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
Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
Josh Herrin (Ducati)
Corey Alexander (BMW)
Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
Cameron Beaubier (BMW)
Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
Ashton Yates (BMW)
Max Flinders (Yamaha)
Photo courtesy MotoAmerica by Brian J. Nelson