Gagne joins Honda for Laguna Seca WSBK debut
MotoAmerica rider Jake Gagne will make his World Superbike debut this weekend at Laguna Seca, taking the place of his late compatriot Nicky Hayden at the works Honda squad.
As previously reported by Motorsport.com, 24-year-old Gagne will ride the Ten Kate-run Honda team's second Fireblade, the same machine he rides in MotoAmerica, at the Californian track.
It will mark the first occasion Honda has entered a second bike since Hayden's passing, with Stefan Bradl having competed in the most recent races at Donington Park and Misano as the team's sole rider.
“For me this is a dream come true and a huge honour to get an opportunity to race in the World Superbike Championship with such a prestigious team," said Gagne.
"This is a huge opportunity and I am going to do everything I can to do the best job possible and learn as much as I can.
"The loss of Nicky was very difficult for us all but I know he will be watching over us and I hope I can make him proud.
"Laguna Seca will always be a very special track for him and I’m honoured to get out there in front of our home crowd and show what I can do."
Honda team boss Ronald ten Kate added: “Jake is a young and talented racer who already knows the Fireblade quite well from racing in MotoAmerica and has raced – and won – many times at Laguna Seca.
"We are looking forward to welcoming him within the team and giving him the best possible support for his World Superbike debut. I’m confident he will enjoy the experience and will do his very best in front of his home crowd."
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