Suzuki remains untouchable

Three straight AMA Superbike 1-2-3 finishes for GSX-R1000

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Apr. 28, 2008
Suzuki swept the podium in both ends of the AMA Superbike doubleheader at the Auto Club Speedway, April 26-27.

Ben Spies led the way with a pair of victories on the Fontana, Calif. track. The two wins ties him with Fred Merkel for third in career AMA Superbike victories with 20, a remarkable achievement for a 23-year-old.

Spies’ win on Saturday made him the first person not named Mat Mladin to win this year. Spies passed his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mladin in lap 13 and widened the gap to a 20.585 second victory. Tommy Hayden completed the hat trick for Suzuki, beating Honda’s Neil Hodgson for the final podium spot.

The trio repeated their results in Sunday’s race, though by a much narrower margin.

Mladin led for most of the second race but Spies managed sneak past him on the final lap to win by 0.011 seconds. Hayden edged out Hodgson again for third.

Mladin still holds a 20-point lead over Spies in the overall standings.Other teams must surely be getting tired of seeing Suzuki's hold on the podium spots.

“We had a completely different Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 today than we did yesterday and it was a good race for us,” says Mladin. “We pretty much led all of it but at the end, we just didn't have it. I made a few small mistakes and gave back a little time that proved costly at the end. I did what I could but just couldn't hang on.”

“Mat definitely made me work for it. I can't believe how fast we were going - we had nothing left at the end of the race, we were pushing the whole time,” says Spies.

The 1-2-3 finish marked three straight sweeps for Rockstar Makita Suzuki. Only Hodgson and Yamaha’s Jason DiSalvo have been able to wrest podium finishes away from Suzuki after five races this season. They and the rest of the field will need to step up at the next race, May 16-18 at Infineon Raceway, to catch up to the GSX-R1000s.

AMA Superbike: Auto Club Speedway Race 1 Results

Pos. Rider Bike Time (s)
1. Ben Spies Suzuki GSX-R1000 --
2. Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 +20.585
3. Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 +34.158
4. Neil Hodgson Honda CBR1000RR +37.608
5. Eric Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R1 +40.097

AMA Superbike: Auto Club Speedway Race 2 Results

Pos. Rider Bike Time (s)
1. Ben Spies Suzuki GSX-R1000 --
2. Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 +0.011
3. Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 +31.329
4. Neil Hodgson Honda CBR1000RR +34.393
5. Jason Disalvo Yamaha YZF-R1 +37.524