Sport Gagne completes Honda WorldSBK line up for 2018

20:45  07 december  2017
20:45  07 december  2017 Source:   Read Sport

Triple WorldSBK champion Rea nominated for BBC SPOTY award

  Triple WorldSBK champion Rea nominated for BBC SPOTY award Triple World Superbike champion Jonathan Rea has been shortlisted for the 2017 BBC Sports Personality of the Year award, the first motorcycle racer to have been nominated in 10 years. Northern Irishman Rea enjoyed a banner third season with the factory Kawasaki Racing Team in WorldSBK, becoming the first–ever rider in the series’ 30–year history to secure three titles back–to–back. Rea dominated the season with 16 wins, six of those coming as doubles, while also moving into second on the all–time winners list with 54 and securing the record for most points scored in a single season with 556 – beating double world champion Colin Edwards’ 2002 total of 552. Rea‘s achievements were universally praised, and even an online petition was started to have the Northern Irishman – who received an MBE this year – nominated for the annual BBC award. The KRT rider is the first motorcycle racer since James Toseland in 2007, after the Briton won his second WorldSBK title, to be nominated, and is aiming to become the first bike racer to win the accolade since the late, great John Surtees in 1959. Rea joins the likes of four–time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton and Olympic athletics champion Sir Mo Farah on the 2017 shortlist. The award ceremony will take place in Liverpool on December 17.

Jake Gagne had a solid maiden WorldSBK race performance today, which allowed the Husqvarna Motorcycles Announce Official Rider Line - Up For Dakar Rally 2018 . Total Motorcycle’s 2018 KTM Motorcycle Lineup . Triple M Racing steps up to WorldSBK as official Honda satellite team in 2018 .

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Jake Gagne will partner Leon Camier at the Red Bull Honda World Superbike squad for the 2018 season, and is the second American rider confirmed to race in the series next year.

24-year-oldGagne made his WorldSBK debut at his home round at LaguaSeca this year as a replacement for the late Nicky Hayden, who tragically died from injuries sustained in a road traffic accident in Italy in May.

a man wearing a helmet: Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport

Gagne impressed on his first outing on the WorldSBK-spec Honda Fireblade, scoring a point in both races.

He returned to action in France and Qatar, taking points from three of those four races as he staked his claim to take the second CBR1000RRSP2 alongside Britain’s Camier next season.

Camier hails 'great start' to life at Honda

  Camier hails 'great start' to life at Honda Leon Camier hailed his first test with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike team as a ‘great start’, after making strong progress with the troubled CBR1000RRSP2Fireblade during the Jerez test. 2017 proved a difficult year for Honda in WorldSBK. Delays in production of the new Fireblade put the team on the back foot when testing got underway in the new year, and decent results were few and far between throughout the 2017 campaign – a seventh in Thailand the highlight. Injuries for rookie Stefan Bradl, a rotating rider line–up in the latter half of the season, and the tragic death of Nicky Hayden in May compounded a horror season for the Ten Kate–run Honda squad. Signing Camier from MVAgusta prior to the Jerez round, Honda’s fortunes appear to be turning around after the Briton enjoyed a positive three days of testing at the Spanish circuit last week. Camier – who ended the 2017 season eighth in the standings – managed a best lap of 1m39.333s on the final day of running, putting him around 1.5s off of the pace of world champion Jonathan Rea, and feels the team has found a ‘good base’ from which to build on over the winter. “I’m really, really happy with this three–day test,” the Briton beamed. “I managed to get up to speed quite quickly, and yesterday I was able to set decent laptimes on race tyres. “Today it was more about understanding how the bike reacts to different changes – what works for me and what doesn’t.

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The Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team will begin preparations for the 2018 FIM Superbike World Championship with a private test on November 22-24 at R13_Losail_ WorldSBK _2017_Race 2_ Gagne _DSC1502. Images are copyright but free for editorial use.

“It’s really a dream come true to have the chance to contest a full World Superbike season with the Red Bull Honda World Superbike Team,” said Gagne, who finished 14th in the 2017 MotoAmericaSuperbike series.

“I cannot thank Red Bull, Honda and Ten Kate enough for the opportunity to race the Honda CBR1000RRFirebladeSP2 over three rounds this year.

