Gagne, who has multiple titles to his resume, raced in the world championship for a few rounds in 2017 and the 2018 season. The reigning MotoAmerica Superbike Champion is looking forward to returning to the WorldSBK paddock as a wild card entry with the team he has enjoyed a lot of success in MotoAmerica's premier class. Since his debut superbike win last year at the first round of the championship, the Colorado rider has amassed 25-career wins in the class. He clinched the crown a weekend early and broke many records, including an impressive 16-race win streak. Gagne took home another win at the final race of the season, scoring 17 victories out of 20 tries. So far in 2022, the champ has eight wins and, despite an unfortunate final race of the weekend at Brainerd International Raceway, is still within striking distance of the top spot in the standings.
“I’m really excited for the opportunity to line up on the World Superbike grid,” said Gagne. “Portimao is a really cool track. It’s awesome to be going back, and I look forward to the challenge. I couldn’t ask for a better team and motorcycle, so we’ll go over and do the best we can and enjoy the process!”
Attack Performance owner and team manager, Richard Stanboli, is looking forward to the technical challenge and the learning experience of racing in a world championship. His team has had multiple wild card entries in both WorldSBK and MotoGP, scoring points at the Indianapolis Grand Prix in 2012 with Steve Rapp. So on September 23, after the final checkered flag of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike season flies at Barber Motorsports Park, the team will shift gears to the world championship and ship their bikes to Portugal for their debut wild card round overseas.
“Jake and the team are very excited to be invited to race World Superbike at Portimao,” Stanboli said. “Our plan is to wrap up the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship at Barber and then ship our bikes to Portugal. For sure it will be challenging, but when we have done a wild card entry in the past, whether it was World Superbike or MotoGP, we learned a lot and improved as a team. Fortunately, Jake has World Superbike experience at Portimao, and we will receive some technical assistance from our partners at Yamaha Europe. I would also like to thank Pirelli for the assistance and technical support they will bring to this effort. Our goal is to put on a good show and make our fans proud.”
Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., is also excited to see the team make the wild card appearance after the conclusion of the MotoAmerica Superbike season.
“When Richard asked us if we would support Jake going over to do the wild card ride, we gave a big yes and let our YME (Yamaha Motor Europe) friends know what was happening,” said Tom Halverson, Yamaha Racing Assistant Department Manager for YMUS. “They were very supportive and excited to have Jake race in Portimao as well and offered as much assistance as needed.”
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, is delighted to be welcoming Gagne and the Attack Performance team to the WorldSBK paddock.
“We are looking forward to welcome Jake back to the World Superbike paddock,” Dosoli said. “After an amazing season in 2021, he’s once again fighting for the title this year, confirming his high level of performance. We are always looking to give riders who have been successful in their national series the opportunity to race on the world stage. After we had the winner of the British Superbike Championship, Tarran Mackenzie, wildcard at the Donington round, we’re glad that the reigning MotoAmerica Superbike champion will be able to join us at Portimao. We know that it won’t be an easy challenge, but we are ready to support him during the event, and wish him and the Attack Performance team all the best for the weekend.”