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Eazi Grip

Eazi-Grip supported Jake Gagne, Cameron Peterson and Mathew Scholtz at Ridge Motorsports Park

Friday – Qualifying

Jake Gagne is fastest

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne earned provisional pole position on a sunny Friday afternoon at Ridge Motorsports Park, the defending two-time MotoAmerica Superbike Champion well off his lap record with tomorrow’s Q2 still to come.

Gagne, who has won the last four Medallia Superbike races at Ridge Motorsports Park, lapped at a best of 1:40.705 and that put him just .047 of a second ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, the only other rider to win Superbike races at Ridge.

Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin ended the day third to complete the provisional front row, the 2022 Supersport Champion knowing the importance of a front-row start at Ridge. Herrin’s best was .241 of a second off Gagne’s best and .140 of a second ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante.

Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz and Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen, whose best lap came after an early session crash, rounded out the top two rows provisionally.

Superbike Q1

  1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:40.705
  2. Cameron Beaubier (BMW) 1:40.752
  3. Josh Herrin (Ducati) 1:40.806
  4. Richie Escalante (Suzuki) 1:40.946
  5. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:40.977
  6. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha) 1:41.043
  7. Corey Alexander (BMW) 1:41.197
  8. PJ Jacobsen (BMW) 1:41.197
  9. Ashton Yates (BMW) 1:42.365
  10. Bobby Fong (Yamaha) 1:42.411

Saturday – Race One

Gagne wins a tough Race One at Ridge Motorsports Park

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne won his fourth MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike race of the season on a sunny Saturday at Ridge Motorsports Park, but it wasn’t as easy as the misleading 8.6-second margin of victory would have you believe.

With 13 of 16 laps in the books, Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW’s Cameron Beaubier had tracked Gagne down, trailing the two-time and defending series champion by less than a second and setting up what looked to be a thrilling finish. But going into turn one to start the 14th lap, Beaubier lost the front of his BMW M 1000 RR and crashed with hay bales and other debris from the incident bringing out the red flag.

The race was called complete, and the win was Gagne’s by 8.6 seconds over Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz. Beaubier, meanwhile, was given a 20 second time adjustment and that dropped him to seventh in the final standings.

A brave third place went to Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati’s Josh Herrin just hours after a big crash in Q2 that left him battered and bruised and forced to use his back-up Panigale V4 R. Herrin had briefly led Gagne in the left-right chicane off the start but ended up running wide a few laps later while trying to keep Beaubier at bay. The mistake put Herrin back in seventh place, but he battled through to fourth, which became third with Beaubier’s crash.

Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Corey Alexander had the best Medallia Superbike race of his career, the non-defending Stock 1000 Champion riding his BMW M 1000 RR to fourth and just .441 of a second behind Herrin.

Almost a second later came Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante with the Mexican barely ahead of the third Tytlers BMW ridden by PJ Jacobsen.

With Beaubier seventh, eighth fell to Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim with Aftercare Scheibe BMW’s Ashton Yates and Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders rounding out the top 10.

Gagne’s win was the 33rd Superbike win of his career, and it moved him out of a tie with Miguel Duhamel and Toni Elias and into fourth on the all-time AMA Superbike win list. Gagne trails Mat Mladin, Josh Hayes and Beaubier on that list.

With his fourth win of the year and his fifth in a row at Ridge Motorsports Park, Gagne now leads the championship by 28 points over Beaubier, 136-108, with Beaubier now just two points ahead of Herrin. Scholtz is fourth, just five points behind Herrin with Jacobsen fifth and 54 points adrift of Gagne.

Notables not scoring points in the race were Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen, who crashed out of second place early in the race, and Wrench Racing’s Bobby Fong who was disqualified for ignoring a black flag.