“I have learned so much from them and I got to know them quite well, so I’m looking forward to getting going again.

“2018 will be an exciting year for me, with a lot of travelling and racing on some of the best race tracks in the world.

“I want to thank again everyone involved for this incredible opportunity, and I feel I’m ready for the challenge ahead.”

Honda’s WorldSBK operations manager Marco Chini was impressed by Gagne‘s adaptability in his three appearances with the team in 2017, and this made him the ideal candidate to complete the squad’s line-up.

Jacobsen joins TripleM Honda for WorldSBK debut

  Jacobsen joins TripleM Honda for WorldSBK debut American PJJacobsen will step up from World Supersport to the World Superbike Championship in 2018 with the TripleM Honda team. After a season in the British Superbike Championship with Tyco Suzuki, Jacobsen stepped over to WorldSSP on a Kawasaki before switching to Honda machinery halfway through 2015 – which he took to two wins and runner-up spot in the standings. Jacobsen moved to MVAgusta for 2017 and finished the year sixth in the championship with 108 points, with a best result of third at Aragon, Imola and Magny-Cours. Earlier in the month, Superstock outfit TripleM announced it was stepping up to WorldSBK as a factory-backed satellite Honda effort, with Jacobsen strongly linked to the squad. The American is thrilled to have been offered the chance to make his debut in WorldSBK, and is keen to ride the new Fireblade having ridden the previous model in the Endurance World Championship in 2015. “I’m very excited to be making my World Superbike debut with TripleM Honda WSBK Team,” he said. “It’s a great opportunity for me to be finally racing in this class and I want to thank the team and Honda for making this possible. “Both the team and I will be rookies in the WorldSBK Championship, so there will surely be a lot to learn, but it’s a challenge that stimulated me and I can’t wait to get started. “I enjoyed racing the Fireblade in the EWC two years go and I love riding 1000cc bikes, so I’m looking forward to trying the new Honda CBR1000RRFirebladeSP2.

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“We are delighted to have Jake on board for the 2018 season,” said Chini.

“He picked up the challenge this year and jumped on our Fireblade without any prior testing and did well at LagunaSeca, and later showed his talent at tracks he had never raced before.

“He is young, gifted and a great guy, so he’s the right choice for the team to ride alongside Leon.

“We look forwrad to seeing him on track very soon and we’re sure American fans will be happy to cheer him on.”

Gagne will be the second American representing Honda next season, after PJ Jacobsen agreed a deal with the TripleM team to step up from World Supersport.

2011 Moto2 world champion Stefan Bradl, who endured a tough debut season with Red Bull Honda, which was prematurely ended by injury, looks set to take on a role as a Honda MotoGP test rider in 2018.

a man wearing a hat: FIM Superbike World Championship in Qatar - Race 2 © Mirco Lazzari gp/Getty Images Sport FIM Superbike World Championship in Qatar - Race 2

Gamarino gets Grillini call-up for opening rounds .
World Supersport rider Christian Gamarino will join the Grillini World Superbike team for the opening five rounds of the 2018 season before GabrieleRuiu takes over. Italian rookie Ruiu was chosen by Grillini – who will run Suzuki machinery in 2018 – to partner the returning Roberto Rolfo for 2018, though the now 17–year–old will have to wait until the Donington round before making his debut as WorldSBK rules stipulate competitors must be at least 18. Gamarino – who will make his WorldSBK debut at Phillip Island next year – has contested the Supersport class since 2014, and ended this year’s 600cc campaign 11th overall on 50 points with a best result of sixth in Portugal. Losing his ride with the Evans Bros. Honda team for 2018, Gamarino will race as part of the European Supersport Cup with the ScuolaItalianaPilotiMVAgusta team. Team boss Andrea Grillini was impressed by Gamarino‘s performances in the Supersport class in recent years, and is pleased to have an all–Italianline–up for the entirety of the 2018 season. “I have always kept an eye on Christian in the Supersport races, and this year we have created the opportunity to bring him to the team,” said Grillini. “Gamarino will race with the team in the first five rounds of the championship, and I’m sure he will do well. “After many years I find myself having an all–Italian team, and I’m happy to give young talents the chance to challenge themselves in a championship as important as WorldSBK.

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