Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha’s Jake Gagne won his 10thMotoAmerica Medallia Superbike race of the year at Circuit of The Americas on Saturday, but he was just as happy for the two who joined him on the podium – podium first timer Richie Escalante and Gagne’s teammate JD Beach.
Gagne, who wrapped up his third MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Championship two weeks ago, won the 39th AMA Superbike race of his career on a steaming hot Saturday in Austin by 2.5 seconds over Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Escalante, the Mexican earning the first podium of his Medallia Superbike career after his near-picture-perfect race that was a popular result with the entire paddock.
Ditto for JD Beach’s third-place finish with the season-long flat tracker reaching the podium in his just his second race as the replacement rider for the injured Cameron Petersen. The podium was Beach’s first in the Superbike class since he finished second to Cameron Beaubier at New Jersey Motorsports Park in 2019.
Beach ended up just .172 of a second behind Escalante after hounding him in the closing laps and 4.38 seconds ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz was fifth, 18 seconds behind Gagne and 8.4 seconds ahead of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Corey Alexander, the New Yorker righting the ship after a tough couple of rounds.
Wrench Motorcycles’ Bobby Fong was just a few seconds adrift of Alexander in seventh with Aftercare Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates was eighth, matching his best finish of the year.
Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Stefano Mesa was ninth in his Superbike debut on Cameron Beaubier’s vacated BMW M 1000 RR with Thrashed Bike Racing’s Max Flinders rounding out the top 10.
Notable among the non-finishers were Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin and Vision Wheel M4 Suzuki’s Brandon Paasch. Herrin battled with Gagne early, then slipped back into the grasp of Escalante and then Beach and Jacobsen. While running fifth, Herrin’s Ducati suffered a mechanical problem that took him out of the race.
Paasch, meanwhile, crashed out of the race uninjured in the early laps.
(From left to right, Photo courtesy MotoAmerica by Brian J. Nelson) Richie Escalante, Jake Gagne, Will Morton and JD Beach celebrate on the podium at COTA.