Gagne relishes chance to replace Hayden at Laguna Seca

Jake Gagne has described the chance to replace his late compatriot Nicky Hayden in last weekend's Laguna Seca World Superbike round as a "wonderful experience".

Gagne relishes chance to replace Hayden at Laguna Seca
Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team, Krummacher
Stefan Bradl, Honda World Superbike Team, Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team, Krummacher
Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team
Roman Ramos, Team Go Eleven, Stefan Bradl, Honda World Superbike Team, Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team
Jake Gagne, Honda World Superbike Team
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The 24-year-old MotoAmerica rider was handed the chance to join the Red Bull-backed Honda squad at the Californian track, joining team regular Stefan Bradl for his debut WSBK race weekend.

Gagne qualified down in 18th for Saturday's opening race, but managed to improve to 15th in the race to score a point - a result he repeated in Sunday's second race after losing out in a fierce battle to Kawasaki privateer Randy Krummenacher.

"At the beginning I was a little disappointed with the result as obviously I would have loved to stay closer to the guys ahead of me, but I learned so much this weekend," said Gagne.

"I struggled a little bit compared to Saturday’s race, especially with the rear end and that caused some vibration which caused me some problems.

"I had a couple of big moments and almost crashed, so I’m happy to have brought the bike back to the pit-box in one piece.

"In any case it’s been a wonderful experience and the fans were absolutely unreal."

Honda technical boss Pieter Breddels praised Gagne for his performances on his WSBK debut, and said the Ten Kate-run team enjoyed working with the American.

"Jake had a reasonable start but he soon started to experience some grip issues with the rear which caused some vibration and gave him a hard time," said Breddels.

"He couldn’t hold on to 14th place but nevertheless he did another great job. We loved working with him and to get his feedback about the bike.

"I want to thank him for riding our bike and doing what he did with so many new things coming his way."

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