Jake Gagne won 17 races last year en route to his first MotoAmerica Superbike Championship. This season, Gagne won 12 – five fewer races – to take the title. Yet, this championship means more than the first, he said. Because it came with more difficultly.
“Last year was cool winning all those races and taking home the championship, but this one feels good to bring it all the way down to the last race,” Gagne said. “It was just incredible. It was amazing being able to race with Danilo (Petrucci). That guy is a world-class racer. Like I said down there, I don’t think there has ever been anybody that I wanted to beat more, just because of his resume. He’s a MotoGP guy, a MotoGP winner. I don’t know how many of those we’ve had here in the States, so I wanted to do right and protect the home turf here and bring this MotoAmerica Championship home with an American.”
On Sunday at Barber Motorsports Park, Gagne finished second to his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing teammate Cameron Petersen and that earned him a second successive Superbike title. The runner-up finish on Sunday put a ribbon on Gagne’s season that featured 12 wins and 14 total podiums in 20 races.
The race went perfectly for the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing team as Petersen led Gagne for the duration, the pair flying in formation until Gagne backed it down in the final laps.
Petersen took his second win of the season, his third career victory, and his first in dry conditions at his favorite track by 3.1 seconds over Gagne.
Third place went to Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen with the New Yorker passing Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci in the last corner on the last lap. It was a fitting finish for Jacobsen, who lost out on third in Saturday’s race one when Petrucci’s jump-start penalty was reversed after the team’s appeal was upheld.
Jacobsen beat Petrucci to the line by .206 of a second.
Fifth place went to Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African racing with Petrucci early on before fading. He was some seven seconds adrift of the Italian at the finish and 3.2 seconds ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante.
Next up was Escalante’s teammate Jake Lewis with the Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki rider topping Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim.
Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Kyle Wyman was ninth with his teammate Hector Barbera rounding out the top 10.
Superbike Race 2
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
- PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
- Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
- Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
- Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
- Kyle Wyman (BMW)
- Hector Barbera (BMW)
Cameron Petersen – Winner
“Like Jake said, I really wanted to win one, especially after yesterday. But those first few laps, I was a little bit nervous to push like I had been in the past days this weekend. So, honestly, the pace wasn’t that fast, and I think that’s why some of those other guys, like Danilo (Petrucci), were able to stay there a little bit longer. I just tried to hit my marks the whole race because that’s what I did yesterday. I just got excited and started making mistakes. So, I really just tried to focus on hitting my marks, not making any stupid mistakes. Jake (Gagne) can say what he wants, but I think he gave that one to me. It’s pretty nice having a teammate like that. I knew he had pace. He’s had great pace all weekend. He had some funky stuff going on in the race there. Nonetheless, I got a win. I finally got one in the dry. I’m so happy. I can’t thank the team enough. They’ve done an amazing job all year. I’ve never had so much fun racing a motorcycle in my life. I’m really looking forward to the off-season and coming into next year on the same motorcycle, same crew, same team. I think it’s going to be good. Congrats to JG on the championship. He deserves it. The guy is unreal on a motorcycle and just a gem of a human being. He deserves this. And congrats to PJ (Jacobsen). I think he should have had two of these this weekend. I’m glad he got one today and I hope I see him on the grid next year, because he definitely deserves to be here. He’s one of the guys.”
Jake Gagne – Second Place
“After yesterday’s win, having a little bit of a gap going into today, I did sleep a little. It still took me a while to fall asleep last night, honestly. Just running over what could happen and hoping that it was dry. Until the last second. Thirty minutes before the race it was like, wet or dry? It was kind of nerve-racking. I’m stoked we got it done. I wouldn’t have asked for a better year. Last year was cool winning all those races and taking home the championship, but this one feels good to bring it all the way down to the last race. It was just incredible. It was amazing being able to race with Danilo (Petrucci). That guy is a world-class racer. Like I said down there, I don’t think there has ever been anybody that I wanted to beat more, just because of his resume. He’s a MotoGP guy, a MotoGP winner. I don’t know how many of those we’ve had here in the States, so I wanted to do right and protect the home turf here and bring this MotoAmerica championship home with an American. Thanks to the team. It was crazy. Today’s race was kind of crazy, but we made it to the finish.”
PJ Jacobsen – Third Place
“When we first started the race there, I was a little nervous because I had a lot of moments this morning because the track was so green from that little bit of rain. So, I was a little nervous on just leaning the bike so hard. But they were in front of me, and I just kept pushing and pushing. (Danilo) Petrucci and Scholtz were right there, and I just kept catching them and catching them. Then they got into a little bit of a battle there. Then I passed (Mathew) Scholtz and then just kind of went for Petrucci. Then I just sat there with five laps to go, and I knew where I was going to pass him. I passed him just going into the last corner and I knew that he was not going to expect that. So, that’s how it was. It was kind of a little bit of a redemption for yesterday. I really wanted to beat him. That was one thing, for sure.”