AMA Superbike: 2009 Barber results

Seven in a row for no. 7

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, May. 04, 2009
Not even a tornado could stand in the way Mat Mladin’s AMA American Superbike winning streak.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mladin is a perfect seven-for-seven after a pair of victories May 2-3 at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala. The wins were Mladin’s 78th and 79th career AMA Superbike wins, but the first on the 2009 Suzuki GSX-R1000.

Mladin began race one from the pole but dropped back to fourth on the opening lap. Mladin’s teammate Blake Young and factory Yamaha rider Ben Bostrom, who topped all riders in recent Infineon Raceway test sessions, traded the early lead until Mladin took over on lap six of the 21-lap race.

“It started off pretty good there,” says Young. “After getting out front, I really wanted to see what the track was like. It was obviously really green and not very much grip, but I just tried to get comfortable and put in a pace that I was comfortable doing. Ben came by and he was running a bit quicker, so I definitely just jumped in and tried to learn where he was a little bit better. All of a sudden, Mat came by and he was running even more of a quicker pace, so I knew he was going to go.”

Young and Bostrom battled for second through the remainder of the race with Young finishing a quarter-second ahead.

Mat Mladin leads Ben Bostrom on his way to another victory at Barber Motorsports Park.“I think it was a fantastic ride and the Yamaha worked amazing,” says Bostrom. “The boys here (Mladin and Young) are out-riding us a little bit and made a couple of amazing passes on me. Mat about scared the (crap) out of me, honestly. It was good racing.”

Severe storms delayed Sunday’s activities for several hours, forcing officials to shorten race two to 16 laps.

In a repeat of race one, Mladin dropped back from the pole in the opening lap, but was able to take the lead after the second lap by overtaking Yamaha’s Josh Hayes. The race was then interrupted a few laps later after Young crashed while battling with Hayes on turn five. The safety car was brought out as an ambulance brought Young to the medical center.

Racing resumed after lap nine with Mladin cruising to a 2.745-second victory. Mladin’s 79th career win moved him within seven of Miguel Duhamel’s record of 86 wins.

“I’ve had seven in a row, and obviously nobody has had any more than seven before so we’ll see if we can go to Infineon and get another one,” says Mladin. “The bike worked great today, we found some stuff out this morning in the warm up. I had a completely different motorcycle this afternoon and very similar lap times to what I did this morning even with the condition of the track.”

Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates finished second for his career best Superbike result. Bostrom repeated his race one result with a third-place finish. After the race, Bostrom credited his team for their efforts and took it on himself for not returning the favor with a victory.

“The boys are doing a great job,” says Bostrom. “They definitely built a winning bike today and the rider didn’t put it all together. That’s rider error. The R1 is fantastic. These guys just out-rode us today so congratulations to Suzuki, Aaron and Mat.”

Meanwhile Young was transferred to the University of Alabama at Birmingham Medical Center for treatment.

The 2009 AMA Superbike series continues May 15-17 at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif.

2009 AMA American Superbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 220
2nd Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 143
3rd Geoff May Suzuki GSX-R1000 122
4th Blake Young Suzuki GSX-R1000 114
5th Ben Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R1 113