This weekend’s results are brought to you by 6D Helmets.
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Unstoppable In Race One At Ridge Motorsports Park
Jake Gagne Wins His Sixth Straight MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike Race
SHELTON, WA (June 26, 2021) – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne’s plan doesn’t change from race to race. And why would it? It’s simple, really. Qualify on pole position, get the jump on everyone off the start and put the race out of reach in the first handful of laps. Such was the case again on a scorching hot Saturday at Ridge Motorsports Park, the Californian winning his sixth-straight MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike race after leading from start to finish.
Gagne, who broke the track record during Q2 on Saturday morning, was unstoppable again. He led every lap and if it wasn’t for the oppressive heat, it could have been classified as a walk in the park.
“It’s kind of a balance,” Gagne said. “Especially this weekend, I knew if I got a good start, if I got through turn one, turn two clean then I could put my head down for a couple laps. It’s a balance. I knew with how hot it is these tires are taking a beating. It was hotter than all weekend, so I wasn’t really sure how we were going to end up after the second half. So, I got a good, solid gap in the beginning and then rode around and just tried to be smooth, be easy on the tires, not do anything crazy. I was actually impressed with how well these Dunlops held up again. Every single time I say that. Like Josh (Herrin) said, this team is working, working so hard, so it’s great to get Josh up here. These guys were close, man. I was looking at my pit board and I can’t let up. It’s only a couple seconds, but anything can happen. Again, hats off to the team. These guys are going to be coming even harder tomorrow and I know that we can make some improvements in a couple areas tomorrow because I know these boys will be gunning for me. Try to keep this ball rolling and again, hats off to everybody. It will be a hot one tomorrow, so it will be fun.”
Second place went to Gagne’s teammate Josh Herrin, the 2013 AMA Superbike Champion finding something in his setup that made him faster and more comfortable than in previous races. The second-place finish was Herrin’s best thus far in 2021 and he was 4.49 seconds behind Gagne after 17 laps.
“The biggest thing is time, I think,” Herrin said when asked what changes have been made. “I came into this season expecting to be where Jake (Gagne) is, and it was a hard lesson whenever it didn’t happen. It was a struggle. Mentally I just beat up on myself. I think kind of like Cam (Petersen) said, my realistic goal needs to be to just progress and try and get better as the season goes on. Obviously, my main goal is to try and win races, but I need to be smart about it and not throw it away and just progress throughout the season. So, I think we’re doing a good job of that. The team is putting in countless hours at the shop and here, even guys like Josef back at the shop that don’t get a lot of attention here at the races. He’s back at the shop building engines and keeping Attack going while Richard’s (Stanboli) here. So, it’s a huge team effort for these guys. They’re not only a race team but they’re a performance shop too, so they’ve got a lot of work back home when they get back from the races. Walker is driving the truck back and then working 24/7 when he gets home. So, it’s a big group effort. What we do is the least effort I think out of the whole thing, for sure. I think I made the smartest decision of my career in reaching out to Josh Hayes at the Brainerd test. It’s been huge just in the three days I’ve worked with him now. I’ve not only noticed a big difference on the track, but then also whenever I’m going over data with Richard it’s like I have something a little bit better than I had before. I can communicate a little bit better with him because Josh is telling me things that I’m doing on the track.”
Herrin’s first few laps were a bit daunting, and he came very close to crashing after losing the front at one point.
“The beginning of the race today, I had it,” Herrin said. “I felt so good at the beginning and (Loris) Baz threw a super sketchy pass on me into turn 12 and I tucked the front because I got out in the dirty stuff. But it kind of made me see like an Eslick (Herrin and Danny Eslick used to be fierce rivals) moment. I just got so fired up. It just made me push so hard. I think I rode like I haven’t rode since 2018. So, thanks to Baz for being sketchy and putting it on the line. Hats off to Jake (Gagne). Six races in a row is not easy. It’s cool being teammates with somebody that’s riding that good. Cam (Petersen) rode a great race. I’m sure that more of those guys are going to be up towards the front tomorrow, so we’ve got to get some rest tonight and be ready tomorrow.”
Herrin had his hands full for the majority of the race with M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen with the South African hounding Herrin until giving up the chase after running wide in the turn one chicane. He ended up some four seconds behind in third place.
“The beginning of the race, I’m not going to lie, the first two laps I was really struggling,” Petersen said. “I knew Josh (Herrin) had some pace, so when he got by me, I tried to latch onto him. He actually ended up pulling a pretty decent gap on me. I knew we had done a lot of laps on old tires, so I was kind of waiting for that feeling to come back. Once I got used to that feeling with the tires, I started just trying to put in some clean laps. I managed to bridge the gap a little bit to Josh and then sat there for most of the race. I think five or six laps to go, I made a mistake going into the chicane. He got that second on me, or .8 or whatever it was, and that was pretty much race over for me. He had a pretty solid pace going the whole race, so I was definitely pushing behind him. It wasn’t easy at all. Super stoked to get another podium. That’s three in a row. First front row ever. So, we’re getting there. We’re slowly chipping away at it. But congrats to these two guys. Jake (Gagne) once again just on another level. It was fun riding around with Josh (Herrin) there. Congrats to these two guys.”
Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz ended up fourth and 14 seconds behind Gagne after qualifying second and looking like he might have a challenge for Gagne in the race.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz crossed the finish line some five seconds behind Baz in fifth place, well clear of HONOS HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander. Alexander put in a solid ride to finish a career-best sixth in the HONOS Superbike class while winning the Superbike Cup for racers riding Stock 1000-spec motorcycles.
FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony finished seventh, which matched his best of the season. Then came M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong, who managed to finish eighth despite a mechanical problem.
Anthony’s FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ teammate Jayson Uribe and Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis rounded out the top 10.
Gagne is blowing the championship up at this point as he now leads Scholtz by 32 points, 150-118. Herrin is a further 15 points behind and just five points ahead of Petersen. Fong is fifth and 80 points behind Gagne after seven races.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Gagne and Herrin Bring the Heat with 1-2 Finish at The Ridge
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne scored his sixth-straight MotoAmerica Superbike victory today in a hot race one at The Ridge Motorsports Park in Shelton, Washington. Teammate Josh Herrin joined him on the podium with a solid second-place finish.
Gagne continues to rack up the track records, adding The Ridge Motorsports Park to the list of the other three venues this season and maintaining his perfect qualifying record. He then grabbed the holeshot from pole position and set a blistering pace to gap the field by two seconds after the first lap. The Colorado rider upped the ante with the fastest lap of the race on Lap 7 after Herrin set the benchmark and ultimately crossed the line four seconds ahead of his teammate. Gagne’s sixth superbike win of the season expanded his championship lead to 32 points.
Herrin got a decent start from the second row of the grid in fourth, but it was a hectic first lap. He quickly made his way to second, but as the two riders behind him jockeyed for the runner-up position, he was pushed wide and shuffled back to fifth. The 2013 Superbike Champion fought back and advanced to third on the following lap and kept pushing, moving into second on Lap 3. He put the hammer down and was able to put some distance between himself and the competition, but after the halfway mark, he was back on his heels. Herrin held him off and ultimately was able to build another gap for a solid second-place finish.
The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team returns tomorrow for more action at The Ridge Motorsports Park, lining up 1-2 on the grid for race two.
Richard Stanboli – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“It was a good day for the team, finishing 1-2. Jake, as usual, maintained the pace from the front, and Josh made some big improvements and found his rhythm to finish second. He may be keeping Jake honest starting in P2 tomorrow. The high heat conditions were tough for the riders, but our R1s loved it. They ran great, handled well, and maintained good grip, allowing both riders to run good consistent laps. We are excited and looking forward to tomorrow’s race.”
Jake Gagne – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“We had a great race and got off to the start we needed. I’m so happy with the R1 and the whole crew. Tomorrow will be another hot one, but I’m confident that we can make some changes and pick up the pace tomorrow. It’s great to go 1-2 for the team, and Josh was putting in some fast laps, so I know they will be coming for me tomorrow.”
Josh Herrin – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“I’m so pumped about our results today! I’m finally starting to ride like I was in 2018, and I’m so happy. I started working with Josh Hayes, and he’s taught me a lot this weekend. I finally believe that I can be there. The team is working super hard, so I have to thank them, and hats off to Jake for running a solid race. Hopefully, tomorrow we can get up there after the start with Jake and try and hang on. He’s running fast, but I think we have the pace. I can’t wait to get back on track tomorrow.”
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Westby Racing Finishes 5th in Superbike and 12th In Junior Cup On Saturday At Ridge Motorsports Park
Shelton, WA – June 26, 2021 – With air temperatures approaching 100 degrees on Saturday at Ridge Motorsports Park, the Westby Racing team battled through the extra adversity brought on by the uncharacteristic weather and, while the results were mixed for the team’s two riders—Mathew Scholtz in Superbike and his teammate Jack Roach in Junior Cup—both men and their crew members have their heads held high and are determined to get better results on Sunday.
Mathew maintained his second-place position in the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship with a solid fifth-place finish on Saturday. He started from the middle of the second row on the grid, and he was able to move into fourth position on the opening lap, but the rest of the race was mostly processional as he went back to fifth on lap two and remained in that position for the rest of the 17-lap race.
“All in all, today wasn’t the best of days,” Mathew said. “But, I think we learned a lot, and I know where I am struggling. We kind of have an idea about where we can improve tomorrow, and we always seem to improve on Sunday I know it’s going to be extremely hot again tomorrow, even hotter than it was today. That’s something that we’re going to be looking out for, but I believe we have the potential to fight for the podium tomorrow. I’m going to give it my all, and I know the entire team will, too. I’m thankful to be racing here, and to be on this great team, and I am looking to put the Westby bike up on the podium tomorrow where it belongs.”
Sunday’s Superbike race two is at 2 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 1 (FS1), as well as streamed on MotoAmerica Live+.
In Saturday’s Junior Cup race, Jack started from the inside of the fourth row, which is pretty much mid-pack, and he knew he would have to work hard, especially in the oppressive heat, to move further up in the field. He managed his way into ninth position in the early going, but as the laps started to wind down, he started to lose positions and ultimately finished the 11-lap race in 12th place.
“That was not the race I wanted,” Jack said. “I felt like I was pushing hard, but I wasn’t really capitalizing on the bike’s strengths. I’m not a rider to blame the bike, so I will be doing a lot of work on line choice and race strategy with my crew chief Shiloh (Salopek). She helps with everything, and without her, I would be lost. So, a big thank you to Shiloh for seeing my potential and working with me and as hard as possible. Also, a huge thanks to Westby Racing and Chuck Giacchetto for their support and for continuing to believe in me.”
Jack and the team will try for better results in Sunday’s Junior Cup race two, which is at 3 p.m. PT and will be broadcast live on FOX Sports 2 (FS2), streamed on MotoAmerica Live+, and then broadcast again via tape-delay on FS2 this Tuesday, June 29, beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET.
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