Superbike Race One

  1. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
  2. Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
  3. Josh Herrin (Ducati)
  4. Corey Alexander (BMW)
  5. Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
  6. PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
  7. Cameron Beaubier (BMW)
  8. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
  9. Ashton Yates (BMW)
  10. Max Flinders (Yamaha)

Jake Gagne – Winner

“I was keeping an eye on my pit board. I got off to a great start. The Yamaha gets off to a good start. I went inside because I know Josh (Herrin) is always going to be deep on the brakes. Then, somehow, he runs around the outside of me. I’m like, ‘I don’t even know how he got there.’ Fortunately, it’s tough to make that line so I squared him up and put my head down. I was really happy with the bike. Everything was working good. I was a little bit surprised to see, I know Josh was hurting and I was a little bit surprised to see the gap just kind of going a couple tenths a lap, and then it was up to a second and a half about halfway, and then it started dropping. Honestly, I thought it was Josh. I didn’t know with how fast he was going earlier. I thought it was him. I

couldn’t see who was behind me. I was surprised. I could hear the lap before the red flag up over the top chicane, I’m like, ‘Whoever is behind me is on me now.’ It was not a half second, or whatever it was. So, I was ready for a banger for the last three laps. I was going to try to put my head down. I was kind of riding everything I had to keep it on. Trying to get a couple more tenths a lap would have been pretty risky, I think. Unfortunately, it was a bummer to see Cam (Beaubier) go down and the red flag come out. I didn’t know until I got back who had crashed and who was second. A little luck on our side points-wise, but it would have been nice to bring that thing down to the last couple laps. I think that would have been fun racing. Tomorrow it will be the same. Everybody is going to step it up, so we got to step it up a little bit too. But I think we learned a lot from today’s race. I’m just stoked. Of course, after the last couple years, it’s nice to win all these races but I’m a racer and it’s awesome to see the class so stacked and so close. Practice here this weekend, all these guys within a couple tenths. So, it really comes down to figuring out how to do it consistently in the race. Just keep doing our job and look forward to more good racing.”

Mathew Scholtz – Second Place

“The first couple laps, I just was struggling. I felt like I was pushing the front end really hard. There were a couple spots where the bike was backing in. I felt like I nearly ran off the circuit a couple times, so I just had to steady everything and made a couple passes. It seemed like Jake (Gagne), Cameron Peterson and (Cameron) Beaubier and Josh Herrin were kind of going backwards and forward, so I knew that that was going to help me slightly. Then Josh (Herrin) ran wide. Cam Peterson crashed. I was kind of a couple seconds back and the next four laps or so I put down some pretty quick lap times. I managed to catch up to Beaubier a little bit then, but I think that he kind of noticed that and turned it up. I had a couple moments after that. I think the rear tire dropped off a hell of a lot more than I thought. So, it’s certainly something we have to look at now. But, after last race out, barely getting eighth in the first race and sixth in the second race, sitting up here in second place, this is a massive win for me and the Westby crew. We made a complete change on the front end of the motorcycle. Definitely seems to help me turn better than we have been. So, considering this is the first race on that setup I’m very, very pumped. I know that we have a lot more to gain there. So really looking forward to the second race. Hopefully I’ll be challenging Jake up at the front. I know Josh is going to pick up the pace. Beaubier will be there. Peterson will be there. I’ll be there. Richie (Escalante), Corey (Alexander), PJ (Jacobsen)… So, I’m looking to bang some bars tomorrow.”

Josh Herrin – Third Place

“On that sighting lap before we came to the grid with the crew, I told Bobby, (Shek), “I’m screwed.” He said, “Well, if it gets too bad, come in. It’s not worth it.” I think that fired me up. I’m like, “What? No, I’m fighting for it.” After the warmup lap, I took a bunch of tape off that the medics wrapped my foot up with and it actually helped it. I think that it was maybe too tight in the boot, and it was making it hurt worse on the sighting lap. So, I took all the tape off and I think it helped a lot. It was worse like twisting on the peg, but at least I could move, and I didn’t have pain. I got up there in the beginning and then I had some shifting problems at the top of the hill. That’s where I lost all the time. I just couldn’t get the gear to shift down. It happened a couple times in the race. I’m not sure if it was the bike or if it was just my foot. My left foot is a little banged up too, so maybe not being able to put enough pressure or something. But once I battled my way back up to fourth, I was kind of settled in. I was going to keep charging, but I settled in. Just got lucky with Cam (Beaubier) going down. Happy that he’s okay, but we really needed those points. I’m stoked to be up here. Just hoping that if we can ice it up enough tonight and take care of it that maybe the swelling will go down a little bit tomorrow and it will be better.”

