Eazi Grip

Westby Racing and Attack Performance Yamaha have a great weekend at New Jersey

Jake Gagne gets it started at New Jersey

Fresh N’ Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne got things started with the fastest lap of the opening session for the ninth round of the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship at New Jersey Motorsports Park on Friday morning.

Gagne lapped at 1:20.845 on his 14th lap to post the fastest time, but he’s just .094 of a second faster than Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen. Jacobsen’s teammate Hector Barbera was third fastest with Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen and Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci rounding out the top five.

The lap record at New Jersey Motorsports Park is held by Cameron Beaubier with the five-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion lapping at a clip of 1:190.806 during Superpole in 2020.

Jake Gagne wins Race One

Fresh N’ Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne took a big step towards a second MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship on Saturday at New Jersey Motorsports Park with the defending champion stretching his advantage in the title chase from one point to 13 points.

Gagne won his 11th Medallia Superbike race of the year and the 28th of his career on a sunny afternoon in New Jersey. With his latest victory, Gagne moved into a tie on the all-time AMA Superbike win list with former AMA and World Superbike Champion Ben Spies. Not bad company, especially considering that Gagne didn’t win his first race until last year.

Gagne bested his teammate Cameron Petersen by 4.88 seconds with Mathew Scholtz coming out second best in his battle with countryman Petersen, the Westby Racing rider finishing less than half a second behind Petersen in third place.

The podium finish was Petersen’s 10th on the year with Scholtz landing on the podium for a ninth time in 2022.

Gagne’s championship rival Danilo Petrucci was fourth on the Warhorse HSBK Ducati NYC Panigale V4 R, with the Italian finishing off the podium for just the second time all season. Petrucci came into NJMP trailing Gagne by just a point, but his title chase took a hit with Saturday’s result, and he now trails by 13 with three races remaining.

Pole sitter PJ Jacobsen was fifth after losing out on his race-long battle with Petrucci, finishing just .051 of a second behind the Ducati at the finish line.

Jacobsen’s teammate Hector Barbera was sixth, some 10 seconds behind his teammate and just 1.2 seconds ahead of Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim.

Aftercare Hayes Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates was eighth with Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis and Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Travis Wyman rounding out the top 10.

There were seven non-finishers, including Vision Wheel M4 Suzuki’s Richie Escalante with his GSXR-1000 suffering a mechanical failure.

Superbike Race 1

  1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
  2. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
  3. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
  4. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
  5. PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
  6. Hector Barbera (BMW)
  7. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
  8. Ashton Yates (BMW)
  9. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
  10. Travis Wyman (BMW)

Jake Gagne – Winner

“It was a great day. It’s been a good weekend. We learned a lot. Like Cam (Petersen) said, me and Cam were both doing some things with the bike yesterday we hadn’t tried all year. We learned some. We both went out this morning in Q2 really happy with the bike and happy with the progress that we made. I got a better start the second time around. I could see Cam looking over into turn one to see if I was coming and threw it up in there. If he didn’t give me extra room in the carousel in that first start and got it up in there, when you’re hanging off the right side, I almost don’t know where he is. Like he said, we’ve got a job to do. Hats off to both of these guys. It’s been a while, I feel like, since we’ve had a Yamaha one-two-three podium. That’s just great for the team. That’s obviously great for points. It’s great for Yamaha. It was a good day. We’ll see what happens tomorrow. Looks like we got some weird weather coming. We know how this place is in the wet, so it could get interesting tomorrow. Obviously, I know all those other guys are really strong in the wet, too. Danilo (Petrucci), PJ (Jacobsen), and Mat (Scholtz) and Cam (Petersen). So, it will be an interesting day tomorrow.”

Cameron Petersen – Second

“Yeah, it was a good race. Kind of like Matty (Scholtz) said. Leaving the track yesterday, I wasn’t in the best head space. We were a long way off. I just kind of was a little bit lost yesterday on the track, to be honest. Came in today and the team did an unbelievable job. It was a completely different motorcycle. Straightaway, from the first lap, I knew we had a bike that was going to be able to win races this weekend. But there’s only a few races left in the series and the championship is tight at the top. I’m here to help the team out. Obviously, I want to be winning races and all that, but there’s a bigger picture to all of this. Unfortunately, I’m just not in the best position to go chase for a championship. So, the best thing I can do is just help the team out and help my boy out and go get the championship for the team. So, I knew in the first start I think I was holding him up a little bit, and when he came past me around the carousel, I knew he had some pace. So then, in the second part (of the red-flagged race), I got a great start. I kind of looked back before we got on the brakes to see if he was close enough. So, I looked back and I saw he was right next to me, so I got on the brakes a little bit early and just let him go ride his race. Honestly, I’m really, really, really stoked with that ride. I’ve had some good rides this year, but with the way yesterday was going, I’m really damn stoked with that ride. I think that’s the closest I’ve stayed to Jake (Gagne) all year, pace-wise. Unfortunately, I ran out of steam a little bit towards the end there. Just trying everything. Like I said, I’m probably more stoked with that ride more than any other ride this year. That one meant a lot to me getting second. I think tomorrow is going to be sketchy conditions, so we’ll see how that goes. Congrats to all the boys up here. They deserve it.”

