Jake Gagne Returns to the Top in Epic Superbike Battle at Road

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne wins MotoAmerica Superbike / Apr 23, 2023 /

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing's Jake Gagne came out on top in a thrilling MotoAmerica Superbike battle in Race 2 at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta in Braselton, Georgia. It was a strong start to the season for the reigning back-to-back MotoAmerica Superbike Champion, whose second and first-place finish at the opening round has him tied for the points lead. Unfortunately, his teammate Cameron Petersen had a technical issue early in the restarted race and did not finish.

Once again, Gagne grabbed the holeshot, but he would have to make another attempt at a perfect start from pole position as the race was red-flagged on the second lap. The race was shortened to 15 laps with a complete restart, and this time he found himself second but moved into the lead in the final turn. From there on, it was a heated battle with multiple lead changes. Around the halfway point, a third rider was added to the mix, and shortly after, a fourth, making it an absolute dogfight for top honors. Sitting third, Gagne reclaimed the lead after the frontrunners made contact on the final lap and rode on to his 30th-career superbike victory and first of the season.

Petersen went into the final race of the opening round looking to fight for a win. The South African had a good start both times in third, but unfortunately, on Lap 3, he had a technical issue and had to withdraw from the race.

The Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team returns to action next month for Round 2 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, on May 19-21.

Richard Stanboli - Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“I think it was a super exciting race for the fans. It's something different than they've seen in the last three years, with us pretty much dominating every single weekend. So I think it was fun for the fans. I'm glad some of the other manufacturers are in the mix, and we get to bring a lot of excitement. Jake rode really well, despite his arm pump. The pace was quite a bit slower than we were last year, so we're trying to figure out why. It could have been Jake's arm pump, or maybe it's the new Dunlops. We haven't got our heads around it quite yet, but we'll work on that. I think Barber should be a much better track for us, and we look to get back to dominating the competition.”

Jake Gagne - Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing
“That was a crazy one! I got off to a good start. I really wanted to push the pace, but Cam (Beaubier) and I went back and forth in those first couple of laps. He knew I wanted to get away, so any opportunity that he could, he went past me, especially down into Turn 10. Then after that, the pace was pretty slow. I think at that point, we knew no one was getting away, so we were kind of sizing each other up for the last lap. I was in third, and I was kind of planning on that I could get a good drive up over the hill in the second-to-last turn and maybe make a pass there, but those guys came together in the kink at like 180 (mph). The seas just kind of parted, and I got straight down the center of them. I got a little lucky on that one, for sure. I was kind of counting on something crazy happening on that last lap. All things considered, I'm really happy leaving here. I had a lot of struggles with arm pump this weekend. From lap three on, I couldn't ride as hard as I wanted to ride, so to come out of the first round with a second and first is pretty awesome.”

Cameron Petersen - Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing
“There's not much to say, to be honest. It's just one of those things; it's just part of racing. I felt really good all weekend, other than the crash I had on Friday. I had some really good race pace, and even in the second race there, I felt really great. I can stand here and say - if, but, and all those other things, but I really felt like I had the pace to go win one of these things this weekend. So I'm a little bit bummed out, but like I said, it's part of racing. At least the next few tracks we go to are ones that I really enjoy. So, I'm going to bounce back and try and get some wins under my belt and claw my way back into this championship.”

Jake Gagne Returns to the Top in Epic Superbike Battle at Road image