Former AMA Superbike champ Josh Herrin will join countrymen Jake Gagne and PJ Jacobsen on the WorldSBK grid at Laguna Seca later this month.
The 28-year-old rider will be pulling duty in both WorldSBK and MotoAmerica Superbike on the same Attack Performance/2 Wheel Legal Yamaha YZF-R1 with the No. 57 plate.
The 2013 AMA Superbike Champion is confident in the unorthodox plan since it is nothing out of the ordinary with team owner Richard Stanboli, with whom they built an entire bike in four weeks prior to coming to an agreement this offseason.
Years earlier, Stanboli had built his own Grand Prix motorcycle and finished in the points with rider Steve Rapp in 2012. The World Championship and MotoAmerica bikes are quite similar with the exception of the tire.
“It will be fun,” said Herrin. “I think our bike will be really competitive. We have a chance to fight in the top 10. We have a good bike right now. The bike is exactly what the World Superbike guys are running without the tires, and we have a great program. The focus on Friday will be adjusting to the Pirelli tyre.”
Herrin is coming off a thrilling MotoAmerica event at Road America where he fought up front in both races and narrowly trailed double-winner Cameron Beaubier at each finish. The momentum of that event in combination with the prospect of finally racing in World Superbike at a home track has Herrin eager for the MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship GEICO Motorcycle U.S. Round featuring MotoAmerica Championship of Monterey.
“I think the team is super pumped to be heading to the weekend at Laguna Seca,” said Herrin. “We’re riding a wave of confidence right now. We should be prepared and ready to fight. Laguna Seca was where I got my first ever professional win in 2007.
“I got my first and second championship here. It’s been a special, special track for me. A lot of it also has to do with Nicky Hayden getting his first MotoGP win there. He was a hero of mine, and I was there to see it.
“Having the support of the entire MotoAmerica fan base is a really big deal, too. Fans who are usually rooting for Toni Elias or Cameron Beaubier or Garrett Gerloff or anyone else in MotoAmerica will be rooting for all three of the Americans in World Superbike.
“That is something really special and motivating. It’s cool to race against some of my buddies that I’ve raced with in the past. P.J. Jacobsen is a kid who I kind of grew up around and raced 600s with back in the day. I grew up racing with Jake Gagne. This is something totally special that I’ve always wanted to do.”