Jake Gagne will compete in his first full WorldSBK season next year after signing for Red Bull Honda. The American, who appeared in six races for the team in 2017, will join the Ten Kate squad full-time alongside new signing Leon Camier.
Gagne initially joined the team in tragic circumstances after the passing of Nicky Hayden before substituting for the injured Stefan Bradl later in the campaign and the 24-year-old impressed, scoring points on five occasions. With some WorldSBK experience already behind him, Gagne is excited for the challenge and believes he will step up once the action gets underway at Phillip Island in February.
“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. I cannot thank Red Bull, Honda and Ten Kate enough for the opportunity to race the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade SP2 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!”
Red Bull Honda’s Operations Manager Marco Chini believes Gagne did enough in his replacement outings to justify the spot for 2018 and expects him to compliment Camier well.
“We are delighted to have Jake on board for the 2018 season. He picked up the challenge this year and jumped on our Fireblade without prior testing and did well at Laguna Seca, 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 forward to seeing him on track very soon and we’re sure American fans will be happy to cheer him on.”