Ducati rider Danilo Petrucci reclaimed the overall lead in the MotoAmerica Superbike class with his fourth win of the season at Brainerd on Sunday after Jake Gagne (Yamaha) slipped up.
After his MotoGP career and Dakar adventure, Danilo Petrucci is experiencing his third spring this winter. The Italian, who competes for the HSBK Racing Ducati NY team in the Superbike category of MotoAmerica, finished in a strong third place in the first race on Saturday after a driving error and subsequent visit to the gravel bed.
Victory on the four-kilometer course in Minnesota went to current champion Jake Gagne of the Fresh N Lean Progressive Yamaha team. Gagne clinched his eighth win of the season by 5.3 seconds over teammate Cameron Petersen of South Africa. Gagne also previously fought for pole position at Brainerd International Raceway.
For the second race on Sunday, Gagne, who is a prime candidate for a place in the 2023 GRT Yamaha team in the Superbike World Championship, also had his sights set on a triumphant ride. The 29-year-old got off to a decent start in the 18-lap race. During the course of the race he pulled away from his opponents, but on lap 13 the Yamaha rider fell out of the competition.
Danilo Petrucci, who was about two seconds behind Gagne at the time, took the opportunity. He picked up the laurels and won his fourth race this year. With his Panigale V4R he has already been on the MotoAmerica podium in twelve of 14 races. Petersen finished second behind “Petrux”.
Third place went to PJ Jacobsen from the Tytlers Cycle Racing team. The American clinched his second podium this year, and it was even fourth of the season for the BMW M 1000 RR. Title contender Mathew Scholtz (Yamaha) was unable to take part in Sunday’s race after injuring his wrist on Saturday. Suzuki driver Richie Escalante was also injured.
In the championship, Petrucci has regained the overall lead with three race weekends to go before the end of the season. The 31-year-old Italian is now 13 points ahead of Gagne and already 38 points ahead of Petersen. The next races will take place in Pittsburgh from August 19th to 21st.
The weekend in Minnesota was overshadowed by the death of Superstock rider Scott Briody on Friday.
Result Brainerd race 1:
1. Jake Gagne, Yamaha, 18 Rdn.
2. Cameron Petersen, Yamaha, + 5,338 sec
3. Danilo Petrucci, Ducati, +11,605
4. Mathew Scholtz, Yamaha, + 20,993
5. PJ Jacobsen, BMW, + 36,519
6. Hayden Gillim, Suzuki, + 37,728
Result Brainerd race 2:
1. Danilo Petrucci, Ducati, 18 Rdn.
2. Cameron Petersen, Yamaha, + 7,156
3. PJ Jacobsen, BMW, + 17,608
4. Hayden Gillim, Suzuki, + 28,831
5. Hector Barbera, BMW, + 31,908
6. Ashton Yates, BMW, + 32,151
Status after 14 of 20 races:
1. Petrucci, 253 points
2. Gagne, 240
3. Petersen, 215
4. Scholtz, 183
5. Barbera, 133
6. Jacobsen, 118