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More, from a press release issued by MotoAmerica:
Gagne Finally Gets His First Superbike Win At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Jake Gagne Breaks Through With Debut HONOS Superbike Victory In Georgia
BRASELTON, GA (May 2, 2021) – After finishing second eight times a season ago, Jake Gagne finally won his first career MotoAmerica HONOS Superbike race and he did so in style, working his way through to the sharp end of the field from his third row starting spot and pulling away to a 4.712-second victory.
Gagne was fast all weekend and qualified on pole position for Saturday’s race, but his race only lasted for a lap as his Fresh N’ Easy Attack Performance Yamaha suffered a mechanical failure that put him out of the race. With Sunday’s race gridded by Saturday’s race results, Gagne started from the middle of the third row. Once he’d adjusted the play out of his slipping clutch, Gagne went on a rampage and his pace was unmatchable.
It was Gagne’s first win of any kind since his Superstock 1000 Championship-winning season in 2015.
“Yeah, it feels good to get something like that off the back,” Gagne said of ending his winless drought. “Obviously, last year (there was) a lot of second places and it wears you down. We came here wanting to win. We came off the truck really firing. After yesterday’s disappointment, this team, the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha work so hard. Those guys were up late last night throwing in one of last year’s motors. So just hats off to those guys. It feels good to get one off my back. Sorry, I didn’t even figure out, two hours before the race they told me I was on the third row, so I didn’t hear about that new fun little rule. So, I knew I had to get off to a good start because I knew Mat (Scholtz) was going to go, and Bobby (Fong) was going to go. I tried so hard to get a good start, I slipped and slipped the clutch. I thought I was in a situation like last year. The first couple laps my clutch was slipping. Luckily, from the experience last year, I knew which way to adjust the clutch. I was going down the straightaway trying to figure it out, and then once I got that dialed in, I knew the bike would keep rolling. I tried to make some passes. Mat was tough. This track is tough to make passes. Turn 10 is one of the main areas and that was where Mat was really strong, even Bobby too. Happy again, we got her done. Looking forward to VIR. I really, really love that place. I know this bike can be a rocket around there.”
The man who came closest to matching Gagne’s pace was Saturday’s race winner Mathew Scholtz on the Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1, the South African sticking with Gagne for a few laps before realizing he didn’t have the speed of the race winner. Scholtz held on for second, however, well clear of Gagne’s Fresh N’ Easy Attack Performance Yamaha teammate Josh Herrin, who was third for a second straight day.
“When he (Gagne) passed me, I tried to hang onto him for about three or four laps afterwards and I was pushing super hard,” Scholtz said. “I nearly tucked the front in a couple corners. He was stronger in some of the corners, I was stronger in some of the other sections. But we were just going backwards and forwards and it kind of seemed to just wear my tires out pretty quickly. It kind of helped me to see where his bike is definitely better than where ours is. We need to just work on getting off the corner, but otherwise I’m just happy to be back up here. Well done to Jake. Well done to Josh. It’s really awesome to have a Yamaha sweep. VIR is the next round for us and it’s one of my strongest tracks, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Herrin’s pace was faster than his identical third-place finish on Saturday, though he was slowed in the latter part of the race with arm pump.
“Today for me, performance-wise, was a lot better,” Herrin said. “I think Mathew’s (Scholtz) time was the same, as fast as me. Jake (Gagne) obviously didn’t make the whole race yesterday. So, I was happy to improve my lap time. I was closer to the guys in the beginning of the race. I made a lot of improvements overnight and from this morning. We were able to get a lot of laps in. Richard (Stanboli, his team owner/crew chief) really put his head down and made a lot of improvements to bike to get me a lot more comfortable. That one was just on me. I struggled with arm pump throughout it. I don’t think I would have been able to hang with those guys, but I would have been a little bit happier with how close I was if I didn’t have the problem. So, I’ve got to go home and work on that. Other than that, I’m super happy. It’s been only about a year since I was on the podium. I guess I lucked out on that one, too. I’m waiting for the legit podium when nobody is out. That’s when I’ll be happy. But I’m super happy leaving here with two podiums, good points. Stoked that Jake (Gagne) was able to get his first win. I didn’t know it was his first win. I know it’s a great feeling.”
