[NPI Float="left"]/Media/0/jpg/2009/7/cce7cb6c-3048-99b7-5202518e73a0c0be.jpg[/NPI]Donington, England
—American Jake Gagne continued his Red Bull MotoGP Rookies Cup success on Saturday in England, earning his third straight top-five finish in the race at Donington.
The 15-year-old Ramona resident, racing against a field of elite teen racers from around the globe, capped off his hectic and challenging race with a last-lap, last-corner pass to complete his trifecta of top-five finishes in the Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom.
“I got a really good start and was in the group running up front,” said Gagne. “There was a lot of crazy passes in the group and all it really did was let Jakub (Kornfeil) get away and hurt everyone else’s chance for the win. I really got frustrated, but I managed to work up to second place and tried to go after Jakub.”
Halfway through the race, Gagne was in second place when he hit a curb awkwardly. It forced him wide and he dropped back into sixth position, possibly damaging his rear shock on his KTM RC 125 and making the rest of his race even more difficult.
“It was pretty ‘squirrelly’ after that and I kept losing the rear. I wasn’t real comfortable and made some mistakes,” said Gagne, in his second season of roadracing. “The good part is I was able to battle back and make a pass at the very end to get back in the top five.”
Despite the drama, Gagne regrouped and gained back time. He worked his way past Florian Marino on the last lap, crossing the line just 0.148 seconds in front of the French racer. Gagne earned the finish line less than half a second behind third-place finisher Daijiro Hiura of Japan, showing how close he came to finishing on the podium three races in a row.
With just two races in the Czech Republic to go, Gagne is the top American in seventh place in the season’s points.
“We’re gaining momentum and I am learning a lot,” said Jake. “I’m keeping it on two wheels and making progress against some great competition.
“I can’t wait to race at the next event at Brno and my goal is to go for the win and the podium again.”
Jake Gagne’s 2009 sponsors are: Alpinestars, Arai Helmets, Kevin Schwantz schools, American Supercamp, KTM North America, Precision Concepts Racing, JD Built, Spy Optics, AP Designs, All American KTM, Ready Filter, Factory Backing, Ramona Cycle Supply and Rickypics.com.