Jake Gagne seems to find another gear when he shows up at Ridge Motorsports Park. The winner of both MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike races a year ago in the Pacific Northwest, Gagne put a close to Superbike action on Friday afternoon with the fastest lap in Q1, his 1:40.035 three quarters of a second faster than his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing teammate Cameron Petersen.
Gagne is the lap record holder on the 2.47-mile track with his 1:39.568 coming in Q2 last year.
“We still have some work to do to fine-tune some things,” Gagne said. “Fun day at the track. Good weather, a lot better than last year, and it seems like another hot weekend, but we’re ready to roll.”
They don’t come more laid back than Gagne and he readily admits he’s not keeping track of the championship point standings. In fact, he’s not sure how many points he’s behind.
“It can’t go as easy as last year,” Gagne said of his dominant 2021 season “There’s no doubt we’ve still got the speed to win, we’ve got the bike to win, and we just need to put it together. I’ve made some mistakes this year so a lot of it has been on me. But I have no idea how far back in points we are. I know we’re not first or second and we’ll just keep cranking out some races and getting some wins. I’m having fun. I’m racing motorcycles so it’s a good day no matter what.”
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz struggled for most of the day, but it all came good for the South African at the end of Q1 when he jumped to third – .856 of a second off Gagne’s best.
Scholtz, however, was involved in a little post-session drama when he was given a bit of a shoulder bump from Danilo Petrucci while waiting to do a practice start. Scholtz was parked next to Max Flinders when Petrucci, who said that Scholtz had passed him too close on the cool-down lap, ran the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC Panigale V4 R between the two riders, bumping shoulders as he did so. Petrucci then turned and gave Scholtz the middle finger.
Petrucci, who was forced to go to his back-up bike after his number-one bike suffered a mechanical problem in free practice, had a difficult session with his crew having to put in a new clutch on the second bike in pit lane. By the time Petrucci took to the track there were only some 15 minutes left in the session.
Both riders were addressed by Race Direction.
Petrucci would end up fifth overall, one spot behind Spaniard Hector Barbera on the Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW M1000 RR.
Just .122 of a second separates Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Josh Herrin from Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers after the first day of qualifying for the Supersport class at Ridge Motorsports Park.
Herrin’s best came late in the session, his 1:43.595 knocking Landers from the top spot provisionally. N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto’s Kevin Olmedo was third fastest and just ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott with North East Cycle Outlet Racing’s Benjamin Smith qualifying fifth.
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup
Rodio Racing/Warhorse HSBK Racing’s Gus Rodio led SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Q1 on Friday, with the New Jerseyan topping Calshine Racing’s Aden Thao by .747 of a second. Altus Motorsports’ Kayla Yaakov completed the provisional front row.
Yuasa Stock 1000
Fresh off his win at the last round at Road America two weeks ago, Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander led the way in the first Yuasa Stock 1000 Qualifying session with his 1:42.006 – .371 of a second faster than Disrupt Racing Suzuki’s Hayden Gillim, who was racing for the first time at Ridge.
Alexander’s teammate Travis Wyman was third fastest ahead of local rider Andy DiBrino on the Precision Iron Works/DiBrino Racing Kawasaki ZX-10RR.
The top four Twins Cup racers were covered by just .296 of a second in Q1 on Friday afternoon with Cycle Tech Yamaha’s Hayden Schultz on top of the heap with his 1:47.076 – just .066 of a second faster than defending series champion Kaleb De Keyrel and his Veloce Racing Aprilia RS 660. Rodio Racing/Warhorse HSBK Racing’s Anthony Mazziotto completed the provisional front row and is .280 of a second from pole position.