The Triple M Honda World Superbike team finished the European rounds of what is a rookie season for both team and rider in the WorldSBK Championship with important lessons learned for the final two rounds of the year.
The challenges of the Magny-Cours circuit were new for the Triple M team and PJ Jacobsen, and after Friday practice, Jacobsen qualified 17th of 21 riders on the grid, after Superpole 1 on Saturday morning.
The opening race took place at 13.00, the Sunday race at the new normal of 15.15, with each lasting for 21-laps of the 4.411km circuit in the very heart of the French countryside.
Moving up to 15th position in race one, a position he held from lap three to lap six; PJ would eventually drop down one place to finish 16th, and just one position away from scoring a championship point.
The second race, held in only slightly warmer conditions, saw PJ ride behind his countryman Jake Gagne for a time, ending up 17th and again just missing a championship point.
After 11 of the 13 rounds, PJ sits 19th overall in the championship standings.
WorldSBK will hold the next round in Argentina for the very first time, at the all-new El Villicum circuit, between 12th and 14th October.
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team heads to France’s Circuit de Nevers Magny-Cours this weekend and is targeting a return to form at the final European round of the 2018 season.
After a challenging round last time out at Portimão, Leon Camier and Jake Gagne are aiming for more consistent performance on their CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 machines in France.
Camier is a fan of the French circuit and after some notable performances there in recent years, the Briton is confident of a resurgence this weekend. Gagne is also in high spirits as the American has shown strong race pace and has prior track experience of Magny-Cours after being drafted into the team for the French round last season.
Magny-Cours is defined by a mix of slow hairpin corners and quicker chicanes and sweeping corners. Overtaking opportunities aren’t as widespread as at some other circuits, although the Adelaide hairpin after the very fast first sector is one prime overtaking spot.
The eleventh round of the WorldSBK championship commences with Free Practice 1 at 0945 local time (GMT +2) on Friday. Race 1 will start at 1300 local time on Saturday, while Race 2 on Sunday kicks off at 1515.
Source: Media @ Red Bull Team
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team head to Laguna Seca this weekend where hometown hero Jake Gagne returns to the circuit he made his WorldSBK debut, while Leon Camier gets his first chance to ride the legendary American circuit on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
At approximately 3.61 kilometres (2.223 miles) in length, the Laguna Seca circuit is the shortest on the WorldSBK calendar however packs numerous challenges within its 11 corners, including the ultra-fast Turn 1 and the world-famous Corkscrew which plunges almost twenty metres from entry to exit.
This circuit is where Gagne made his WorldSBK debut with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team in 2017 where the American rider grabbed a pair of point-scoring finishes in a fine performance. With half a season of WorldSBK racing experience now under his belt, Gagne is aiming for his best race weekend of the year at a circuit he loves.
For Camier, the Laguna Seca round comes off the back of strong performances at Donington and Brno and with the summer break fast approaching, the British rider is aiming to move closer to the front runners at a circuit where the sublime handling and braking stability of the Fireblade should prove advantageous.
The WorldSBK action at the United States round starts this Friday at 0945 local time (GMT -7) with Free Practice 1. Race start on both Saturday and Sunday is at 1400 local time.
Credit: Media Team @ Red Bull Honda Wordl Superbike Team
The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team concluded their Czech WorldSBK adventure with a double point-scoring finish as Leon Camier crossed the finish line in seventh place and a resurgent Jake Gagne took twelfth in hot conditions at Brno.
Camier started Race 2 in P6 on the grid but needed a couple of laps to find his feet, settling into P9 in the opening laps. As other riders struggled in the warm conditions, Camier adapted and was able to improve his pace to work his way ahead of his competitors and climbed to seventh place with five laps remaining, the position he held until the chequered flag.
Further back, Gagne got a good start from the seventh row of the grid and quickened his pace as the race went on, setting his quickest lap of the race on lap 9. A last lap push nearly brought the American his first top-ten finish in WorldSBK, but ultimately he just missed out although he still equalled his best result of the year with P12.
The Race 2 result sees Camier move up one place in the championship standings to tenth on 72 points, while Gagne stays in seventeenth overall but increases his points tally to 24.
The United States hosts the next WorldSBK round at Gagne’s home circuit of Laguna Seca from June 22-24.
Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team’s Leon Camier capped off a strong showing in Thailand with a sixth place finish at Chang International Circuit, while Jake Gagne was back in the points after taking fourteenth place on the CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2.
Camier started on pole position in Race 2 courtesy of his fourth place in Race 1 and although he got the holeshot and led into the first corner, a fierce battle in the lead group resulted in him ending the first lap in P5. Showing consistent pace throughout the race, Camier was embroiled in the fight for the top five with Jonathan Rea and Xavi Forés and although he closed in on Forés in the final laps, he ultimately finished in sixth place.
Bouncing back after a tough race yesterday, Gagne had a strong start and in the opening exchanges fought his way up to ninth position. As the contest entered the final stages, Gagne found himself caught up in a five way battle for the top ten and despite a valiant final push was unable to make up positions and ended the race in P14.
After two rounds Camier is eighth in the WorldSBK standings on 42 points, while Gagne is sixteenth overall with 9 points. The series now heads to Europe where the Red Bull World Superbike Team will contest the Aragon WorldSBK round on April 13-15.