Jake Gagne To Join Leon Camier On Two-Rider World Superbike Team.
MotoAmerica has graduated its first rider to the World Superbike Championship with today’s announcement that Jake Gagne will join Brit Leon Camier on the two-rider Red Bull Honda World Superbike team.
Gagne rode for the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda team in the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and previously won the 2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 class in the series’ debut season.
“It’s really a dream come true to have the chance to contest a full World Superbike season with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team,” the 24-year-old Californian said. “I cannot thank Red Bull, Honda and Ten Kate enough for the opportunity to race the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 over three rounds this year. I have learned so much from them and I got to know them quite well, so I’m looking forward to getting going again. 2018 will be an exciting year for me, with a lot of traveling and racing on some of the best race tracks in the world. I want to thank again everyone involved for this incredible opportunity, and I feel I’m ready for the challenge ahead.”
Gagne competed in two World Superbike events for the Red Bull Honda team in 2017 – as a replacement for the late Nicky Hayden at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, the French round at Magny-Cours and the Qatar round at the Losail International Circuit. His best result was a 12th – on three occasions.
“We are really happy that Jake got this opportunity,” said MotoAmerica President Wayne Rainey. “Our goal has always been to help our riders get the chance to go overseas to compete for World Championships and it’s great to see that happen with Jake. We’re confident he will do well and represent our championship in the best way possible.”
“It is with great enthusiasm (mixed with sadness) that we announce the departure of Jake Gagne as he has been called up to full time duties with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team,” the Genuine Broaster Honda Chicken team said in a release today. “We couldn’t be more excited for Jake as we all know that the World Superbike paddock will now become a bit brighter and more chill all at the same time. We have no doubt that the glimpses of speed we all saw in his three guest appearances this past season are only a taste of great things to come for Jake at the world level. Our loss will be the World Superbike’s gain as Jake will fly the stars and stripes for us all in World Superbike.”
According to the Roadrace Factory press release, the team will be conducting semi-private tests over the course of the next few months to find a replacement for Gagne who will “be the best fit for our team and sponsors.”
Honda’s WorldSBK Operations Manager Marco Chini stated: “We are delighted to have Jake on board for the 2018 season. He picked up the challenge this year and jumped on our Fireblade without prior testing and did well at Laguna Seca, and later showed his talent at tracks he had never raced before. He is young, gifted and a great guy, so he’s the right choice for the team to ride alongside Leon (Camier). We look forward to seeing him on track very soon and we’re sure American fans will be happy to cheer him on.”