Can Gagne Be Stopped? MotoAmerica Heads To PittRace To Find Out
Jake Gagne Arrives In Pittsburgh, August 13-15, Riding An 11-Race
MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Win Streak
IRVINE, CA (August 11, 2021) – Plain and simple. Jake Gagne is on a roll and has looked unstoppable in winning a record-setting 11 MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike races in a row. But with another race comes renewed hope for his rivals. Maybe, just maybe, this is their week.
The MotoAmerica paddock heads to Pennsylvania, August 13-15, for one of the more popular stops on the calendar – round seven: Pittsburgh International Race Complex – and everyone rolls out on track on Friday morning hoping to have the answer to the biggest question of 2021. Can anyone stop Gagne and his Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha?
So far, the answer is no. And the more he wins, the more his confidence grows and the harder he is to beat. Case in point, the last round at Brainerd International Raceway. Gagne crashed in front of the HONOS Superbike pack on the opening lap and somehow neither he nor his motorcycle got struck by another rider. He was unscathed and so was his Yamaha YZF-R1. Meanwhile, 100 yards up the track and a few seconds later, Loris Baz slid off his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York Panigale V4 R, the bike hit the gravel trap, cartwheeled, and basically broke in half. Fast forward half an hour and Gagne was on his way to winning his 10th in a row while Baz watched from hot pit.
Such is the life of Jake Gagne in 2021.
Gagne crashed and won on Saturday in Minnesota, and then went out and won again on Sunday for a record-setting 11th in a row. This coming weekend in Pennsylvania, the Californian will be trying for an even dozen.
With Gagne’s win streak comes a generous points lead of 79 over Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the only other rider to win a HONOS Superbike race in 2021. Since his win in the opening round when Gagne’s bike failed him, Scholtz has visited the podium seven more times, including his runner-up finish to Gagne in Sunday’s race at BIR a couple of weeks ago.
With two races left to be run at Pitt Race and three at both New Jersey Motorsports Park and Barber Motorsports Park to close the season, there’s still plenty to play for with 200 points on the table. But first things first: Someone has to stop the runaway train that is Gagne.
Scholtz, meanwhile, has a 35-point cushion on his South African countryman Cameron Petersen, the M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider having a consistent season with four trips to the podium in 2021. Petersen, in turn, has 16 points on Gagne’s teammate Josh Herrin with the 2013 AMA Superbike Champion missing the last round after testing positive for COVID-19.
While the points leader is way out front and Scholtz looks sort of secure in second, the battle for points behind them is close with only 23 points separating Petersen in third from Baz in sixth, with Herrin and M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong separating the two.
Seventh is held by Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera, with the Spaniard continuing to impress in his first season in the MotoAmerica Series.
The next three riders in the Superbike title chase are the three riders fighting to take home the $25,000 for winning the Superbike Cup, a class within a class for those racing their Stock 1000-spec motorcycles in the premier class. Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis is leading the way into Pitt Race, but he’s just seven points ahead of Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman and another seven clear of HONOS HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander with that trio rounding out the top 10 in the Superbike Championship.
Pitt Race Superbike Notes…
This year’s race at Pittsburgh International Race Complex will mark the track’s fifth straight MotoAmerica event. The 2.87-mile, 19-turn track was constructed in 2002 and MotoAmerica made its debut there in 2017.
Five different riders have won the eight MotoAmerica Superbike races held at the track in Beaver County: Cameron Beaubier (3), Toni Elias (2), Roger Hayden (1), Josh Herrin (1) and Garrett Gerloff (1).
Five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier, who is now competing in the Moto2 World Championship, is the MotoAmerica Superbike lap record holder at Pitt Race. Beaubier set the outright lap record of 1:39.472 during Superpole in 2019 and set the race record of 1:40.550 in race two last year.
Beaubier won both HONOS Superbike races at Pitt Race in 2020 besting Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz and Beaubier’s teammate Jake Gagne in the pair of races.
Only two riders have won HONOS Superbike races in 2021 – Jake Gagne and Mathew Scholtz. Six riders, however, have earned podium finishes this year: Gagne (11), Scholtz (8), Josh Herrin (5), Loris Baz (5), Cameron Petersen (4) and Bobby Fong (2).
With his 11th victory coming in the last round at Brainerd International Raceway, Jake Gagne moved into a tie for 17th on the all-time AMA Superbike win list with Australian Anthony Gobert. A single win at Pitt Race will move Gagne into a tie with Doug Chandler for 16th; two wins and Gagne will slot into a tie with Doug Polen and Blake Young for 14th all-time.
