AMA Superbike: 2009 New Jersey results

Mladin ends AMA Pro Racing career

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Sep. 09, 2009
Josh Hayes capped off the 2009 AMA American Superbike season with four wins in a row including a double at the Sept. 5-6 finale at New Jersey Motorsports Park.

The two Superbike wins, number six and seven in the Yamaha rider’s career, moved Hayes to second in the final rider standings behind Rockstar Maktia Suzuki’s Mat Mladin who had already clinched the championship.

Mladin and Hayes dueled all weekend. Starting from the pole, Mladin led the first seven laps of Race One before Hayes assumed the lead on lap eight. Despite having already secured his seventh AMA Superbike title and announced his impending retirement, Mladin continued to compete, re-taking the lead on lap 12 of the 23 lap race.

With Hayes continuing to apply pressure, however, Mladin lowsided going into turn one on the following lap, ending his race. Mladin was not hurt in the crash but Hayes was allowed to race unchallenged the rest of the way for the win.

Josh Hayes takes the inside line on Tommy Hayden.

Mladin’s teammate, Tommy Hayden finished second while Aaron Yates was third for Jordan Suzuki.

Race One ended with controversy after Foremost Ducati rider Larry Pegram and privateer Suzuki rider Johnny Rock Page were involved in an altercation in the pit area. Pegram claimed Page blocked him near the end of the race, causing him to lose fourth place to Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom. Page, meanwhile, claimed Pegram tried to take him out during the cool-down lap.

Both riders filed protests, and before Race Two, AMA Pro Racing sided with Pegram and suspended Page indefinitely for violating rule A2.3 i. involving “engaging in any unfair practice, misbehavior or action detrimental to the sport of motorcycling in general, whether or not related to a specific comepetition.” Page was suspended earlier in the season for failure to acknowledge a blue flag and impeding the race leaders at Mid-Ohio.

Mat Mladin celebrates his final AMA race with his family.Race Two featured another battle between Hayes and Mladin, with Hayden in the mix as well. The three riders traded the lead several times before Hayes emerged ahead on lap 15. Hayes made a final attempt for the lead in the closing laps but instead lowsided.

“I really wanted to win a race before the year was over and I wanted to try and get second in the championship, and I knew that one would take care of the other,” says Hayden. “I just made a little mistake, went in a corner a little too hot and lost the front. It’s a shame. On the one hand, I’m bummed and on the other hand, I left it all out there and that was one thing I wanted to make sure and do today. We learned a lot and we’re looking forward to next year.”

Competing in his final AMA Superbike race, Mladin finished second despite having problems with his transmission.

“Today was a really good race,” says Mladin. “I felt pretty good for most of it. I really didn't want to be in second place and I was trying to lead and was doing as much as I could from the front. We put it in as much as we could. About 10 laps to go, I couldn’t get the thing in fifth gear. I had to go straight through to sixth and in the end we just couldn’t keep up.”

Yates finished third to complete the podium.

2009 AMA American Superbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 453
2nd Josh Hayes Yamaha YZF-R1 406
3rd Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 373
4th Larry Pegram Ducati 1098R 347
5th Ben Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R1 333