Going into the second of two MotoAmerica Medallia Superbike races at Road America on Sunday, Josh Herrin had won AMA Superbike races on two different makes of motorcycles – Yamaha and Suzuki. As of Sunday afternoon you can add Ducati to that list as the Warhorse HSBK Racing Ducati rider rode his Panigale V4 R to his first victory of the season and the ninth Superbike win of his career.
Herrin led from the start and then tussled with Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Cameron Beaubier in the early laps until Beaubier’s BMW M 1000 RR suffered a mechanical failure that put him out of the race. From there Herrin withstood the constant pressure from a second Tytlers Cycle Racing BMW ridden by PJ Jacobsen.
But Herrin was fast, consistent, and mostly mistake-free en route to a 2.01-second win over Jacobsen after 12 laps of the four-mile Road America circuit. The win came in front of a record three-day crowd of 41,000 spectators at “America’s National Park of Speed.”
Jacobsen finished second for the second straight day after crossing the finish line some eight seconds ahead of Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Jake Gagne.
For Gagne the third-place finish was a reprieve from a weekend he and the team would like to forget. Mechanical problems plagued the team for the first two days of the Road America weekend and Gagne failed to finish yesterday’s race, which cost him his championship points lead.
However, with Beaubier’s non-finish combined with Gagne’s third-place finish, Gagne was back atop the championship point standings by 12 points over Beaubier, 111-99. Herrin, meanwhile, jumped to third in the standings with 90 points.
Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing’s Cameron Petersen was the ultimate wingman to his teammate Gagne and ended up a shadow fourth despite racing with his injured right wrist.
Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Toni Elias was fifth in what was the Spaniard’s final race as he announced his retirement on TV immediately after the race. Elias drafted past Westby Racing’s Mathew Scholtz at the stripe, beating the South African by just .161 of a second. Those two were well clear of Tytlers Cycle Racing’s Corey Alexander, who bested Vision Wheel M4 ECSTAR Suzuki’s Richie Escalante by half a second.
Aftercare Scheibe Racing’s Ashton Yates and Disrupt Racing’s Hayden Gillim rounded out the top 10 finishers.
Superbike Race Two
- Josh Herrin (Ducati)
- PJ Jacobsen (BMW)
- Jake Gagne (Yamaha)
- Cameron Petersen (Yamaha)
- Toni Elias (Suzuki)
- Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha)
- Corey Alexander (BMW)
- Richie Escalante (Suzuki)
- Ashton Yates (BMW)
- Hayden Gillim (Suzuki)
Josh Herrin – Winner
“It was just for the haters, man. It just felt good. It felt right. But it was all in good fun. That felt really good. Like I said on the podium, I think this just motivates me to do more. I know that this is for sure one of our strongest tracks, but we’ve got to figure out how to make tracks like Barber not be such a weakness for us. I think just getting more time on the bike and a little bit more confidence will for sure help with that. I’m so happy that I’m a part of this team. It’s been really like a family these last two years. It’s a bummer that the DeNaples couldn’t be here for this one, because I know that they wish they could. It just feels good. It feels good to be 33 years old winning Superbike races on a bike like I’m riding right now and just having fun. This track has always been one of my favorite tracks, but today it really felt like… I’ve been racing here since 2006. This is my 18th season racing at this track. It felt like ’06 with the crowds that we had today. It was just really special going around the track afterwards and seeing everybody cheering on the fence. It’s really motivating as a racer to be out there and see a crowd like that. So, thank you to everybody for showing up. Thank you to the whole team for everything that they do for me. I’m ready to keep going.”
PJ Jacobsen – Second Place
“Josh (Herrin) rode really, really well today. My starts just suck, and they’ve been sucking all year. So, that’s one thing that I need to figure out how to get off the line better. In the race, I feel like we were doing pretty consistent lap times, into the nines and stuff like that. I caught up to him and Cam (Beaubier), and then Cam had the problem. Then I felt like I was catching Josh a little, and then it stayed like that. Then the last few laps it felt like we were going pretty fast. I think I did 2:09.2 with two laps to go. Then there was pretty decent gap. I don’t know if it was a gap enough to go and try to challenge for the win. After turn three or whatever, we were ripping and I was like, I don’t know if I should really throw this thing away trying to go faster than that lap time we just did, because it was fast enough. I was trying really hard. Josh rode a really good race. So, it was a bummer. I felt really good in morning warmup and breaking the track record this morning. It was kind of a bummer not to get the win today, but I felt like I rode pretty good, and my team did a great job all weekend. The bikes were super, super fast all weekend. So, it was really good. I’m pretty happy with the whole weekend.”
Jake Gagne – Third Place
“That was about all I could expect, I think, coming from the last couple days. Josh (Herrin) and PJ (Jacobsen) and Cam (Beaubier), those guys were really flying. They had pace. I know what it feels like now. They had pace that I just couldn’t run, no matter what. They took off right away. I wanted to get a good start and at least try to clear some of the other guys. My teammate, Cam (Petersen), was on me the whole race long. I could hear him breathing down on me. Again, the team went through a lot of crap this weekend and had some real bad luck. It was just one of those weekends. So, I’m happy that we at least put it up on the box today. With Beaubier having a DNF, I got some luck on my side too, which isn’t how you want it, but we’re up here and I’m ready to get out of this state.”