Cameron Beaubier won 13 races en route to the Superbike title in 2020 and Gagne already has 11 wins this year with eight races left on the schedule. Beaubier scored 436 points in his dominating 2020 season; Gagne currently has 275 points with 200 points still up for grabs.
If/when Loris Baz wins a HONOS Superbike race he will become the first Frenchman to ever win an AMA Superbike race. Australia, Italy, England, and Canada are the countries that follow the U.S. in the number of riders winning AMA Superbike races with two riders from each country. In total, riders from seven different foreign countries have won AMA Superbike races.
Californians have the most AMA Superbike victories with 18 different riders from the Golden State taking wins. Texas (8), Kentucky (4) and Georgia (3) are next on the list.
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Westby Racing Brings Their Steely Determination To The Steel City This Weekend
Tulsa, OK – August 11, 2021 – Round seven of the 2021 MotoAmerica AMA/FIM North American Road Racing Championship starts this Friday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania. Yamaha YZF-R1 Superbike rider Mathew Scholtz and YZF-R3 Junior Cup rider Jack Roach are happy to be back East and are looking forward to racing at one of their favorite tracks on the MotoAmerica schedule.
For Mathew and the team, eight podium finishes in 12 races is an impressive accomplishment, as well as a powerful statement of consistency. But, they’re not satisfied. In fact, they are more determined than ever to end championship leader Jake Gagne’s winning streak. And so, the theme for this weekend is “there’s no better place than Pitt Race” as Mathew and the team steel their determination.
“This is a race weekend that I am really looking forward to,” said Mathew. “Pitt Race is one of my favorite circuits on the calendar, and I always enjoy racing there. I’ve had some very positive results in the past there, and with the momentum we are experiencing with the bike, the team, and my riding, I think we can have a really good weekend. I’ve got a couple of things that I’ve been working on with my riding, and I know we have some ideas for setting up the bike. I can’t wait to get out on the track and continue working hard to bridge the gap to Jake Gagne because I know we are more than capable of running up at the front. Also, I look forward to seeing all the fans this weekend.”
Crew chief Ed Sullivan commented, “After a solid couple of rounds, we have a really good direction with the bike and the rider, but now it’s time to take the next step forward. We’ve been working hard with the data from Brainerd, and we look forward to trying some setup options on Friday. Pitt Race has been good to us in the past, and the team is excited to see what Mathew can do this year.
Team manager Chuck Giacchetto added, “Coming to Pitt Race always makes me feel good. Our first ever time at this facility was a test a few years back, and we left being the fastest overall. Our team has always adapted well to this circuit, and I know our crew has been working very diligently since our double podium at Brainerd. The fellas and Mathew, I’m sure, are excited and ready for FP1.”
Superbike final qualifying is on Saturday morning at 10:20 a.m. ET. Superbike race one will go green on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m. ET, and Superbike race two is on Sunday afternoon also at 2 p.m. ET. Both races will be broadcast LIVE on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
Jack’s 2021 Junior Cup season has been a trying one for the young Brit, but just like his mentor Mathew, he is equally determined to perform his best this weekend at Pitt Race. He’ll approach the weekend one step at a time, striving for fast lap times in practice and qualifying, and then applying his racecraft in both races to finish strong.
“Pitt Race is one of my favorite tracks,” Jack said. “And I think the weather conditions may come into effect. You could call me a wet-weather specialist from my background in the British Superbike Series, so I think this round will be very interesting.
“Also, I want to give a shout out to Chuck (Giacchetto) for giving me his support throughout this season. Without him, none of this would be possible.”
Junior Cup race one starts on Saturday at 3 p.m. ET, and Junior Cup race two is on Sunday, also at 3 p.m. ET. Both races will be broadcast via tape-delay on FS2 this Tuesday, August 17, beginning at 5 p.m. ET.
Meet Mathew and Jack, Get Some Autographed Posters, And More
Mathew and Jack will both be available at the Westby Racing transporter in the paddock at Pitt Race with free, autographed posters and other team items to hand out, so be sure to check the schedule and stop by during those autograph sessions.
Check Out The Westby Racing Sponsor Showcase
Eazi-Grip, GB Racing, and Renthal will be the featured team sponsors on display in the Westby Racing paddock area, so be sure to stop by to say hello and learn about some of the companies that support the team.
