In case anyone had forgotten, Jake Gagne reaffirmed that he’s the best Superbike racer in the country on Sunday at Pittsburgh International Race Complex with his two decisive victories earning him his third successive MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship.
Gagne and his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing Superbike were perfect in both of today’s races, holding back all of the challenges the top men threw at him. In the first of the two Superbike races held on a sunny Sunday at Pitt Race, Gagne was challenged to the bitter end and came up just .264 of a second ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen. In the second Superbike race of the day, Gagne had it a bit easier as he topped Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz by 1.868 of a second.
Not even Gagne would have predicted that he would come out of Pitt Race with his third title as most believed the title fight would at least go to round eight at Circuit of The Americas in a few weeks’ time.
But, today was the day with Gagne’s eighth and ninth wins of the season and the 37th and 38th wins of his AMA Superbike career clinching the title with two rounds and four races left on the 2023 schedule.
Superbike Race 2 – Gagne On The Verge
Race two was red-flagged early on when Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cameron Beaubier was involved in a scary crash when he ran into the back of Ashton Yates’ Aftercare Scheibe Racing BMW. With the two in a battle and Beaubier looking to make up spots after an off-track excursion, Yates led him through the chicane but on the exit his BMW had a mechanical issue that caused him to slow suddenly. With nowhere to go, Beaubier ran into the back of Yates and crashed heavily. Beaubier was transported to the infield medical center and was treated for facial lacerations.
By this point, Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong was already out of the race with the pole sitter crashing his Yamaha YZF-R1 in the opening laps.
Although he was pushed the entire way by Jacobsen, it was Gagne taking the victory, his eighth of the year, over the New Yorker.
Third in race two on Saturday went to Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin, 1.4 seconds behind Jacobsen and a second ahead of Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz.
JD Beach was impressive in riding the injured Cameron Petersen’s Fresh N Lean Progressive Racing Yamaha to fifth, well clear of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Brandon Paasch. Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim was eighth, just a few tenths ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cory Alexander.
Benjamin Smith Racing’s Benjamin Smith and Steel Commander’s Gabriel Da Silva rounded out the top 10.
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante crashed out of fourth place on the last lap.
Photo courtesy MotoAmerica by Brian J. Nelson