Honda Racing in MotoAmerica for 2017
American Honda announced its official US race team for 2017 MotoAmerica in a multi-year sponsorship deal with Genuine Broaster Chicken. Jake Gagne will campaign the all-new flagship Honda CBR1000RR SP2 in the MotoAmerica Superbike class under the Roadrace Factory/Danny Walker management team out of Wisconsin.
Jake Gagne, 23, is a veteran road racer, and has competed in the Red Bull Rookies Cup, Spanish CEV championship, and even as a Moto2 wildcard. He won the AMA Pro Daytona SportBike (now Supersport) title in 2014, and the following year dominated the Superstock 1000 class, claiming 13 victories in 2015 en route to taking the title.
In 2016 Gagne moved up to the Superbike class and finished tenth. Gagne is very excited for 2017 and the move to Honda, although he hasn’t yet ridden the new bike. “I’ve heard great things about the bike and I’ll be taking it for a couple of informal test sessions probably this week, likely at Chuckwalla,” he said.
As an ex-motocross racer Jake also mentioned he’s about to take delivery of a new Honda CRF450R: “A lot of my physical training is based on motocross” he said “so I’m excited to ride the Honda 450 and get that underway too.”
Ultimate Motorcycling was there for the announcement event at the HRC facility in Torrance, Calif., and we were happy to see the passion from not just Gagne and Walker, but also the Honda executive personnel who have been working hard towards Honda’s official return to the national series for some years.
Mike Snyder (Senior Manager, Motorcycle Marketing) said that “the new CBR1000RR SP2 is specifically designed for race homologation. It’s a clear indication that Honda wants to go racing again.”
There is also genuine enthusiasm from Jay Cipra, CEO of Broaster Chicken. “It’s the people, without doubt” Cipra told us when we asked what most attracted him to MotoAmerica. “The passionate enthusiasm and knowledge of everyone involved is very impressive. It’s a great fit for us.”
L.A.M Phelan invented the “Broasted” chicken process in 1954, a revolutionary method of preparing chicken and other foods that combines both pressure cooking and deep frying. The company is still based in Wisconsin, and Genuine Broaster Chicken can now be found in approximately 4,000 retail outlets around the US.
Cipra looks forward to developing the direction of where the sponsorship will take the company: “I want to update our image a little, and the excitement and edginess of motorcycle road racing will help us do that. We will be advertising the race team in all our outlets with cardboard stand-up displays and window promotions.”
Genuine Broaster Chicken is serious about its involvement with both American Honda and MotoAmerica. That a non-endemic, national-level brand sees a synergy with road racing and a top-tier company and competitor like American Honda, has to be good news. Momentum is clearly building for the MotoAmerica road racing series; fans will be excited to see it continue to grow, and with the support of quality companies like Genuine Broaster Chicken and American Honda hopefully we will see newcomers added to the sport as well.
The full MotoAmerica season will be broadcast on the beIN Sport cable channel, schedule to be announced.