Although the 2.5-mile track in Brainerd, Minnesota, was new territory for this generation of riders with a 17-year absence on the calendar, it was more of the same as Gagne set the pace early. The points leader led every session en route to his sixth-straight pole position of the year, but his 10th victory of the season did not come easy. He got a bit sideways off the line and was second after the start. Gagne quickly moved into the lead but then lost the rear and went down in Turn 3. More chaos ensued with another rider crashing in the next corner, and the race was red-flagged.
After the restart, Gagne once again slotted into second and moved into the lead on the opening lap. The Colorado rider kept his cool and put in some consistent, fast times to build a gap and cross the line with a 4.6-second margin, expanding his lead in the championship to 74 points.
Filling in on short notice for Josh Herrin, who was sidelined with Covid-19, Beach made progress in each session. He and the team worked on getting the bike set up for the Kentucky rider who races full time in the premier class of American Flat Track. After the restart, he got a good start from the third row of the grid to fifth and then was shuffled to sixth. He battled for that top-five spot and kept pushing but ultimately finished sixth in his first Superbike race since the 2019 season finale at Barber Motorsports Park.
The Fresh N’ Lean Attack Performance Yamaha Racing Team lines up again tomorrow at the Brainerd International Raceway for Race 2 of Round 6 of the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship on August 1.