Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne finished his stellar 2021 season on a high note with a record-breaking 17th MotoAmerica Superbike win in today’s Race 3 at the Barber Motorsports Park. It was a much better day two for the newly crowned champ, who finished third earlier this morning in the second race of the tripleheader. Josh Herrin was all in for the win and went with slick tires in the mixed conditions in Race 2. Unfortunately, he was unable to finish, but he rebounded to close out the season with another top-10 finish in the challenging conditions in Race 3.
Gagne got a great start from the fourth row of the grid in Race 2 and made his way to within reach of the podium on the opening lap. He patiently waited in fourth as the two riders ahead battled for second and then made his move to third at the beginning of Lap 6 as they lapped his teammate. Gagne kept second in sight, but with five laps to go, the race was red-flagged due to a deer crossing the track. With the required percentage of the race completed, it was called, and he returned to the podium in third.
After two bizarre races, Gagne returned to dominant form in the final race of the season. He claimed the lead early and set a blistering pace to quickly build a comfortable gap up front and cross the line with a 12-second margin of victory. It was a fitting end to a landmark season for the 29-year old who, in addition to claiming his first title in the premier class a weekend early, added several record-breaking accolades to his resume. He broke five lap records out of nine venues and led a phenomenal 244 laps. Gagne also broke the record for most consecutive wins with 16 and then for the most race wins in a season with today’s 17th victory, which also puts him in a tie on the AMA Superbike all-time win list with Nicky Hayden.
Looking for that first win of the season, Herrin rolled the dice in the morning race and put on slick tires in hopes that the track would continue to dry. Unfortunately, it did not dry as quickly as it has done in previous years and Herrin was lapped by the lead group just after the start of Lap 6. He kept pushing and was starting to drop his times as the track dried out, but unfortunately, it started to rain again, and he ultimately withdrew from the race.
In Race 3, Herrin rebounded with a great start from the fourth row of the grid and made his way to fifth on the opening lap. He was riding comfortably in fifth but unfortunately went off track on Lap 6 and rejoined in eighth. The Californian quickly recovered a position but also found himself in a multi-rider battle and jockeyed for position. He was seventh until the penultimate lap but unfortunately went off track again and was shuffled to 10th. Herrin rode it home to score his second top-10 finish on a difficult weekend in Leeds, Alabama.
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager
“We were able to finish the season properly today with a win and a new record of most wins in a single season. Race 2 did not go as we expected and a setting based on yesterday’s heavy rain ultimately was not the ideal setup and Jake had a hard time staying with the leaders in the very light rain from this morning. Learning from that, we made adjustments, and Jake once again ran away from the rest of the field for yet another flag-to-flag race victory.
“Our 2021 championship season is another success to add to our 2020 championship results. It has been an amazing experience! We can’t thank the staff at Yamaha enough for giving us the opportunity and the trust in what is now two of our best seasons in Superbike racing.”
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“What a year! I’m so happy for what we’ve accomplished, and to finish it off with a win is amazing! Again thanks to the whole team. We’ve got such a great crew, and everybody works so hard. I had a lot of fun riding in the wet, and this Attack R1 was on rails again. It was good to get a win in the wet after that crazy day yesterday. Man, what a way to finish the year!”
Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing
“It was a tough weekend and definitely not your normal race weekend at Barber Motorsports Park. I really wanted that win and had nothing to lose, so after going out on the sighting lap, I saw the dry line forming and switched to slicks. Unfortunately, the track didn’t dry out like it normally does, and it didn’t work out. I got a good start in Race 3, but I was struggling to find my comfort zone and finished 10th. It’s not how I wanted to end the season, but we gave everything that we had and look to come back stronger next year.”