Gagne: "It’s going to be a challenge, but I love a challenge"

Friday, 7 July 2017 06:27 GMT

American star ready for a learning curve at Laguna Seca 

Ahead of the Geico US Round at the legendary Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Jake Gagne (Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team) is preparing to make is WorldSBK debut, as he steps in to replace the greatly missed Nicky Hayden.

Swinging his leg over the bike in front of his home fans will be a big ask for the 21 year old, but at a circuit he is so familiar with it may make it a little less daunting to take on. Keen to learn before the weekend kicks off with the new Honda Fireblade CBR1000RR SP2, Gagne hopes to honour Hayden in the best way possible at a circuit which treated his compatriot so well in the past.

Meeting the team for the first time on Thursday at the circuit, Gagne explains how he will tackle the tough weekend ahead: “It’s pretty surreal to be here, it’s a tough loss for us all losing Nicky but he lives on throughout us all and we’ll remember him forever, he’s been a hero of ours since I was a little kid, so its surreal to be here and I’m just super thankful to the team for letting me come here, it’s awesome I’m here in my home country, in my home state and at my favourite circuit of Laguna Seca, I’m super pumped to be here.

The objective is to learn and to grow, to get better every session but my goal is to keep progressing and keep learning. I’ve got a great crew behind me and I’ve got all the tools I need. Wherever we end up, we end up, but all I know is that I’m going to give it all I got.”

Follow all of Gagne’s progress on the Honda Fireblade around Laguna Seca with the WorldSBK VideoPass, with the first session available live on Saturday at 11:00LT (-7 GMT) – with riders out on track for Superpole One.