yamaha to fifth, well clear of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Brandon Paasch. Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim was eighth, just a few tenths ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cory Alexander.

Benjamin Smith Racing’s Benjamin Smith and Steel Commander’s Gabriel Da Silva rounded out the top 10.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante crashed out of fourth place on the last lap.

Race Two Quotes
 
Jake Gagne – Winner

“Yeah. Obviously that red flag, at first, I was bummed and then to go by and see Cam (Beaubier) down again… man, we were all just seeing what we saw on the track. It was gnarly there for a second. So, I hope he’s okay. I knew it would be hot, greasy, gnarly. Restart, eight-lap sprint. I could feel these guys on me. I could hear those bikes every turn. Just tried to hit my marks because I knew if I was a little wide there, a little wide here, they would have got up in there. But it was a fun race because I could hear them the whole time. So having eight laps pushing and trying to be as consistent as possible is a good time. So, hats off to these guys. We’ve got to go throw down this afternoon, so it will be fun.”

PJ Jacobsen – Second Place

“Yeah, people say that and I’m like, ‘I’m upright as much as I can, and I’m still sliding everywhere.’ Every time he was spinning up, I was spinning up as well, just trying to get the same drive grip as him. But both races were honestly going to be good for me, I thought. Even that first one before the restart, I think I was catching (Mathew) Scholtz and Richie (Escalante) when they started coming back to me. So, it was really good. I’m happy. We made some changes, and the bike was working really good.”

Josh Herrin – Third Place

“The bike felt good all weekend. It’s kind of like it was at Barber. I just feel super good on the bike, but we’re not able to drive forward on the track. Everybody is having the problem, but it seems like we’re having it pretty bad. Today I said just take the TC (traction control) out. Not all the way, but just let the thing hang. The warmup lap we ran shag tires on the parade lap, and that thing was like flat track sideways. I was like, ‘Is this thing okay? It’s sideways.’ They’re like, ‘That’s what you asked for.’ The thing obviously worked way better than it did yesterday. It was just a handful. I felt like I was riding a bike with 50 more horsepower today. But it worked, so that’s the important thing. I’m just wore out because it was tough. This third race, I’m not going to lie, it’s going to be hard on everyone but it’s going to be a tough one. It’s getting hotter. I’m really happy with how today went. I just didn’t have it for them at the end. I felt good. I just made one little mistake and then the mental focus kind of lost me for two turns and they were gone. I just couldn’t make it back up. I’ve been struggling really hard in the chicane.”

Superbike Race 3 – Title Time

Gagne got his normal fast start and led every lap of race three. Scholtz kept him honest, finishing 1.8 seconds behind the factory Yamaha.

The win, Gagne’s ninth on the year, gave him an insurmountable 337 points after 16 races – 101 points ahead of Herrin, who finished third. If Herrin would have finished second with Gagne winning, the title fight would have gone to the next round in Austin, Texas. Any chance of that was thwarted when Herrin, who was right on Gagne’s tail, blew the chicane and then waited for at least three riders to go by so that he wouldn’t be penalized.

 

Josh Herrin (2) tries to hold off Mathew Scholtz (11) and Richie Escalante (54) in the third and final Superbike race of the weekend while PJ Jacobsen (99) and JD Beach (95) give chase.Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.
Josh Herrin (2) tries to hold off Mathew Scholtz (11) and Richie Escalante (54) in the third and final Superbike race of the weekend while PJ Jacobsen (99) and JD Beach (95) give chase. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.

 

Herrin fought back, but ultimately lost out to Scholtz with the South African pulling away to beat the Ducati rider by 3.6 seconds. Herrin, meanwhile, had his hands full with Escalante who was trying to land his first Superbike podium. He would come up .6 of a second short at the finish.

Jacobsen was fifth and just another few tenths behind Escalante with Beach sixth again and less than a second behind Jacobsen, who moved to third in the championship by one point over Beaubier with his teammate’s failure to score points on Sunday.

Gillim was seventh for the second time on the day with pole-sitter Bobby Fong eighth. Smith was ninth again with Tom Wood Powersports’ Nolan Lamkin rounding out the top 10.

 

Jake Gagne wrapped up his third straight MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship on Sunday at Pitt Race. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.
Jake Gagne wrapped up his third straight MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship on Sunday at Pitt Race. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy MotoAmerica.

 

Race 3 Quotes
 
Jake Gagne – Winner

“To do it with a couple wins here at a place this Yamaha loves is awesome. I just didn’t expect it. We didn’t really do any math. The team didn’t talk about it. Nobody talked about it. I just had a feeling if I won and I didn’t exactly know what Josh (Herrin) had to do, but I knew sure as hell Josh was going to put up a fight to bring it down to one more round, and I knew he was right there. Congrats to Matty (Scholtz). Doing Yamaha a favor, doing me a favor today. It’s cool to get it done early. Again, kind of unexpected. I haven’t been the fastest guy all year, but I guess kind of luck has been on my side. We finished almost every race, besides one. It’s going to be a hell of a fight for that championship run with a lot of guys in it next year. I’m looking forward to going to the last couple rounds and just duking it out with these guys with nothing else to worry about.”

