Rider Update: Jake Gagne
Courtesy of RoadRace Factory
FORT COLLINS, CO, JULY 23, 2015
Regarding what has probably been the worst-kept secret in the paddock, RoadRace Factory is happy to formally announce that current MotoAmerica Superstock 1000cc Series points leader Jake Gagne will race in one round of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series! Yes, you read that correctly.
Jake Gagne will ride a RoadRace Factory/ American Supercamp-backed Yamaha YZ450F with assistance from Yamaha USA, Red Bull, Alpinestars and Bell Powersports. Jake will enter the August 15 motocross event at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. This is round 11 of the Lucas Oil Pro Motocross Series, and to say that Jake is “stoked” would be an understatement. Jake’s application to ride has been formally accepted, and the date is now set for him to fulfill a childhood dream of racing in a Pro motocross event.
Jake is no stranger to riding motocross. In fact, he is a rare crossover athlete, having started his racing career in motocross as young kid. He got his first bike when he was 5 years old, and he immediately began racing in local motocross events in Southern California. After a few years of riding and racing locally, Jake won the Amateur National Motocross Championship in Ponca City, Oklahoma, in 2005.
In fact, Gagne has only been road racing since 2008, when he made the transition from motocross to road racing in the Red Bull Rookies Cup. In 2009, he was promoted to the European Red Bull Rookies Cup. In 2010, he had four victories on his way to capturing the RBRC Championship.
From 2011 to 2012, Jake participated in the CEV Spanish National Championship, and he even made a wild-card appearance in a Moto2 race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.
In 2012, he joined the RoadRace Factory to contest the AMA Pro Road Racing Championship in the 600cc Supersport Series. In 2014, he captured the 600cc Supersport title with eight podium finishes in 10 races, a double victory at Road America, and a solid second-place finish in the Daytona 200.
For 2015, Jake has moved up to the 1000cc Superstock class under the new MotoAmerica Championship Series. He has won nine races and is the current points leader.
As part of his normal training routine, Jake rides his Yamaha YZ450F at tracks throughout the San Diego and Southern California area. He recently concluded some private testing with his new Yamaha USA mixed crew. It’s “mixed” because he is bringing along his “32Crew” from the RoadRace Factory, comprised of Scott Jensen and Danny Anderson, who are eager to get their hands dirty.
“I’ve been riding and racing motocross ever since I was little,” Gagne said. “I never stopped riding, I ride at least once or twice a week during the road-racing season. I’ve got a lot seat time in, especially these last few months. I’ve always dreamed of doing a National. I’m just excited to get out there and see what I can do.
“We selected the National at Miller Motorsports Park because, looking at the road-race schedule, there weren’t a whole lot of races I could do. MMP is right after Indianapolis for us on the road-race side, so it fit perfectly, as we have a little break before our final round.
“I got to talking with Danny Walker from the RoadRace Factory and then we got Keith McCarthy from Yamaha involved, and everybody seemed as excited as I was. Then, all of a sudden, Keith and Yamaha stepped up huge and hooked me up with a bike! So I’m really stoked to be doing my first outdoor National.
“I can’t thank [enough] Danny Walker and my guys in the RoadRace Factory for letting me try this, Keith and Yamaha for their support, and all my sponsors who have jumped in with me on this dream. Big thanks to Red Bull, Alpinestars and Bell Helmets. I can’t wait to get out there and see what I can do against those guys and have fun!”
“This is an exciting opportunity for Jake and the RoadRace Factory team,” said team manager Danny Walker. “When we first met him at the Red Bull Rookies Cup, we were immediately impressed. Here was a kid who had never ridden a road bike before, and within a few years he was World champ in the Red Bull Rookies Cup! He’s got incredible talent, and he’s been an instructor for me at American Supercamp, so I’ve seen him ride everything from 50s to 1000s, and he’s just phenomenal!
“When Cameron Petersen came back from riding Moto with Jake in San Diego, he mentioned Jake saying something about always wanting to try and make a National Motocross. I personally always wanted to race Grand National Dirt Track; I only got to race one, but if I hadn’t, it would have been one of my true regrets. When I asked Jake about it, I could tell he had the same passion. Even though it’s right in between our last two races, I knew it was, ‘Heck yeah! Let’s make this happen!’ and so we began working on trying to figure out a way to get everything in place. It isn’t easy to just run off and do a one-off outdoor National. Jake is in the middle of a championship battle, so we had to get everyone on board for this to happen. Luckily, Yamaha and Keith McCarthy shared our collective enthusiasm and jumped in to support us in this effort.
“I see this an opportunity for Jake to continue to showcase his talent to the world. We tell people all the time what he can do, and right now, in road racing, the exposure isn’t there yet. But if he can qualify and run with the best motocross racers in the nation, then hopefully people will see for themselves what he can do. We started our team with the goal of promoting riders so that they can go on to achieve success at every level they compete at; this is just another avenue for us to help Jake follow his dreams.”