Second and first in the two KTM RC Cup races held last year at Road Atlanta, Paasch qualified fifth and finished fifth on Saturday and—following a dramatic final corner pass on Honda-mounted Benny Solis—fourth on Sunday.
Paasch is already close enough to the front that he has been able to watch and learn from top riders, including defending Supersport Champion Garrett Gerloff and Sunday's winner, M4 Suzuki teammate Valentin Debise.
“Even if it’s only three corners in practice, I’ve been learning a ton behind those guys—where they are braking, when they get on the gas, how hard they get on the gas.
“I look at it as, ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’ And then I try it. Sometimes, I can do it, and sometimes, I can’t. If I can’t, I come in, we make some changes, and then I do it.”
Paasch feels welcome in the M4 Suzuki squad. “They are all so experienced,” he said. “They know what they are doing, so I need to know what I am doing.
“Everybody has a couple of mechanics, Ken Hill is coaching us, and I’m still working with the doctor [Dr. Laura Ellis]. I can’t wait for the rest of the year.”
Paasch says his goal this season is the same as it has always been: win as many races as he can. “I don’t care who I’m racing,” he said. “It’s just another bike and some other riders.”
“By the end of the year, I expect to be a regular on the podium. I’ll keep chipping away. From COTA to Road Atlanta, we reduced the gap to the leaders. Now, we’re pretty close.”