Mathew Scholtz – Second Place

“We made a pretty decent change on the traction control just to kind of help when I first crack the gas so that the bike doesn’t just want to spin as you first start to wind it on. I was definitely pushing the front more on the gas, but it definitely helped me to kind of roll through the middle of the corner to kind of keep up with the Ducati a little bit better, once you have it picked up. Overall, the race early on I was struggling. I was on the absolute limit. This race I felt confident and I managed to get past Josh (Herrin) with a couple laps to go and open up a small gap. Kept it pretty similar to (Jake) Gagne out front. So, I’m really happy with that. I’m happy with the changes that we made to the bike. I think it’s going to work well at the next two tracks for us.”

Josh Herrin – Third Place

“Yeah, we left it. It worked. We didn’t change anything from the first race. We looked at stuff. I talked about maybe going one or two taller in the gearing because it seemed like I was struggling a little bit in the corners that I was using first gear – just trying to get that initial squirt. But second didn’t feel comfortable to me. But we ended up not going with it. We decided to just play it safe and stick with what was working because it would have lengthened the bike a little bit. Whenever I missed the chicane and I fought to catch up to Jake (Gagne), got right there. I actually felt like I did at Brainerd where I was like, ‘Okay, I might get a little bit heated at the end but at least I’m here and I can kind of plan something out a little bit.’ Then I don’t know what I did and ran off in the chicane. Then, unfortunately, you have to give up a second whenever you do that, so I let two guys go by. Then kind of just waited as long as I could before PJ (Jacobsen) got on my butt and then went. Then I think I charged back up to second. Then I switched the engine brake map to a different map and it was just free-wheeling a little bit too much. Started to get some slides on the front on the right side. I put it back to the mode that I was in originally, but I just never got that confidence back and unfortunately just didn’t have the pace. Congrats to these guys. Congrats to Jake on wrapping that championship up this fast. I didn’t think that was even possible to happen that quick. It just came out of nowhere. I saw it on Instagram right before the race started, and it kind of helped me get a little motivated to try to get up there at the beginning of this race. It just seems like there’s a trend all year where if Friday and Saturday are pretty rough for me, then Sunday is there. So, I’m really hoping that these guys give me one more shot next year. It would be the first year that I’ve had the same bike in Superbike in 10 years, for two years in a row. So, I’m really hoping that I get it again because I just love everything about this team and I’m having fun. Looking forward to COTA.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Ducati:

Josh Herrin and Xavi Forés on the Podium at PittRace

Sunnyvale, Calif., August 20 2023 — The seventh round of the 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike and Supersport Championship, held at the stunning 2.8-mile Pittsburgh International Race Complex, saw Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC stars Josh Herrin and Xavi Forés fighting at the pointy end in both categories.

In the three races for the Superbike category, Herrin came away with sixth place in race one and dug deep in races two and three to finish in third each time out behind Jake Gagne.

Herrin had his hands full with attention from Suzuki’s Richie Escalante in races two and three but resisted the his advances, Herrin’s two podium places cementing second in the championship on 236 points.

Forés nearly took the race one win, finishing a scant 0.180 behind race winner, Kawasaki’s Stefano Mesa, and had to settle for second place in race two behind Suzuki’s Tyler Scott.

Regardless, Forés is in the box seat to clinch the title at Circuit of The Americas in September as he heads into the round with an 86 point advantage and only needs to leave Texas with 50 points in hand.

2023 MotoAmerica Superbike Standings After Round Seven

P1 – Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 337

P2 – Josh Herrin (Ducati) 236

P3 – PJ Jacobsen (BMW) 204

P3 – Cameron Beaubier (BMW) 203

P5 – Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 184

 

2022 MotoAmerica Supersport Standings After Round Seven

P1 – Xavi Forés (Ducati) 312

P2 – Tyler Scott (Suzuki) 226

P3 – Stefano Mesa (Kawasaki) 213

P4 – Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 209

P5 – Teagg Hobbs (Suzuki) 142

 

Josh Herrin (2) in action at PittRace. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati.
Josh Herrin (2) in action at PittRace. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati.

 

Josh Herrin (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC – #2)

“This weekend, I’m happy,” Herrin said. “To get two podium finishes after the start of the weekend, I’m stoked. It’s hard to say you’re happy when you’re getting third places when in my mind I’m on the best bike, but it is what it is. We’re nearly there and just missing that final piece to put it all together. Hopefully, I get to do another year with this team, which I think will help a lot given the experience I have. I’m happy to be back on the podium. I tried my hardest and was sliding around like crazy. It was a positive end to the weekend and now we’re onto COTA, a track we know well and one I know the bike and I will be strong at.”

