Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha’s Jake Gagne was up to his old tricks on Saturday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex. The two-time defending Medallia Superbike Champion started quickly, let the others hang around for a lap or two and then rode off into the distance for his seventh win of the year and the 36th Superbike victory of his career.
The win also extended his championship lead to 83 points heading into tomorrow’s two Medallia Superbike races in the MotoAmerica Superbikes At Pittsburgh, Presented By Steel Commander triple-header.
Gagne didn’t put a wheel wrong in earning his seventh win of the year. He had Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz on his back wheel for the opening laps, but then was able to pull away and let those behind him battle for second place as he managed his tires to the best of his ability.
Second ended up going to Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cameron Beaubier, the five-time AMA Superbike Champion bouncing back from his big crash at Brainerd International Raceway a few weeks ago. Beaubier admitted that he was struggling with confidence after the race-one crash that forced him out of race two in Minnesota.
Beaubier started slowly in the race (after qualifying sixth) before eventually fighting his way through the pack to third. He then worked around Scholtz and kept him at bay to the finish. Beaubier was 3.6 seconds behind Gagne at the end of the 17-lap race and 1.8 seconds in front of third-placed Scholtz.
Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong ended up fourth in his best Superbike race of the year. Fong, riding David Anthony’s Yamaha YZF-R1, put in a solid ride after starting from his first career Superbike pole position. Fong saved what would have been a ferocious highside midway through the race, was later penalized for cutting the chicane, and still managed to narrowly beat Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen by .4 of a second with the penalty.
Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin was also penalized for a chicane violation and he barely beat JD Beach, who was riding the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha in place of the injured Cameron Petersen, for sixth place.
Beach, in his first Superbike race since 2021, was seventh and some four seconds ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante. Escalante, in turn, bested his teammate Brandon Paasch by a tick over five seconds.
Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim rounded out the top 10.
Gagne now leads Herrin, 287-204, heading into tomorrow’s two races at Pitt Race with Beaubier just a point behind Herrin. Jacobsen is fourth in the title chase with 173 points, 18 more than fifth-placed Escalante.