This weekend’s results are brought to you by 6D Helmets.
More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Breaks Win Streak Record With 11th MotoAmerica Superbike Win
Jake Gagne Takes His 11th Victory In A Row At Brainerd International Raceway
BRAINERD, MN (August 1, 2021) – Jake Gagne made history on Sunday at Brainerd International Raceway, the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha man racing to his 11th straight MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike win to break a record set jointly by four-time AMA Superbike Champion Josh Hayes and five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion Cameron Beaubier.
The win was like most of Gagne’s other victories. Dominating. He shot off from pole position and was never headed, storming to a 5.2-second win over Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, who had his hands full for the duration with Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz. At the completion of 18 laps, Scholtz was just over a second ahead of the Frenchman with Baz making a mistake on the final lap that prevented him from making a run at the South African.
Gagne’s win streak dates back to race two at the season-opener at Road Atlanta in May, the Californian suffered an engine failure in race one, but he hasn’t lost since.
“Not really,” Gagne said when asked if he thought pre-season that this sort of win streak was possible. “That’s not what I thought. This class is so stacked and there’s a lot of great teams. We were just fortunate. We started off the year really comfortable and we had a bike that worked really, really well everywhere. We still have a bike that works really well everywhere. I’m just so happy. Everything is gelling really good with the team. I’ve got a great crew, great crew chief, everybody. With Corndog (Jon Cornwell, his crew chief), with Richard (Stanboli, the team owner) with Darin (Marshall, Computer Systems Analyst) at home, with Mike (Canfield) and Walker (Jemison) on the bike. We’re all in a good place. We’re all having fun racing motorcycles. We’re trying to enjoy it. We’ve had a lot of great days throughout this year, but we know anything can happen. These guys are coming. They’re getting closer and closer. But I’m happy with this weekend. Thursday and Friday we were still fast, but it wasn’t the bike that I had all year. So yesterday we kind of changed some stuff up and it felt more like my bike again. I was just fortunate I got off to a good start. I was spinning the rear tire all the way into turn one. It was weird having pole position on the inside, so you’re entering that turn one from the inside on the dirty stuff and that thing was just bucking me. I managed to get a good couple laps in there and was just keeping an eye on my pit board. Hats off to the Yamaha Fresh N’ Lean Attack team because this is awesome. I’m trying not to think about any streak or how many wins we got or whatever. This weekend is behind us. Now we’ve got to go to Pittsburgh and get to work because it’s going to get tougher and tougher.”
Scholtz closed out a successful weekend in AMA Superbike racing’s return to Brainerd International Raceway with his third- and second-place finishes in Minnesota.
“It’s always nice to be up on the podium, especially after struggling around three and four, four and five,” Scholtz said. “Laguna Seca it was nice to kind of get up on the podium there. Then to come and get two really good podiums, fighting guys and actually showing that I have the pace to be back up here, that was awesome. I just need to try to work on the first couple laps because I’m just struggling. I kind of suck in the first four or five laps. I have no feeling. I’m slipping and sliding everywhere. I feel like the front is just pushing. I think that Bobby (Fong) was following Jake (Gagne). He pulled away big time. Cameron (Petersen) passed me. I was struggling, and then (Loris) Baz passed me and I kind of thought, ‘this guy started in 10th and he’s passing me. I’ve got to do something.’ So, I started kind of pushing a little bit harder than I should have. Took one or two chances, but then kind of settled into a decent rhythm from there. I could see when I was fighting Baz, like he said, there were a couple corners that I would catch him a lot and there were a couple corners where he was pulling me a lot, too. So, we were kind of going backwards and forwards lots. Then one of the laps, out of corner six we got a pretty decent drive and got within a bike length of two of Loris going into the carousel corner. He went a little bit wider than he usually did, so I kind of thought this was my chance and I dove up there. In corner three, maybe corner six, 12, all the corners where you would normally think about passing someone, Loris was an absolute animal braking late. He would pull four or five bikes every single time. So, I kind of knew that I had to figure out something somewhere else. Just happy to be back up here in second place kind of where we should be. I think the last couple laps I was with the same pace as what Jake was. Just need to figure out those first couple laps and work on those two, three, four outright laps of just pushing.”