M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen completed a successful debut weekend with the team, the South African finishing fourth, some 10 seconds clear of his teammate Bobby Fong, after finishing fifth on Saturday.
Fong’s day was made more difficult as he was deemed to have jumped the start and was forced to do a ride-through penalty that put him well back in the pack. He persevered though and was rewarded with fifth and the 11 championships that went with it. Prior to the penalty, Fong was battling with Gagne and Scholtz at the front.
Sixth place went to Panera Bread Ducati’s Kyle Wyman, the team owner/rider some three seconds ahead of Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera. Travis Wyman Racing’s Travis Wyman was eighth and the top Superbike Cup rider with Altus Motorsports’ Jake Lewis and FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ Jayson Uribe rounding out the top 10.
Scholtz leads the championship as the series heads to VIRginia International Raceway, May 21-23, chase after two races, 45-32, over Herrin.
For the second straight race, Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati of New York’s Loris Baz failed to score a point. The Frenchman, who was making his MotoAmerica debut at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, crashed out of race one and was halted by a mechanical problem in race two.
More, from a press release issued by Yamaha:
Gagne Scores Stunning Maiden Superbike Victory in Race Two at Road Atlanta
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne produced a superb performance to take his first MotoAmerica Superbike victory today in race two at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta. Teammate Josh Herrin continued his impressive start for the team to bookend the podium in a well-controlled third place.
Starting ninth after his DNF on Saturday, Gagne made a blazing getaway to move up to fourth behind Herrin who held onto his third-place grid slot. Before the first lap was complete, the number 32 rider passed his teammate for the final podium position and set about closing down the leaders. A couple of laps before the halfway mark, Gagne scythed his way through to second and then took the lead after a fine slipstream in Turn 10a.
A tense chase for the lead then began between Gagne and fellow Yamaha rider Mathew Scholtz, but the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing R1 showed its strength in the final five laps to help Gagne set the fastest lap time. Extending his lead to over 4.7 seconds, the Californian took the checkered flag to score an emotional first win in the premier class.
After his teammate passed him, Herrin battled for fourth. The 2013 Superbike Champion kept pushing and made his way into third on Lap 10. Battling arm pump issues in the demanding conditions at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Herrin maintained his third position to score his second consecutive podium finish and leave the season opener third in the point standings.
With a win and two third places from the first round, the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team looks to build on their momentum at round two at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on May 21-23.
Richard Stanboli – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“Today was a nice turnaround for the team and about what we expected going into the event. Jake rode a smart race for the win and Josh continued to improve, bringing home third. The Westby team also did a great job to make it a Yamaha, Attack Performance sweep. We look forward to the next round at VIR. It’s normally a good racetrack for the Yamaha R1!”
Jake Gagne – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“After yesterday’s DNF we were super motivated to get that win today. It feels amazing to finally get a Superbike win and I couldn’t ask for a better crew to do it with! Hats off to the team for finishing strong and giving me an amazing bike after a rough start. I’m ready for more at VIR!”
Josh Herrin – Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“I’m extremely happy with our finishes this weekend. We never gave up and it paid off. I’m looking forward to a great weekend at VIR! Huge congrats to Jake Gagne and his crew on their first win!”
More, from a press release issued by Ducati:
Road Atlanta a road of mixed fortunes for Ducati duo Baz and Wyman
Sunnyvale, Calif., May 2, 2021 – The first round of MotoAmerica 2021 saw a mixed bag of results for Ducati duo Kyle Wyman and Loris Baz.
Under bright blue skies at the world famous Road Atlanta, Wyman led the Ducati charge with a fifth in race one and sixth in race two on the gorgeous Panera Bread Ducati Panigale, ensuring the Arizona resident will leave the Peach State eighth overall in the standings heading to round two at VIR.
Unfortunately, for Baz, it wasn’t the weekend he’d hoped for on his MotoAmerica debut. After qualifying an impressive third, Baz engaged in a fierce battle with Yamaha’s eventual race winner Mathew Scholtz for the lead in the opening race but crashed at turn 10A, ending his race with five laps to go.
