Gagne Leads Ultra-Close Medallia Superbike Qualifying At WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca

Jake Gagne was the fastest of the fast in MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike qualifying at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca on Friday. 
Photo by Brian J. Nelson

Defending MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike Champion Jake Gagne started the weekend off the way he normally does by throwing down the fastest laps in both practice and Q1 on opening day for this weekend’s GEICO Motorcycle MotoAmerica Speedfest at Monterey.

And if today’s opening day of action at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca is any indication, we’re in for a pair of white-hot Medallia Superbike races this weekend.

While Gagne and his Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing YZF-R1 set the pace with a 1:23.707 lap in Q1 to take provisional pole position for the two Medallia Superbike races, he’s got company at the top with Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Danilo Petrucci just .232 of a second behind and the top five all within a second of Gagne.

Gagne tamed the wind to click off his best lap on his 11th go-around, his 1:23.707 just  .799 of a second off Josh Herrin’s lap record of 1:22.908 set during Superpole in 2018.

South African Cameron Petersen was third in Q1 with his 1:24.076 just .369 of a second behind his teammate Gagne. Then came his countryman Mathew Scholtz on the Westby Racing Yamaha YZF-R1 with his best .143 of a second behind Petersen.

Tytlers Cycle Racing’s PJ Jacobsen was fifth and the last rider within a second of Gagne.

Tomorrow morning the Medallia Superbikes field will be out to improve upon today’s times in a battle for pole position. Thus far in 2022, Gagne has been on pole at all five rounds.

Supersport – Herrin, Barely

Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati NYC’s Supersport Championship points leader Josh Herrin led Friday’s Q1 session on his Ducati Panigale V2, but only just. Herrin lapped at 1:26.942 and that put him just .110 of a second ahead of Landers Racing’s Rocco Landers and .346 of a second ahead of Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Tyler Scott.

As in Medallia Superbike Q1, the top five Supersport riders were all within a second of Herrin’s best. N2 Racing/BobbleHeadMoto’s Kevin Olmedo and North East Cycle Outlet Racing’s Benjamin Smith were the two who completed the top five.

Yuasa Stock 1000 – Alexander Leads ‘Em

You can’t get much closer than .005 of a second, but that’s all that separates Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing’s Corey Alexander from Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim, the same two riders who are fighting tooth and nail for the Yuasa Stock 1000 Championship.

And they have company.

Champ School BPR Yamaha’s Bryce Prince is making his one-off MotoAmerica appearance one to remember as he put his YZF-R1 into third – just .095 of a second behind Alexander and a tick faster than fourth-placed Travis Wyman on the second Tytlers Cycle/RideHVMC Racing BMW M 1000 RR.

Fifth-fastest is Vision Wheel/DiscountTire/KWS’s Geoff May, the last rider on the same second as Alexander and his 1:26.146.

REV’IT! Twins Cup – De Keyrel Quickest

Veloce Racing’s Kaleb De Keyrel led the REV’IT! Twins Cup Q1 session on a windy Friday afternoon on the Monterey Peninsula with the defending series champion besting Cycle Tech Racing teammates James Rispoli and Hayden Schultz by only .301 and .329 of a second, respectively. De Keyrel’s best lap came on his 11th go-around – a 1:30.530.

Rodio Racing/Warhorse HSBK Racing’s Anthony Mazziotto, fresh off his two wins at Ridge Motorsports Park two weeks ago, ended up fourth-fastest and half a second slower than De Keyrel with MP13 Racing’s Cory Ventura rounding out the top five on opening day at WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca.

Championship points leader Jody Barry ended day one 10th-fastest on his Veloce Racing Aprilia RS 660.

SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup – Lanuza’s Surprise

Not many in the MotoAmerica paddock could tell you yesterday who Daniel Lanuza was. As Friday came to a close, everyone in the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup class knew who Lanuza was. And he obviously knows his way around WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca as he won four California Roadrace Association (CRA) classes here a few weeks ago.

T3 Racing-backed Lanuza, who resides in Mountain View, California, some 75 miles north of Monterey, led today’s Q1 session in the Junior Cup class with a fastest lap of 1:38.567 to best SportbikeTrackGear.com’s Max Van by a scant .035 of a second. Altus Motorsports’ Kayla Yaakov, fresh off her first win in the class at Ridge Motorsports Park two weeks ago, was third-fastest on opening day and just .048 of a second behind Lanuza.

Talk about close… the top seven riders in the SportbikeTrackGear.com Junior Cup class were covered by just .353 of a second heading into Q2 tomorrow morning.

Roland Sands Design’s Super Hooligan National Championship – DiBrino!

Andy DiBrino looks as though he’s serious about reversing the order from last year’s Roland Sands Design’s Super Hooligan National Championship round here at Laguna when he lost out to Chris Fillmore by a fraction of a second.

JLC Concrete/KTM/DiBrino Racing’s DiBrino got things started on the right foot by taking provisional pole position with a lap of 1:30.635 to top Roland Sands Design’s Jeremy McWilliams, the Ulsterman .060 of a second faster than his teammate Tyler O’Hara.

KTM’s Fillmore, meanwhile, ended the day in fourth, 1.4 seconds behind the man he beat in last year’s race, in what is his first MotoAmerica outing of the year.

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