Baz rebounded from a bad day at the office on Saturday in race one, the Frenchman crashing out on the second lap of the race and destroying his Ducati Panigale V4 R. Baz had to go to the backup bike for Sunday and he came through from 10th on the grid to finish third.
“Yeah, not so bad, especially after the disaster yesterday,” Baz said. “I’m still very angry with what happened yesterday. It was completely unprofessional. I’m just happy that we are alive with Jake (Gagne), because it was really scary the first laps. Then as you said, you try to put it behind. You go on your backup bike. We had some issue in the warmup. Some sensors were not working, so we could not make everything we wanted. So, I was just crossing the fingers that everything worked for the race. The mechanics from the Warhorse HSBK Racing team did an amazing job. Like you said, the frame was cut in two parts, the swingarm broken, everything was dead. So, they had to put another bike together. I did a pretty good start. I wanted to try to get to P2 as soon as possible. As I expected, when I was P2, Jake was already far away. Then I just tried to save a little bit my tires. We had a battle with Mathew (Scholtz), which was really nice. I was behind him. He was stronger in a couple of places, like Mathew said, then I was stronger in all the second section. I think two laps to go I found the place where I wanted to try something in the last lap but going into the carousel, I had a neutral, and if you go straight here you get a five-second penalty so I did everything I could just to stay on the track. I lost much but hats off to them. They did an amazing job. I just want to thank my team a lot and the Ducati guys, Paolo Ciabatti who came this weekend. We did a really good job to make the V4 working better and better over those kind of tracks, really bumpy. We were much stronger than we were at the test. So, we go on again for the next one. Try to improve again.”
Next up was M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong, the Californian looking like he would repeat Saturday’s second-place finish until an off-track excursion pushed him down the order. He fought back, however, passing his teammate Cameron Petersen in the closing laps for fourth place.
Petersen was fifth, some three seconds clear of Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s fill-in rider JD Beach with the full-time flat track racer impressing everyone in the paddock with his weekend after not racing a Superbike in two years. Beach was faster in Sunday’s race than he was in Saturday’s as he improved in every session and every race as his comfort level increased.
Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera finished behind Beach, the Spaniard suffering early on with an off-track excursion.
As he was on Saturday, Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis was the top Superbike Cup racer, finishing eighth on his Stock 1000-spec Suzuki GSX-R1000.
FLY Racing/ADR Motorsports’ Bradley Ward completed his return-from-injury weekend to finish ninth with HONOS HVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander rounding out the top 10.
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Baz Bounces Back for a Sunday Podium at Brainerd
Sunnyvale, Calif., August 1, 2021 – Loris Baz produced yet another stellar ride in MotoAmerica 2021, fighting back from a 10th place grid slot to third in race two at Brainerd.
The sole Ducati rider on the grid following Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman withdrawing from the weekend with excessive pain from his still-healing broken elbow, Baz suffered the highs and lows on racing in Minnesota with a crash in race one that destroyed his Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York machine.
Baz had just taken the lead from fellow crasher Jake Gagne (Yamaha), but with tires still not up to temperature following a very short pre-race grid, Baz lost the front of the Panigale, with the damage far too excessive for him to take part in the restart following the red flag.
The Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York team thus had a big job on their hands as they prepared the second machine for Baz’s race two assault, and the French ace did not disappoint, charging through the field in his usual take-no-prisoners style to finish third behind double Brainerd winner Jake Gagne (Yamaha) and Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha).
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“It’s been a challenging weekend but what a fantastic job by the team to set up the bike for this bumpy track,” Baz said. “Everything was thrown away in race one due to some silly decision where the organizers only gave us five minutes on the pre-race grid. We had cold tires, and I did lap one easy to warm the tires but then started to push on lap two and crashed. This was the same thing that happened to Jake (Gagne). So after that, the bike was dead and I couldn’t restart. And I had to take the second bike for Sunday, which was not perfect in the warm up. I must say a big thanks to the team, to the guys at Ducati, because the bike was in such a bad state yesterday—swingarm broke, frame, everything. We managed to do a good in race two on the second bike. It usually goes if you have a bad first race you have a worse second race, but I started P10 and came through to P2, fighting with Mathew and ended up P3. It’s another podium. It was an up and down weekend but racing is like this sometimes. I’m happy to leave this place unhurt and we’ll go again at Pittsburgh which is a fantastic track I really love to ride at. Thanks to everyone at Ducati, Warhorse Ducati New York, Paolo Ciabatti (Ducati Corse Sporting Director), Ducati back in Italy. I’m really happy and proud to have Paolo with us this weekend. Let’s do it again in two weeks.”
