AMA Superbike: 2009 VIR results

Mladin clinches seventh title

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 17, 2009
Mat Mladin clinched an unprecedented seventh AMA Superbike championship at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. Aug. 15-16.

The Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider finished second in Race One on Saturday and followed with a ninth-place result in Race Two on Sunday. Mladin leaves Virginia with 427 points and an insurmountable 79-point lead over teammate Tommy Hayden with only two AMA American Superbike races left in the 2009 season.

Its nice to get it done and tie it up, says Mladin, who previously announced he will retire at the end of the season. Thats about it really, weve done a lot of hard work at the start of the year and then, the last couple of months, been going through the motions. These guys will battle it out from now on and into the future. Its been a great career and Im really looking forward to being able to go for a run every day because I want to, not because I have to.

Mat Mladin celebrates his seventh AMA Superbike title.

Though Mladin may have claimed the 2009 campaign, the VIR round belonged to Yamahas Josh Hayes who won both races to give him five victories for the year. Hayes won the first race by a ten-second margin and finished just under seven seconds ahead of Hayden in Race Two. Starting from the pole, Hayes jumped out to an early lead in Race One and never trailed. Hayes led all but the first lap in Race Two.

All of these guys have been riding great this weekend, says Hayes. Todays race was considerably faster than yesterday. Everybody was just riding good and the R1 was definitely the bike to have this weekend. Congratulations to these guys. Congratulations to Mat, hes a deserving champion. Hes won all of these races, he deserves it and I hate that hes going away because hes definitely someone that we learn from on the race track. Congratulations to him.

Hayes second win came after his wife Melissa Paris fractured her right leg early in the first Daytona Sportbike race.

Josh Hayes earned his second weekend sweep of the year.
Tommy Hayden and Ben Bostrom battled for the podium in Race Two.

Thats never easy and no one likes seeing someone they love get hurt, says Hayes. Melissas a racer and shes tough too. When I saw her in the medical center she hadnt shed a tear yet. Shes tough, you know. When I got into this I knew part of being a motorcycle racer is sometimes you fall down, you break bones, things like that happen. Had she hit her head, something like that, it might have been a tougher story today. A broken leg is terrible, but its part of this sport.

Had I not won today, it would have been really tough to show my face to her again after yesterday and Im really glad I could do this, and do it for her.

Hayes teammate, Ben Bostrom also had a successful weekend with a pair of third-place results.

I didn't think I had much for Josh today, he was really, really unstoppable this weekend, says Bostrom. Mat and Josh are pretty incredible here, and Tommys had a lot of wins as well. I did enjoy the race actually, it was pretty hairball at the first turn. The Yamaha was great, it went through the guys and by the time I got back up to second I had either used up myself or my tire. I dont usually get to race Tommy, that was enjoyable. Josh set sail. Mat was chillin out, like Ive got this thing worked out and Ive won the war. The worst thing about it is losing Mat Mladin, hes the greatest champion weve had in this sport and the benchmark for every one of us. Its the reason Im riding this class, this year, I came to race him.

The 2009 AMA American Superbike season concludes Sept. 4-6 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.

2009 AMA American Superbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 427
2nd Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 348
3rd Josh Hayes Yamaha YZF-R1 344
4th Ben Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R1 315
5th Larry Pegram Ducati 1098R 313