Starting ninth after his DNF on Saturday, Gagne made a blazing getaway to move up to fourth behind Herrin who held onto his third-place grid slot. Before the first lap was complete, the number 32 rider passed his teammate for the final podium position and set about closing down the leaders. A couple of laps before the halfway mark, Gagne scythed his way through to second and then took the lead after a fine slipstream in Turn 10a.
A tense chase for the lead then began between Gagne and fellow Yamaha rider Mathew Scholtz, but the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing R1 showed its strength in the final five laps to help Gagne set the fastest lap time. Extending his lead to over 4.7 seconds, the Californian took the checkered flag to score an emotional first win in the premier class.
After his teammate passed him, Herrin battled for fourth. The 2013 Superbike Champion kept pushing and made his way into third on Lap 10. Battling arm pump issues in the demanding conditions at the Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta, Herrin maintained his third position to score his second consecutive podium finish and leave the season opener third in the point standings.
With a win and two third places from the first round, the Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team looks to build on their momentum at round two at the Virginia International Raceway (VIR) on May 21-23.
Richard Stanboli (Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team Manager): “It was a nice turnaround for the team and about what we expected going into the event. Jake rode a smart race for the win and Josh continued to improve, bringing home third. The Westby team also did a great job to make it a Yamaha, Attack Performance sweep. We look forward to the next round at VIR. It’s normally a good racetrack for the Yamaha R1!”
Jake Gagne: “After yesterday’s DNF we were super motivated to get that win. It feels amazing to finally get a Superbike win and I couldn’t ask for a better crew to do it with! Hats off to the team for finishing strong and giving me an amazing bike after a rough start. I’m ready for more at VIR!”
Josh Herrin: “I’m extremely happy with our finishes this weekend. We never gave up this weekend and it paid off. I’m looking forward to a great weekend at VIR! Huge congrats to Jake Gagne and his crew on their first win!”
credit: Yamaha Racing
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