MotoAmerica star Jake Gagne will make his World Superbike debut as stand-in rider for Red Bull Honda alongside Stefan Bradl at Laguna Seca.

After the tragic loss of Nicky Hayden in a cycling incident in Italy in May, Red Bull Honda has tentatively been looking for a replacement rider to partner Bradl and for the American round will call up Gagne.

Gagne, who is Red Bull backed and won the Red Bull MotoGP Rookies' Cup in 2010, competes against Hayden's brother Roger Hayden in MotoAmerica and currently sits 10th in the riders' championship after the opening eight races.

The 24-year-old rider seems a natural fit competing in MotoAmerica for Honda and will be very familiar with the Laguna Seca circuit. Gagne is thrilled to get the call up and hopes to honour the memory of Hayden at his home round this weekend.

"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," Gagne said. "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.

"It seems like a great fit coming off a Honda Superbike here in the States, as well as having Red Bull as the team sponsor, as they have supported me throughout my whole career."

Team boss Ronald ten Kate feels it is an appropriate way to honour Hayden's memory by giving an opportunity to a young American rider at his home event.

"Jake is a young and talented racer who already knows the Fireblade quite well from racing in the MotoAmerica Superbike Championship and has raced - and won - many times at Laguna Seca," ten Kate said. "We are looking forward to welcoming him within the team and giving him the best possible support for his World Superbike debut.

"I'm confident he will enjoy the experience and will do his very best in front of his home crowd. Nicky was known for his great support of young riders - especially his fellow Americans - and was always available for a chat and to offer advice, so I feel this is the perfect way to honour him at Laguna Seca."

Red Bull Honda is yet to confirm a full-time replacement for Hayden but rumours have begun speculating interest in Leon Camier, who is currently racing for MV Agusta, but the team is unlikely to name an official replacement until the end of the 2017 season.

Last year Pata Yamaha called up MotoAmerica rider Cameron Beaubier as stand-in for the injured Sylvain Guintoli at Donington Park.

The World Superbike championship heads to Laguna Seca on the 7-9 July.

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Good to see Honda finding an American to fill-in. On a side note, he looks like an American version of Jack Miller.

I believe Jake trains with the Hayden's and was a bud of Nicky's.
Great choice.

A good decision I think.

Great choice, and a great surname, too! It means 'To Win' in French!

Don't get to follow MotoAmerica series so I don't know anything about Jake but I doubt many people will object to an American rider getting the call up