It was looking good for Baz in race two before a technical issue pitted him for repairs. He eventually finished 20th with Yamaha’s Jake Gagne taking the race win.
Loris Baz (Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York – Ducati #76)
“For sure, it was not the weekend we wanted,” Baz admitted. “But we will keep the head up. The guys in the team did a strong job. I needed a better start in race two than on I did on Saturday and got it, but I still don’t have a good feeling on the new tire. But once the tire started to drop, I felt so good. The feeling was awesome on the Ducati. I went P3 but then we had a technical issue, so I had to come in and change the part. I am disappointed, but once again, I will keep the head up because there is still 450 points in this championship on offer. We’re alive and we’re going make it up. We will work harder and we will come to VIR stronger than ever.”
Kyle Wyman (Panera Bread Ducati – Ducati #33)
“In race one I got off to a pretty decent start from the third row and ended up in a battle for seventh with Hector Barbara,” Wyman said. “I was pushing hard from there. We had some issues with edge grip on the bike. I was just trying to bring it home and get some good data for the guys and with some attrition we ended up top five, so I was pretty happy with that considering how little time we’ve had on this new bike.
“Then in race two we started from fifth thanks to the first race finish position and I got a really good start but spent the race getting more acquainted with the Panigale. I started gaining some decent pace in the middle of the race, but again, I just need more time on the bike and need to test get more confidence. Thanks to my guys, they built me a great bike and we’ll be ready for VIR in a couple of weeks.”
Round two of the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship will be held at Virginia International Raceway on May 21-23, 2021.
More, from a press release issued by Westby Racing:
A One And A Two For Superbike Championship Leader Scholtz At Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta
Braselton, GA – May 2, 2021 – Following up his season-opening MotoAmerica Superbike race win on Saturday at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, West Racing’s Mathew Scholtz finished as runner-up in Sunday’s round-one-concluding race. On the strength of his first- and second-place finishes, Mathew is currently leading the 2021 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship.
Starting from the pole based on his number-one finishing position in race one, Mathew got off the line well, but he had to slot into second place going into turn one. He held the position for the first four laps and then moved into the lead on lap five, which he maintained until he was passed on lap seven. The race leader had to pit in order to serve a penalty for jumping the start, and then, fellow Yamaha Superbike rider Jake Gagne overtook Mathew, which kept him in second place where he stayed all the way to the checkered flag. Josh Herrin ultimately finished third behind Mathew, which completed the all-Yamaha Superbike podium.
“When Gagne passed me, I tried to hang onto him for about three or four laps afterwards and I was pushing super-hard,” Mathew said. “I nearly tucked the front in a couple of corners. He was stronger in some of the corners, I was stronger in some of the other sections. But, we were just going backwards and forwards, and it seemed to just wear my tires out pretty quickly. It helped me to see where his bike is better than ours. We need to just work on getting off the corner, but otherwise I’m just happy to be back up here. Well done to Jake. Well done to Josh. It’s really awesome to have a Yamaha sweep. VIR is the next round for us, and it’s one of my strongest tracks, so I’m looking forward to it.”
Westby Racing’s Junior Cup rider Jack Roach, who finished eighth in Saturday’s race one, unfortunately followed up that result with an unlucky 13th on Sunday. He’ll regroup, keep training hard, and come back strong for round two of the 2021 season.
Jack commented, “This weekend was one to forget. The team got a lot of information from the bike, and so did I. I feel like my results didn’t show how hard I was riding. I know that I was the fastest kid in the corners thanks to the brilliant handling of the Westby Racing YZF-R3. Thank you to the N2 Racing crew. They’ve been a massive help to us, and I can’t wait for VIR because the track suits the R3 really well.”
Next up for Westby Racing is round two of the MotoAmerica Championship, which will take place at VIRginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia on May 21 through 23.
MotoAmerica Superbike Standings
1. Mathew Scholtz – Yamaha – 45
2. Josh Herrin – Yamaha – 32
3. Bobby Fong – Suzuki – 31
MotoAmerica Junior Cup Standings
1. Benjamin Gloddy – Kawasaki – 45
2. Tyler Scott – Kawasaki – 45
3. Cody Wyman – Kawasaki – 27
10. Jack Roach – Yamaha – 11
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