Photography by Brian J. Nelson
AMA Daytona SportBike Championship runner-up Jake Gagne will return to the Red Bull RoadRace Factory team for the 2014 season. He will be joined on the team by 2013 AMA SuperSport Series Champion Tomas Puerta, with the Colombian rider set to make the move up to the Daytona SportBike class.
Gagne was the only rider in the series other than Monster Graves Yamaha’s Cameron Beaubier to win a Daytona SportBike race in 2013 with his victory coming at Road America. The San Diego, California, native also posted podium finishes in every race except for two as he was slowed at the end of the season with an broken collarbone that required surgery.
The coming season will mark Puerta’s rookie effort in the Daytona SportBike after he won both the overall Supersport class title and the West division title. In his lone Daytona SportBike race in the season finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Puerta was eighth.
Red Bull will again back the team as it starts its third season in the AMA Pro Racing paddock.
"2013 was by far an incredible year for us as a team and a family,” said team manager/owner Danny Walker. “We exceeded the expectations of the racing critics and captured the attention of the fans and factories. I'm really excited about our prospects for 2014. We have Red Bull back and much of the same crew returning to support Jake and Tomas. Jake is an incredible talent and we are lucky to have him return to fight for and possibly win the championship this season. Tomas… we knew this kid was special and when he showed the boys what he could do at Laguna it was a 'no brainier.' Having won the overall SuperSport series title and looking to step up, we welcome Tomas with open arms. We expect that he'll be a top-five contender all season long and continue to excel race to race.
“Our goals are simple, capture the championship, work with talented riders who can go on as ambassadors of the sport, and promote the series and sponsors. We fully expect to see RoadRace Factory/Red Bull on the box every weekend."
Walker says the team will announce its Supersport program shortly.