Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team pair reflect on point-scoring Race 2 results at Laguna Seca
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team riders Stefan Bradl and Jake Gagne finished in 11th and 15th respectively in Sunday’s Race 2 at the GEICO US Round. The results were an exact repeat of their finishing positions in Race 1.
Bradl had an exciting first third of the race in Sunday’s 25-lap contest, moving up from 17th place on the grid to 10th after only eight laps. He was then involved in a three-way battle for ninth with Pata Yamaha Official WorldSBK Team duo Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark and eventually rode a lonely last part of the race in 11th position all the way up to the chequered flag.
Afterwards he reflected, “For me it was a good race and surely better than Saturday’s. Obviously another 11th place is not what I was looking for, but riding-wise we did improve. The weekend in itself has been challenging because of the changes we had to make, which made it a bit more difficult to find the feeling with the bike. Surely, 17th position on the grid was a bit of a handicap because it didn’t allow me to try and stay with the front guys, but at the beginning I was able to push hard on the front tyre because we made some steps forward in that department.”
“I made a little mistake halfway through the race when I was fighting with Lowes and van der Mark which cost me some tenths and, after some more warnings, I had to settle down a little and ride the bike home in 11th. We seem to have found a direction now so I hope things will improve some more at Lausitzring.”
Making a guest appearance in front of the American fans in the absence of the late, great Nicky Hayden, Gagne rode in the top-15 for the majority of the race and defended his 14th place well – despite some rear-grip issues – until two laps to go, when he was passed by Randy Krummenacher (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing). The 23-year-old completed his first WorldSBK round with yet another 15th place and one more point in the standings.
Reviewing his #USWorldSBK experience Gagne commented, “At the beginning I was a little disappointed with the result as obviously I would have loved to stay closer to the guys ahead of me, but I learned so much this weekend. The team is amazing, they’re such great and smart guys!”
“I struggled a little bit compared to Saturday’s race, especially with the rear end and that caused some vibration which gave me some problems. I had a couple of big moments and almost crashed, so I’m happy to have brought the bike back to the pit-box in one piece. In any case it’s been a wonderful experience and the fans were absolutely unreal.”