Gagne to fill Hayden’s spot at Laguna Seca

Red Bull Honda have confirmed that US rider Jake Gagne will take its second rider spot for the American round of Superbikes at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

Gagne will fill the seat left vacant following the tragic death of Nicky Hayden in May.

Stefan Bradl has raced as Honda’s sole representative at Donington and Misano since Hayden’s passing in May.

The 24-year-old currently rides in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship for the Genuine Broaster Chicken Honda team.

Gagne won the Red Bull Rookies Cup in 2010 aged 18 and took part in the Moto2 Championship in 2011.

He has also won the Daytona SportBike Championship in 2014 and the MotoAmerica Superstock 1000 Championship in 2015.

“For me this is a dream come true and a huge honour to get an opportunity to race in the World Superbike Championship with such a prestigious team,” said Gagne.

“This is a huge opportunity and I am going to do everything I can to do the best job possible and learn as much as I can.

“The loss of Nicky was very difficult for us all but I know he will be watching over us and I hope I can make him proud.

“Laguna Seca will always be a very special track for him and I’m honoured to get out there in front of our home crowd and show what I can do.”

The arrangement only applies to the US round on July 7-9, with no word on whether it will be extended.