For more updates about Westby Racing, including news, photos, and videos, visit https://www.WestbyRacing.com
Also, follow “Westby Racing” on your favorite social media sites.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Ducati’s Dynamic Duo Ready to Tackle One of the Gems in the MotoAmerica Calendar at the Pittsburgh International Race Complex
Sunnyvale, Calif., August 11, 2021 – MotoAmerica 2021 resumes this weekend as America’s finest Superbike stars head to the lush surrounds of the Pittsburgh International Race Complex.
One of the most popular rounds of the season, Pitt Race, as it’s affectionately known, will be something of a homecoming for Loris Baz and the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York team, as their base is located 400 miles east of the Pittsburgh venue in New York City.
This weekend presents one of the best opportunities yet for Baz to capture his first MotoAmerica win, after testing at the venue earlier this year on a Ducati Panigale V4 S. Should Baz take the spoils, he will also add France to the list of AMA Superbike/MotoAmerica race winning countries alongside Australia, Italy, England, and Canada.
Pitt Race will also see Kyle Wyman back in the saddle of the Panera Bread Ducati Panigale V4 R. The Arizona resident aborted his comeback ride on Friday at Brainerd citing excessive pain and strength issues on his still healing broken left elbow, but a couple of weeks recouperation have been kind to him and Wyman’s ready to go at a track he knows well, having also tested at the venue two months ago.
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“It’s good to ride a nice track like Pittsburgh,” Baz said. “I really enjoyed the pace when I rode a track day on the Ducati Panigale V4 S. Like every round, we’ll be trying our best to ride well and find a good setting early on in the weekend with the Panigale. We were a bit unlucky at the last round at Brainerd, but I think the Pittsburgh track is more suited to our bike than Brainerd. It’s not as bumpy, and it’s a bit like a home race for the team. We just have to watch what the weather does and try to adapt the bike to suit the conditions, but I’m really looking forward to riding such a nice track.”
Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #33)
“Feeling pretty good for this weekend,” Wyman said. “The elbow is coming along well. There hasn’t been a whole lot of time since Brainerd but I feel I’m in a lot better position than I was a couple of weeks ago. I’m really looking forward to Pittsburgh because this is the only track we’ve tested at this year, so we have some good data and feedback from our two days here back in May. I’m just hoping my body can withstand the number of laps I need to do. The weather looks a little dodgy so we’ll see if we get a bit of rain in the first half of the weekend, but I’m really looking forward to getting back on my bike and getting back into the rhythm.”
More, from a press release issued by Kyle Wyman Racing:
Kyle Wyman will ride at Pittsburgh this weekend on Panera Bread Ducati
TUCSON, Ariz. (Aug. 11) — Kyle Wyman will ride his Panera Bread Ducati Panigale V4 R Superbike this weekend for round 7 of the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, after withdrawing from the previous round at Brainerd International Raceway with lingering effects from his fractured elbow.
Wyman, who is now 8 weeks post-surgery, has been recovering while riding at races like Laguna Seca, just three weeks after surgery and winning the King of the Baggers race and championship. While this previous round at Brainerd was a further three weeks later with more recovery time, the injury was not healed and strong enough to ride the beastly Ducati Superbike.
Wyman’s hope is that another two weeks of recovery will put the New York native in a better position physically to compete at what is essentially his home race.
“Obviously pulling out mid-weekend at Brainerd was a surprise and a major setback on our season,” Wyman said. “But the past week I’ve seen some big progress in the strength and pain management of my elbow that did not exist a short time ago. At this point the bone is very much healed around the titanium plate and seven screws, but there are so many ligaments and tendons in the elbow joint that, along with the muscles, take a lot longer to heal and find strength again.”
While not back to full-fitness, Wyman’s current state should allow him to control the bike safely and put in a complete weekend, further developing the Panigale V4 R Superbike. The KWR team tested at Pittsburgh in May of this year, after the Virginia International Raceway round and has high hopes for good results.
“I will need to take it lap by lap, day by day,” Wyman added. “But we’ve made some ergonomic changes to the bike and with the improvements I’ve made there is a good chance we can be in a position to fight in the top 5. It’s been three rounds I’ve missed now, which sucks. After our test here at Pittsburgh in the spring we found a really good setup for this place so I’m really hoping to be physically in a position to make the most of it.”
Find out how the weekend will play out by subscribing to MotoAmerica Live+. FP1 practice starts Friday, August 13th at 10:25am EST. Live coverage begins at 2:00pm EST. Both Superbike races will be LIVE on Fox Sports 1 (FS1) on Saturday and Sunday, both at 2:00pm EST.
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Stay tuned for news and updates on KWR at www.kylewyman.com