Sunday

Beaubier stop Yamaha’s winning streak at Ridge Motorsports Park

The talk coming into the Ridge Motorsports Park round of the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike class was that the track is tailor made for Yamaha, as evidenced by six straight wins for the YZF-R1. In Saturday’s race one, Jake Gagne ran that streak to seven straight wins for Yamaha, but it ended on Sunday with a BMW M 1000 RR crossing the finish line first.

Ironically, that BMW was ridden to victory by the man who started Yamaha’s win streak at Ridge in 2020 – Cameron Beaubier.

Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Beaubier hinted at the possibility of a BMW win in Washington when he ran down Gagne and his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing YZF-R1 on Saturday, only to crash out of the race on the 14th of 16 laps while on the R1’s rear wheel. On Sunday, Beaubier replicated the feat only this time he didn’t falter. He caught the fast-starting Gagne, took over at the front on the 10th lap and beat the championship points leader to the flag by a tick over two seconds.

For Beaubier it was his third win of the year and the 57th AMA Superbike win of his career.

When he was passed by Beaubier, Gagne knew he didn’t have the pace to match his former teammate and he opted to make certain of second place in the closing laps. At the finish Gagne was 2.045 behind Beaubier and 1.2 seconds ahead of third-place finisher Josh Herrin on the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati Panigale V4 R.

Herrin was fighting the injuries suffered in a qualifying crash on Saturday morning, didn’t get much sleep on Saturday night, and limped his way through his Sunday and onto the podium for a second straight day.

With Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante getting the better of the rest to finish fourth, it translated to the top four featuring four different manufacturers – BMW, Yamaha, Ducati, and Suzuki.

Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Corey Alexander had his second straight day of Superbike success with a fifth-place finish on his BMW M 1000 RR. Alexander was some three seconds behind Escalante and 3.4 seconds ahead of Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Petersen.

PJ Jacobsen was seventh on the third of the Tytlers Cycle Racing BMWs with Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim eighth. Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders and CW Moto Racing’s Benjamin Smith rounded out the top 10.

Among the non-finishers were Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz and Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Taylor Knapp with both riders crashing out in separate incidents.

After four rounds and eight races, Gagne leads Beaubier in the Medallia Superbike Championship by 23 points, 156-133. Herrin is third with 122 points, 21 more than Scholtz. Jacobsen rounds out the top five with 91 points.

The series heads to WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca, July 7-9, for round five.

Superbike Race Two

  1. Cameron Beaubier (BMW)
  2. Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
  3. Josh Herrin (Ducati)
  4. Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
  5. Corey Alexander (BMW)
  6. Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
  7. PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
  8. Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
  9. Max Flinders (Yamaha)
  10. Benjamin Smith (Yamaha)

