Champion Chat: Jake Gagne (Part 2) is continued from AMA Pro Racing’s website. Click here to read Part 1.
M1: Are you going to be instructing at the RoadRace Factory Schools this year?
JG: Absolutely, I think all of the RoadRace Factory riders will be there if possible. Obviously we’re going to be helping out American Supercamp and will be going to all of the RoadRace Factory Schools that we can get to. I’ve ridden the bikes in Colorado and they are a blast, they’re so fun.
M1: You pretty much grew up racing against all three of your teammates, Hayden Gillim, Tomas Puerta and JD Beach, as well right?
JG: Yeah, I raced with Hayden and Tomas my first year in the Rookies Cup, and we all got to race JD a little bit when we had the European versus the U.S. deal they put on. Then in SuperSport at Daytona I got to race against JD and those guys a little bit. We’ve all been on the same track time and time before, so it’ll be good to get back on track with them.
M1: Tell us more about the bikes that are going to be used at the RoadRace Factory School.
JG: They’re Yamaha 250s that are set up basically as Supermoto-style bikes with street tires that they lowered down, put on different wheels and bigger brakes. They’re a lot of fun, they replicate a road race bike as close as you can get with a lot fewer consequences if you crash, and a lot cheaper as well. You can throw these things down the road, because that’s a part of learning, and you won’t have to pay big bucks like you would if you were riding a full on Yamaha R6 or R1. They’re perfect learning tools.
M1: How’s the dynamic between you and your teammates, do you feel it will help you push each other to your full potential?
JG: JD and I will be in the AMA Pro GoPro Daytona SportBike class and I feel that we will both be really strong. We’ve got a good crew and a good program put together. The AMA Pro Motorcycle-Superstore.com SuperSport guys, Hayden and Tomas, are going to be really strong too. I couldn’t be more excited about this year. We’re just going to keep improving and keep learning, which is the biggest thing, and just have fun.
M1: During the 2008 season of the Red Bull U.S. Rookies Cup you raced at VIR during the Big Kahuna event, right?
JG: Yeah, I’m stoked. I’ve known Cameron and I-San for a while and the Big Kahuna events are what I am most excited for this year. Those guys know how to put on a show. Not just the racing and us on the track, but all of the activity around it that all of the fans get to experience. It’s just something different and fun, and to have a cool experience.
M1: What’s your favorite part about the Big Kahuna events, is it the trophy girls on victory lane, the crazy baby tigers they have roaming around?
JG: The trophy girls are nice, right? There’s always cool stuff, it’s like a party in the pits basically. There’s always something to do when you’re roaming around the pits, even for us riders when we’re not on track. It’s just a fun weekend, not only because we get to race motorcycles but everything about the event.