 

Xavi Fores (12) leading a Supersport race at PittRace. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati.
Xavi Fores (12) leading a Supersport race at PittRace. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy Ducati.

 

Xavi Forés (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC – #12)

“Overall it was a good weekend with two second places,” Forés said. “It was great to be back on the podium after the disaster in Brainerd. I was happy with my performance this weekend. It wasn’t enough to win but we are getting closer to the target of the title. We’ve got a small break between here and COTA, where I will spend time with my young family and recharge the batteries. My goal will be to take the title at COTA and then look to the future, where I hope to ride a Panigale V4 R soon.”

Round eight of the 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike and Supersport Championship will take place at Circuit of The Americas in Texas on September 8-10, 2023.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:

Gagne Crowned 2023 MotoAmerica Superbike Champion

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne clinches third-consecutive premier-class championship with a sweep of the MotoAmerica Superbike tripleheader at PIRC

 

Jake Gagne. Photo courtesy Yamaha.
Jake Gagne. Photo courtesy Yamaha.

 

MARIETTA, Ga. – August 20, 2023 – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne took home his third-consecutive MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in style, sweeping the weekend at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The Colorado rider reigned supreme, winning both superbike races today in Wampum, Pennsylvania, to clinch the title two rounds early. Filling in for the injured Cameron Petersen, JD Beach continued to make progress in the challenging conditions, improving to a top-five finish in Race 2 and a sixth-place finish in Race 3.

Earlier today, Gagne got a great start in Race 2 and quickly claimed the lead. The Colorado rider threw down some fast times early and built a gap up front, but then the red flag came out with 10 laps to go. After the restart, Gagne grabbed the holeshot but was unable to break away from the pack in the eight-lap race. He kept cool under pressure and rode on to secure his eighth victory of the season and second of the weekend to move closer to the crown.

In Race 3, it was another flying start from Gagne with the holeshot. Although he was unable to ride away from the competition early on, he set the pace up front and threw down consistently fast times to build a gap and cross the line with a comfortable victory. Gagne’s superbike sweep at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex secured his third-consecutive premier-class title two rounds early with nine wins and a total of 13 podiums. During those three years, the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Rider has amassed an impressive tally of 38-career superbike wins aboard the Attack Performance Yamaha R1 and looks to add some more at the final rounds.

With more seat time, Beach continued to make progress in his first weekend back to superbike racing and got a better start in Race 2. In seventh, the dirt track/road racer jockeyed for position and kept pushing, making the pass for sixth on Lap 7 before the red flag came out. Moving up a row for the restart, Beach got another good start in sixth. He then closed the gap to the lead group with four laps to go, ultimately advancing to fifth. In the final race of the weekend, Beach was eighth after the start and made the pass for sixth on Lap 4. Once again, the Kentucky rider closed the gap to the lead group and rode a smart race in the greasy conditions to finish sixth.

Next up for the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team is the penultimate round of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at the Circuit of The Americas in Austin, Texas, on September 8-10.

Richard Stanboli – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team Manager

“The weekend went perfectly for us. Jake rode smart, won all three races, and against the odds, the championship. The crew did a great job, and our R1s ran great. We are very pleased that we can put counting the points behind us and will now just concentrate on winning.

“JD did a good job as well. He showed good pace and stayed within striking distance of the lead group in today’s races. It was a fun weekend, and we look forward to the last two events at COTA and NJMP.”

Jake Gagne – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing

“It was a little unexpected and a little hard to put into words. Hats off to the whole team, my crew. It’s been a challenging year, but we’ve learned a lot – me as a rider and together as a team. I’ve just got an amazing group of people around me, and I get to ride this amazing R1. It feels so good to get my third title, and it’s going to feel good going into these next few rounds battling with these guys and not having to worry about the championship.

“It’s been different from the last couple of years. We weren’t always the fastest guy out there, but we were pretty consistent. Even if we weren’t able to win the race, we brought it home and got a lot of podiums. It’s amazing when the competition is so stacked. This field is getting gnarlier every year, and it’s going to be another battle next year, but we’ve still got some more races to go.”

JD Beach – Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing

“I’m really happy with how the day went. Every race and every time I got on the bike, I felt better and better. I know I did the one-off race in 2021, but really it’s been four years since I’ve raced a superbike, and I’d honestly say I felt almost as good as I did in 2019. I had a blast being at the tail end of the podium battle in Race 3. I’m not sure what the fortune holds for me for the rest of the season, but I hope to be on the bike again.”

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