American Racer Jake Gagne Joins World Superbike for 2018

Kevin Duke
by Kevin Duke
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Now two American racers on Hondas in WSB

american racer jake gagne joins world superbike for 2018

American roadracer Jake Gagne has signed on as a rider for Honda’s Red Bull Superbike team to contest the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship. Gagne, 24, joins the team full-time after filling the seat vacated by the late, great Nicky Hayden as a wild-car rider three times in the 2017 WSB season. His best results were a trio of 12th-place finishes.

Gagne, the 2014 AMA Pro Daytona Sportbike champ and 2015 MotoAmerica Superstock 1000cc titleist, doubles the Americans that will race next year in World Supers, joining PJ Jacobsen who will race for the new TripleM satellite Honda team. Gagne will be teamed with Leon Camier aboard Honda CBR1000RR SP2s on the factory-supported Red Bull squad after competing in the 2017 MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on a CBR1000RR with the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda Racing team.

PJ Jacobsen To Race World Superbike In 2018

“It’s really a dream come true to have the chance to contest a full World Superbike season with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team,” said the San Diego, California, resident who replaces Stefan Bradl in the team. “I cannot thank Red Bull, Honda and Ten Kate enough for the opportunity to race the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 over three rounds this year. I have learned so much from them and I got to know them quite well, so I’m looking forward to getting going again. 2018 will be an exciting year for me, with a lot of traveling and racing on some of the best racetracks in the world. I want to thank again everyone involved for this incredible opportunity, and I feel I’m ready for the challenge ahead!”

Gagne joined the team for the first time last July, when he made his World Superbike debut at Laguna Seca, and he was recruited by the team for the round at Magny-Cours and then at the Losail International Circuit for the season finale. The team says Gagne constantly improved his performance and feeling with the WorldSBK-spec Fireblade machine, demonstrating his racecraft skills to the team.

“He picked up the challenge this year and jumped on our Fireblade without prior testing and did well at Laguna Seca, and later showed his talent at tracks he had never raced before,” said Marco Chini, Honda’s WorldSBK Operations Manager. “He is young, gifted and a great guy, so he’s the right choice for the team to ride alongside Leon. We look forward to seeing him on track very soon and we’re sure American fans will be happy to cheer him on.”

I recently got to spend a little time with Gagne at a Bell Helmets event, and he proved to be eminently like-able and down to earth, so we’ll certainly be cheering him on during the 2018 WSB season. It will be interesting to watch how Gagne’s speed compares with Jacobsen, also 24, with both racing on Hondas. We wish them both great success on the world’s stage!

Kevin Duke
Kevin Duke

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3 of 12 comments
  • Buzz Buzz on Dec 11, 2017

    A Frenchy name like Gagne makes him sound like a damn Canadian.

    • Douglas Douglas on Dec 11, 2017

      Wonder if he's any relation to Vern (the wrestler)....?

  • John A. Stockman John A. Stockman on Dec 15, 2017

    At least I know I'll be able to watch WSBK next year with the Video Pass. Not sure how long beIN Sports exclusive broadcast contract is, but I'm so glad that their lock-up of the American market does not include the Video Pass subscriptions. Unfortunately, it does include MotoAmerica regarding internet viewing, so I have only print/internet publications to follow our national series. Losing Nicky was devastating. With MotoAmerica providing a stage and experience, I look forward to watching Jake next season. Also PJ moving to the top class. PJ is all business and his commitment when he speaks on camera is obvious. Rea is just amazing, but not infallible, so I'm excited about how the other competitors/teams will up their game in 2018. Honda is not really competitive, even though they've had fantastic riders. WSS, one of my favorite classes since I first started watching it on Speed in the '90s. Either way, I always get excited for the new seasons.