Gagne, who has multiple titles under his belt, competed in the World Championship for a few rounds in 2017 and the 2018 season. The reigning MotoAmerica Superbike champion is eager to return to the WorldSBK paddock as a wild card with the team he knew with great success in the premier category of MotoAmerica. Since his first superbike victory last year in the first round of the championship, the Colorado rider has amassed 25 career victories in the category. He clinched the crown a weekend earlier and broke numerous records, including an impressive 16-game winning streak. Gagne picked up another victory in the final race of the season, scoring 17 wins out of 20 tries. So far in 2022, the champion has eight wins and, despite an unfortunate weekend finale at Brainerd International Raceway, he is still within striking distance of the top spot in the standings.
“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to line up on the World Superbike grid,” Gagné said. “Portimao is a really cool track. It’s great to be back there and I’m looking forward to the challenge. I couldn’t ask for a better team and a better bike, so we’ll give it our all and enjoy the process!
Attack Performance owner and team manager Richard Stanboli looks forward to the technical challenge and learning experience of racing in a world championship. His team had multiple wild card entries in WorldSBK and MotoGP, scoring points at the 2012 Indianapolis Grand Prix with Steve Rapp. So on September 23, after the final checkered flag of the 2022 MotoAmerica Superbike season at Barber Motorsports Park, the team will kick into high gear for the World Championship and ship its bikes to Portugal for its overseas debut.
“Jake and the team are very happy to be invited to race World Superbike in Portimao,” said Stanboli. “Our plan is to wrap up the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship in Barber and then ship our bikes to Portugal. Of course it will be difficult, but when we have done a wild card in the past, whether in World Superbike or MotoGP, we have learned a lot and we have improved as a team. Fortunately, Jake has World Superbike experience in Portimao, and we will have technical support 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, USA, is also excited to see the team make an appearance after the MotoAmerica Superbike season is over.
“When Richard asked if we would support Jake to go around the wild card, we gave a big yes and let our YME (Yamaha Motor Europe) friends know what was going on,” said Tom Halverson, director Yamaha Racing department assistant for YMUS. “They were very supportive and delighted that Jake is also racing in Portimao and offered as much assistance as needed.
Andrea Dosoli, Yamaha Motor Europe Road Racing Manager, is delighted to welcome Gagné and the Attack Performance team to the WorldSBK paddock.
“We can’t wait to welcome Jake to the World Superbike paddock,” said Dosoli. “After an incredible 2021 season, he is challenging for the title again 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 having had British Superbike Championship winner Tarran Mackenzie wildcard at the Donington round, we are happy that the reigning MotoAmerica Superbike champion can join us in Portimao.We know it will not be an easy challenge, but we are ready to support him during the event and we wish him and the team at Attack Performance all the best for the weekend.