Gagne closes the gap to Petrucci in MotoAmerica title chase

The American's double at Ridge Motorsports Park sees him now only eleven points behind the former MotoGP™ star

Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne had a perfect weekend in the Pacific Northwest, the defending MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Champion breaking the lap record at Ridge Motorsports Park while qualifying on pole position, and then winning both Superbike races over the course of the Dynapac MotoAmerica Superbikes At The Ridge weekend.

If his rivals weren’t already worried, they should be now. Gagne looks to be on the verge of going on a roll like he did during his 17-victory, championship-winning season of 2021. Although a rough start to the 2022 season means Gagne only has six podium finishes in the 10 races held thus far, five of those podiums have been victories.

With five rounds (10 races) in the books, Gagne has now closed to within 11 points of championship leader Danilo Petrucci, the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC Panigale V4 R-mounted Italian earning his second podium of the weekend on Sunday at Ridge with a second-place finish to Gagne.

Gagne’s teammate Cameron Petersen also had a solid weekend with two podium finishes, the South African splitting second- and third-place finishes with Petrucci.

In typical Gagne fashion, the Colorado resident stormed off to a flying start, put his head down for the first five laps to open a gap on his pursuers and then maintained that lead for the duration of the 16-lap race. At the finish line, Gagne was 4.578 seconds clear of Petrucci, who in turn was just a second ahead of Petersen. The win was the 22nd AMA Superbike victory of Gagne’s career, all of which have come in the MotoAmerica era.

Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz matched his fourth-place finish from Saturday with another fourth on Sunday, the South African losing his hold on second in the title chase to Gagne after holding it for the first nine races.

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Fifth for the second day in a row was Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Hector Barbera, the Spaniard beating Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante by just .171 of a second. Those two were well clear of Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim who barely got the better of his Yuasa Stock 1000 Championship rival Corey Alexander and his Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing BMW M 1000 RR.

Tytlers Cycle’s PJ Jacobsen was a lonely ninth with David Anthony riding the injured Jake Lewis’s Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki to 10th.

For the first time all year, Aftercare Hayes Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates failed to score a point with the Georgian crashing out of the race for his first DNF. Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Travis Wyman was another who crashed out of the race.

Petrucci leads Gagne by 11, 176-165, after 10 races. Scholtz is third with 159 points, 20 better than Petersen. Barbera rounds out the top five in the MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike point standings with 101 points.

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