New Orleans, LA (October 10, 2012) – The RoadRace Factory/Red Bull team saw its best weekend yet at the AMA Pro season finale at NOLA Motorsports Park last weekend. Jake Gagne won pole for the Daytona SportBike race. Hayden Gillim won Saturday’s AMA Pro SuperSport race and finished second on Sunday, winning the Big Kahuna surfboard trophy for his efforts. Tomas Puerta and J.D. Beach both finished on the podium, making it a successful one for all four of the team’s riders in the last race of the year.
Gagne backed up his Miami triumphs (fastest race lap on Saturday and a win on Sunday) by earning pole position in DSB – a first for Jake and the team. Unfortunately, in the race, another rider ran into the back of Gagne’s bike while Jake ran in second place during the early laps. Jake suffered a knee injury and had to sit out Sunday’s race.
“I felt fast right away,” said Gagne. “We pretty much left the bike how it was at Homestead. I had some confidence because I’d been able to test at both of those tracks on this bike. It makes it for an easier weekend when you know the track and the gearing is dialed in and you have a good setup.”
Hayden Gillim won going away on Saturday, dominating en route to an 11-second victory from pole position. Gillim was also strong on Sunday, finishing second, and he was declared the “Big Kahuna” of the SuperSport class. Gillim finished the season in second place in West points in a year highlighted by two victories.
“The bike ran great, and the team gelled really well. I knew I needed to go out and win if I wanted to keep the championship alive on Saturday,” said Gillim. “The race was amazing. I got a good start and worked my way up to the lead and then just managed the gap. I was happy to get the win and our first race where both the RoadRace Factory/Red Bull riders were on the podium. On Sunday, I wish I could have come out with two wins, but Garrett Gerloff ran a fantastic race. I tried, but after a while, I decided to come home second and win the surfboard. I’m excited we’re ending the season with a great weekend.”
J.D Beach was also very strong in New Orleans, taking his second podium of the year on Saturday when the young rider finished third in the ultra-competitive DSB class. He backed that up with fifth place on Sunday by winning a tough battle for the spot.
“I had a good race both times out,” said Beach. “I had crashed twice in practice and made it tough for the mechanics so I was on my backup bike on Saturday. I got a good start and eventually moved my way up to third. I was happy to get on the podium after the weekend started a little rough. We got another top five on Sunday to close out the year.”
Tomas Puerta was in good form, as well. He finished third in the red-flagged race on Saturday in SuperSport and was fourth on Sunday. The Colombian’s past four races (one fourth place, two thirds, and a second) vaulted him to third place in East points.
“Saturday was a good, race and I was second for a while,” said Puerta. “I had a few issues with tucking the front, and I was waiting for the end to make a charge for second. I felt good about my chances but we had a red flag that ended the race, but it is good to be on the podium. On Sunday, we had another good race, and I got fourth. The team did a great job, and I am happy.”
“It was an awesome weekend for the team with Jake winning pole and Hayden winning pole and the SuperSport win and the other podiums,” said RoadRace Factory/Red Bull’s Danny Walker. “The highs were huge and the lows were pretty low. Obviously, we’re bummed for Jake getting on the pole for DSB and then not getting to show what he could do in the races. We felt this was going to be a breakout weekend for him. We scratched up some stuff but all the guys did what we talked about doing – stepping up and going. Everyone was competitive, and we got some great results. It seems crazy that the season is already over. It has been a great year, and it flew by. I’m happy about the whole program. We learned a bunch and made some big steps. That’s what we wanted to do.”