AMA Superbike: Mid-Ohio preview

Mladin trails Spies by 36 points

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jul. 31, 2008
A week after hosting AMA Vintage Days, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course changes gears to welcome the racing stars and bikes of today with the eighth round of the 2008 AMA Superbike Championship, Aug. 1-3.

Mat Mladin arrives at the Lexington, Ohio track on a two-race win streak after victories July 20 at Laguna Seca and June 8 in the second half of the Road America doubleheader. Despite his recent success, Mladin still trails his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Ben Spies by 36 points in the championship standings.

Spies, meanwhile, will race at Mid-Ohio after undergoing laparoscopic appendix surgery July 22 after reportedly feeling feverish and nauseous after competing in a MotoGP race and an AMA Superbike race at Laguna Seca.

“Sometimes in this profession you’ve got to go out there even when you’re not 100 percent,” says Spies. “I’m a fast healer and my doctors know my situation and we are helping me to get back to health as quickly as possible. Despite his recent victories, Mat Mladin still trails Ben Spies in the season standings.We’ve got a long way to go in the championship and I want to get back to winning races as quick as possible.”

Sitting in third in the championship standings is Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking who also raced in both MotoGP and AMA Superbike races at Laguna Seca. Hacking narrowly missed earning his seventh straight podium finish at Laguna Seca, falling 0.05 seconds behind Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates. His fourth place finish was enough to pass American Honda’s Neil Hodgson in the season standings.

Also looking to challenge at Mid-Ohio are the brothers Hayden. Rockstar Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Roger Hayden both returned to the AMA Championship at Laguna Seca after missing several races due to various injuries. Tommy and Roger Hayden shook off the rust at Laguna Seca to finish fifth and sixth respectively, and with another two weeks between races to return to full health, the brothers from Owensboro, Ky. could be real threats to the series leaders at Mid-Ohio.

Race One at Mid-Ohio is scheduled to start Aug. 2 at 3:30 pm ET and Race Two Aug. 3 at 3 pm ET.

AMA Superbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Ben Spies Suzuki GSX-R1000 411
2nd Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 375
3rd Jamie Hacking Kawasaki ZX-10R 319
4th Neil Hodgson Honda CBR1000RR 317
5th Jason DiSalvo Yamaha YZF-R1 288