Mathew Scholtz – Third

“I was following Cam (Petersen). I was more riding how you shouldn’t ride. I wanted to put the hammer down for three or four laps and see if I could pull a bit of a gap. Ended up losing the front in a couple corners. I think it was corner nine, I lost the front big-time. I thought I was going down. Ran out wide and Cam passed me. There was nothing I could do from there. Overall, I’m pretty happy with today’s race. We struggled and were pretty far back on Friday and we’ve just been slowly adding power and taking out traction control. I think we know that the softer tire starts to go with three or four laps to go. So, something to keep in mind for the second race tomorrow – if it’s dry.”

Danilo Petruci wins race two with Mathew Scholtz finishing second from the back of the grid

Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci has been doing a rain dance all year, but it took until the ninth round of the 10-round 2022 MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship for his wish to come true. But when it did, he took full advantage.

Petrucci raced away in the rain at New Jersey Motorsports Park to score his fifth race win of the season and perhaps his most important. The win, combined with championship leader Jake Gagne’s third-place finish, moved the Italian to within four points of Gagne in the championship with just one round and two races left to run at Barber Motorsports Park, September 23-25

Heavy rain fell prior to the start of the 14-lap race at NJMP, leaving no doubt that the field would be using rain tires. There was also little doubt that Petrucci would be fast in the conditions as he came to the MotoAmerica series with a reputation for being a rain master. And that he was. After slip sliding around for the duration and doing so more capably than the others, Petrucci crossed the line with 6.6 seconds in hand.

Second place went to Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz, the South African also impressive after charging through the field from behind after being relegated to the back of the grid after missing the sighting lap.

Gagne was a timid third, the defending MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Champion in the unenviable position of having little to gain and plenty to lose in the tricky conditions. Gagne stayed out of trouble and gained a spot late in the race when his teammate Cameron Petersen crashed out of his battle for second with Scholtz. Gagne could also breathe a bit easier when Ashton Yates crashed the Aftercare Hayes Scheibe Racing BMW with two laps to go while hounding the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing rider.

Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Hector Barbera was fourth, some 25 seconds behind Gagne and four seconds ahead of Petersen with the South African remounting and riding his Yamaha to fifth without a left handlebar.

Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Jake Lewis was sixth with fellow Kentuckian Hayden Gillim seventh on the Disrupt Racing Suzuki. ADR Motorsports’ David Anthony, Triple M’s Jeremy Coffey and Altus Motorsports Brandon Paasch rounded out the top 10.

With two races remaining in the championship, Gagne leads Petrucci, 331-327. Petersen is third on 272 points, 17 points clear of Scholtz. Barbera strengthened his hold on fifth and now leads his teammate Jacobsen by 32 points.

Superbike Race 2

  1. Danilo Petrucci (Ducati)
  2. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
  3. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
  4. Hector Barbera (BMW)
  5. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
  6. Jake Lewis (Suzuki)
  7. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
  8. David Anthony (Suzuki)
  9. Jeremy Coffey (Suzuki)
  10. Brandon Paasch (Suzuki)

Danilo Petrucci – Winner

“Yesterday maybe was the hardest race of the championship. Really, we struggled hard in this track. It’s so narrow, so bumpy, low level of grip. It’s the worst conditions for us. But I knew that this bike is working perfectly in the rain. I always like to ride under the rain. I just tried at the beginning of the race, I was not sure if the rain was coming or not, but it was so tricky to decide. I tried to make my pace, but without using too much rear tire. It was just enough because one lap more and we were in trouble. Not for winning the race, but for finish the race. I don’t know if it was shown on the camera, but I almost crashed three laps to go. I stayed in the track by I think one inch. I almost highsided. It was so tricky because at the end the rain was coming harder. Then whatever it will go, I’m so happy to bring the championship to the last race, even if I finish first or second because I’m so happy to bring all this excitement to this championship. I think it has been good whatever if I win or not to follow this championship and this fight to the end. I’m so happy to race here. For sure, today the rain was for us like water into the desert. I’m so happy. We go to Barber. I know the track. I had one day of test there in May. We will try.”

Mathew Scholtz – Second Place

“We had a seven-minute practice session before the race. We went out on wets (rain tires), and it was way too dry, so we ended up putting slicks on thinking it would be fine. Then it started raining harder as the pit lane opened up. So, we went back to wets because we saw everybody else was using them. So, we kind of missed the pit lane out to go and line up. Then, unfortunately, I had to start in the back of the grid, a couple rows back. So, that really hurt me coming through the pack on the first couple laps. These guys just gapped me, but I kept my head down and charged hard and managed to get up to second place. I felt like I could have had the pace to be with Danilo (Petrucci) up front, maybe if I could kind of hang onto them the first couple laps. But overall, starting from the back of the grid, I’ll take second place.”

Jake Gagne – Third Place

“It was tough. I just knew coming down to this thing I couldn’t throw it away. I wanted to be patient and take my time. I knew Danilo (Petrucci) would be fast. I knew Mat (Scholtz) would be fast. I knew Cam (Petersen) would be fast. So, it was tricky. This track is always really, really tricky in the wet. Every turn has a different feel, different amount of grip. Got off to a decent start and those guys kind of took off right away. I was kind of in that point where I’m like, ‘I just got to keep the thing up and not do anything stupid.’ Unfortunately, I saw Cam and Danilo was gone right away. He put the hammer down. Mat and Cam were battling hard ahead of me. Unfortunately, Cam fell down in that left-hander and then it got really tough at the end just to keep it upright once it kind of started raining again. But we’re up here on the podium. We brought it home on a tough day. We’re bringing this championship down close to the end. So, I’m excited about that.”

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2022 in News

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