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz Scores Double Podiums In Minnesota, Maintains Second In Championship
Brainerd, MN – August 1, 2021 – The first time’s a charm for Mathew Scholtz and the Westby Racing team at Brainerd International Raceway. In AMA-sanctioned Superbike racing’s first visit to Brainerd in nearly two decades, Mathew followed up his third-place result in Saturday’s race one with a runner-up finish in race two.
On Sunday, Mathew started on the front row and immediately got into a battle with Cam Petersen. Before long, Loris Baz also joined the fray. Mathew overtook Petersen, but then Baz aggressively overtook Mathew. Baz moved into second place while Mathew gave chase and overtook Baz on lap 11 of the 18-lap race. From there, Mathew held off Baz, and took the checkered flag in second behind race winner Jake Gagne.
Mathew commented: “It’s nice to be up here on the podium. At Laguna Seca, it was nice to be on the podium there, too. Then, to come here and get two really good podiums, battling guys, and showing that I have the pace to be up here, it was awesome. I just need to work on the first couple laps because I’m struggling. I kind of suck in the first four or five laps. I have no feeling. I’m slipping and sliding everywhere. I feel like the front is just pushing. I think that Bobby (Fong) was following Jake (Gagne). He pulled away big time. Cameron (Petersen) passed me. I was struggling, and then (Loris) Baz passed me and I kind of thought, ‘This guy started in 10th, and he’s passing me. I’ve got to do something.’
“So, I started pushing a little bit harder than I should have. Took one or two chances, but then kind of settled into a decent rhythm from there. I could see when I was fighting Baz, there were a couple corners that I would catch him and there were a couple corners where he was pulling a gap. So, we were kind of going backwards and forwards a lot. Then, on one of the laps, out of corner six, we got a pretty decent drive and got within a bike length or two of Loris going into the carousel corner. He went a little bit wider than usual, so I kind of thought this was my chance and I dove up in there. In corner three, maybe corner six, 12, all the corners where you would normally think about passing someone, Loris was an absolute animal braking late. He would pull four or five bike lengths every single time. So, I knew that I had to figure out something somewhere else. I’m happy to be back up here in second place where we should be. I think, the last couple laps, I had the same pace as Jake. I just need to figure out those first couple laps and work on those two, three, four opening laps of just pushing.”
Ed Sullivan, Westby Racing Crew Chief, said: “It’s been a really good weekend for the team. We steadied the ship at Laguna after a couple of tough events and improved the bike further over this weekend at Brainerd. Today’s race was hard-fought with Mathew struggling to find a rhythm in the early laps, but after a really good pass on Baz, he put in some fast laps under a lot of pressure and finished a strong second. We look forward to trying to close the gap to Gagne at Pitt Race in two weeks.”
Chuck Giacchetto, Westby Racing Team Manager said: “The weekend at BIR was very important for the team, and this was a fantastic way to start the second half of the season. I’m very proud of our team in all areas. The stage is set for the second act, and I’m pumped that I have a front-row seat. See you all at Pitt Race.”
Westby Racing’s Junior Cup rider Jack Roach had a learning weekend aboard his Yamaha YZF-R3. He followed up his eighth-place finish in Saturday’s race one with an 11th in Sunday’s race two. Even though the results were not what Jack was hoping for, on the bright side, he did move into the top 10 in the championship points standings.
Next up for Westby Racing is round seven of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at Pittsburgh International Race Complex in Wampum, Pennsylvania, on August 13 through 15.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Jake Gagne – Yamaha – 275
2. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 196
3. Cameron Petersen – Suzuki – 161
MotoAmerica Junior Cup Standings
1. Tyler Scott – KTM – 252
2. Benjamin Gloddy – Kawasaki – 236
3. Cody Wyman – Kawasaki – 173
10. Jack Roach – Yamaha – 57
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