Everyone at the upcoming World Superbike round at Laguna Seca will have Nicky Hayden on their minds, as the American rider’s absence from the racing paddock is still sadly felt.
Instead of seeing an empty garage though, Hayden’s side of the pitbox will be busy this weekend, as Jake Gagne will ride with the Red Bull Honda team at the American round, thus making his World Superbike Championship debut.
Taking leave of his MotoAmerica superbike duties with the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda for the weekend, Gagne will race aboard the WorldSBK factory-spec Honda CBR1000RR SP2 race bike for Laguna Seca, giving American fans someone local to cheer for during both World Superbike races this weekend.
“For me this is a dream come true and a huge honour to get an opportunity to race in the World Superbike Championship with such a prestigious team,” said Gagne. “This is a huge opportunity and I am going to do everything I can to do the best job possible and learn as much as I can.”
“The loss of Nicky was very difficult for us all, but I know he will be watching over us, and I hope I can make him proud. Laguna Seca will always be a very special track for him, and I’m honored to get out there in front of our home crowd, and show what I can do.”
“It seems like a great fit coming off a Honda Superbike here in the States, as well as having Red Bull as the team sponsor, as they have supported me throughout my whole career.”
“I would like to express my huge thanks to Honda, Red Bull and Ten Kate for this incredible opportunity. And thanks also to Broaster, RoadRace Factory and my whole team for allowing me to chase this dream!”
Gagne currently races in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship, aboard a Honda CBR1000RR SP2, where he currently sits 12th in the championship.
Source: Honda Racing