Cameron Beaubier – Winner

“Yesterday the race was a really good confidence boost for us because, let’s be honest, Jake (Gagne) was setting the pace all weekend and also (Josh) Herrin was really fast on Saturday morning. So, I felt like going into the race we could do a couple of those laps, but I didn’t think we could sustain them. The guys have not stopped working on the thing and we came up with a good race bike yesterday and they made it even better overnight for today. I was feeling really good. Herrin and I were going back and forth there at the beginning. I feel like we were honestly both kind of making a couple mistakes. I was running wide here and there and so was he. Once the race kind of settled down, I put my head down and I was really surprised how good my bike felt. It was a pretty amazing feeling. I was able to run Jake down, but he was really strong getting off the last corner onto the front straight. I was struggling. I was spinning out of there pretty good. But I knew I had some spots that I was better than him in. Same for him, he had some spots that he was better than me in. I was able to get the lead and just kind of kept my head down but kept a little in reserve just so I didn’t throw it away like I did yesterday. I was honestly really surprised to see a little gap on my board. Feels great for the team. It’s a bummer yesterday, falling down like that, but it feels really good to cap a weekend off like we did. Plain and simple, the Superbike class is just pretty gnarly this year. To have three different manufacturers on the box and all the incredible riders up in the top 10, it’s tough but it’s pretty fun.”

Jake Gagne – Second Place

“I wasn’t surprised, for sure. I watched the race last night. I got off to a clean start and kind of made that gap from him, but once Cam (Beaubier) made his way through yesterday, he just reeled me in. Same thing today. At one point, I had a second gap on my pit board, and then by the top of the chicane I could hear him right behind me. That’s probably the lap he did a 39.6. At that point, I was struggling a little bit. I thought we kind of made the bike a little bit better today, but I was struggling a little more to even run the 40s that we ran yesterday. I knew Cam was going to make his way by at some point, and then once he made his way by, I tried to latch on a little bit but there was nothing I could do. At that point, I knew Josh (Herrin) was back there and I knew he was going to be strong until the end, so I just tried to do what I could to bring it home in second. Either way, I think we learned a lot. It’s been a while since I’ve been able to race with these guys really for this full race distance and kind of see what the bikes are doing differently. All three of these bikes really have different strengths and different weaknesses. So, we got some good data. Know what we need to improve. I think we’re still in the points lead, so that’s always a good day.”

Josh Herrin – Third Place

“Both third places I wasn’t expecting, so I guess it’s the hard weekends that count. I tried my hardest to take advantage of it and, luckily, we were able to come out with two thirds. I’m bummed because I wanted to be there. I feel like this weekend nobody thought that me or Cam (Beaubier) were going to be here at this track, I don’t think. I think they thought it was going to be a Yamaha show all weekend. He’s (Beaubier) riding super strong, and I felt super strong up until race one. I think we’re going to be there all year. No matter what track we go to, I think we’ll be competitive. I just got to keep trying to find more out of this thing. I’m still riding a little bit… Up until Saturday, I was riding timid on this thing, like nervous to really throw it in there. I’m finally getting the confidence. Obviously, found the limit now on the front. I’m really happy with this. I’ve been lucky enough to win three championships and know that consistency is key. The only problem is that I’m dealing with two guys that have more championships than I do. So, they know the name of the game also. It’s going to be a hard year, but I’m glad that we’re still all pretty tight in the championship and it seems like it’s going to be a really good battle the whole year, which is the way that everybody wants to win a title. Nobody wants to win a title by running away. It’s always fun to just look back at years like this. I just hope that we can have a really good weekend at Laguna and rest up and heal as much as I can. I’m stoked. Hats off to these guys and thanks to my team.”

Mathew Scholtz – DNF

“We made another step in the positive direction overnight and the morning warm up was also positive,” Mathew said. “We were pretty confident heading into the second race, but unfortunately, I realized early on that we had an electronic issue going into the chicane, and I ran off the track, which moved me further back. I kind of got stuck there further back, and it was difficult to overtake anyone. But, I put my head down and tried to make a charge towards the front. I got a little too eager with the bike, though, and I had a tipover, which bent the right handlebar, so I couldn’t continue. It was very disappointing because I thought we deserved to be at the front. It wasn’t the Sunday we were looking for, but I’m happy with the steps forward that we made in the setup, and it should help us a lot at (WeatherTech Raceway) Laguna Seca. We showed that, when the bike is right, we have phenomenal pace, and with the way things are now, I’m optimistic about Laguna.”

Posted on Monday, June 26th, 2023 in News

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