It was a perfect day for Gagne at the 2.38-mile track in Leeds, Alabama. He took another track record in qualifying, edging out his teammate to secure his eighth pole position in 10 tries this season. The defending champion then grabbed the holeshot and, on the second lap, set another track record with the fastest race lap. Gagne kept a hot pace to remain unchallenged and finish 5.4 seconds clear of the competition. His 29th career superbike victory gives him a 13-point advantage heading into tomorrow’s final showdown.
Petersen was also on top form aboard his Attack Performance Yamaha R1. He broke the track record yesterday afternoon in the first qualifying session and finished just .288 seconds shy of Gagne in the combined times. The South African got off to a great start behind his teammate and was holding down the runner-up spot with fellow Yamaha rider Mathew Scholtz on his heels. Unfortunately, Petersen made an error in the greasy conditions on Lap 6 and crashed in Turn 2. He remounted and charged his way forward from the back of the field to break the top 10 in the final laps of the 20-lap race, finishing ninth to score valuable points and maintain the third spot in the standings.
The Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha Racing team lines up again tomorrow for the MotoAmerica Superbike Race 2 at the Barber Motorsports Park in Leeds, Alabama, on Sunday, September 25.