A charging Jake Gagne claimed ninth place in the penultimate race of the 2018 WorldSBK season, earning a second row start for Race 2.
After a difficult opening day, the Red Bull Honda WorldSBK Team bounced back on Friday at the Losail International Circuit. Both Leon Camier and Jake Gagne started the day well in Free Practice 4 and were confident of challenging for the top two positions in Superpole 1. With a 1’57.555, over a second faster than he had been before SP1, Camier cruised through to Superpole 2 as the fastest rider. He would eventually earn tenth place on the grid, Gagne starting from 14th for the opening race.
The lights went out and Gagne immediately began to charge forward, making up two places on the opening lap. Gagne set a steady string of laps to break away from the chasing group, led by his team-mate Camier. His steady pace paid off towards the end of the race as Gagne picked off the likes of Savadori and Razgatlioglu for ninth place, missing out on eighth by a mere 0.061s as he and Chaz Davies dragged to the line. Gagne will now line up in sixth place on the second row for Race 2.
Having lost places at the start, Camier was eager to recover and chase down Gagne but got caught in traffic. While trying to regain positions the Brit unfortunately slid off at Turn 12, ending his race prematurely but escaping injury.
After taking ninth place in the opening race, Gagne increases his points haul to 64, just a point off 16th place in the championship. Camier continues to hold 12th overall.
The final race of 2018 will begin at 1900 local time (GMT +3) tomorrow, Camier and Gagne both looking to sign off the season in style.