Jake Gagne led the HONOS Superbikes on the opening day of MotoAmerica action at New Jersey Motorsports Park. Photo by Brian J. Nelson
As he has done all season long, Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha’s Jake Gagne led the opening day of qualifying for this weekend’s MotoAmerica round at New Jersey Motorsports Park, the Californian besting the rest of the HONOS Superbike field in Q1 on Friday.
Gagne lapped the 2.25-mile NJMP in 1:20.910 to top M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Cameron Petersen by .422 of a second on a sunny afternoon in Millville to earn provisional pole position for this weekend’s three HONOS Superbike races.
Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz completed the provisional front row with his 1:21.373, just .041 of a second slower than fellow South African Petersen.
Fourth fastest on the day was Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati New York’s Loris Baz, the Frenchman ending up .612 of a second off Gagne’s best. Baz also suffered a crash at the end of the session but escaped uninjured.
Gagne’s two Yamaha teammates for the weekend, Toni Elias and Josh Herrin, finished the day fifth and sixth as the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha team is fielding three bikes this weekend. Elias was .208 of a second quicker than Herrin on the opening day.
Scheibe Racing BMW’s Hector Barbera ended up seventh in his first trip to NJMP, besting M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Bobby Fong and One Cure Ducati’s Kyle Wyman. FLY Racing ADR Motorsports’ Bradley Ward rounded out the top 10.
An M4 ECSTAR Suzuki was on top of the Supersport field on Friday at NJMP, but it wasn’t ridden by champion-elect Sean Dylan Kelly. In this case, it was the GSX-R600 of his teammate Sam Lochoff who ended up on provisional pole after Q1.
Second fastest was also somewhat of a surprise with Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers just .082 of a second behind Lochoff. Only then did championship rivals Richie Escalante and Kelly show up on the timesheets, the pair ending the day third and fourth, respectively.
SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup Championship points leader Tyler Scott led Friday’s Q1 session with his 1:30.432 on the Scott Powersports KTM, besting Rodio Racing’s Gus Rodio’s 131.214. Bauce Racing/Cyber Solutions/JL62 Racing’s Joseph LiMandri Jr. ended up third with Scott’s championship rival Benjamin Gloddy fourth on the Landers Racing Kawasaki.
Corey Alexander hasn’t given up on winning the MotoAmerica Stock 1000 Championship and he showed up at NJMP on a mission and that led to him leading Q1 on Friday. HONOS HVMC Racing’s Alexander headed the timesheets with his 1:22.610 to lead MESA37’s Stefano Mesa and Disrupt Racing’s Mark Heckles. More importantly for Alexander was the fact that championship points leader Jake Lewis could only muster the fourth fastest time on his Altus Motorsports Suzuki.
Cory Ventura made his MotoAmerica Twins Cup debut on Friday at NJMP and promptly put his Veloce Racing Aprilia RS 650 on provisional pole, despite tipping over early in the Q1 session. Ventura lapped at 1:26.115 to lead Robem Engineering’s Tommaso Marcon, the Italian making his U.S. racing debut. Marcon’s teammate and championship points leader Kaleb De Keyrel ended up third on the day.
Jake Gagne (Yamaha) 1:29.910Cameron Petersen (Suzuki) 1:21.332Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) 1:21.373Loris Baz (Ducati) 1:21.522Toni Elias (Yamaha) 1:21.719Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:21.927Hector Barbera (BMW) 1:22.378Bobby Fong (Suzuki) 1:22.831Kyle Wyman (Ducati) 1:23.020Bradley Ward (Suzuki) 1:23.450