Suzuki stumbles…slightly

Spies victorious but Mladin off his pace

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Jun. 02, 2008
Ben Spies picked up a pair of wins at the AMA Superbike stop at Miller Motorsports Park, but the big news was that his Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Mat Mladin did not make the podium in either race.

In a season that has seen the GSX-R1000 dominate from race to race, things got interesting early in the first race on May 31. Mladin was right behind Spies at the start when he lost the front end and crashed on lap two. Mladin was able to get up but his bike was too damaged to continue.

In the second race, Mladin was less than his usual dominant self and finished seconds short of a podium spot.

“I reckon [Saturday’s] crash banged me up a little bit more than I thought. There’s nothing seriously wrong or anything but I was pretty stiff and not 100 per cent,” says Mladin. “I’m not making any excuses; we just didn’t get it done [Sunday]. Now I’m just going to focus on rebuilding my confidence for next week’s race at Road America where we won a race last year and have had some success in the past.”Even without his teammate Mat Mladin pushing him, Ben Spies remained at the head of the pack, winning both races at Miller Motorsports Park.

Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking took advantage of Mladin’s misfortunes to earn a pair of second-place finishes. He has now reached the podium in four straight races. Neil Hodgson took third in both races for Honda.

The two victories put Spies ahead of Mladin for the championship lead with 308 points. Mladin moves to second with 269 points while Hodgson sits in third with 239.

Jake Zemke edged out Erion Honda teammate Josh Hayes by 0.132 seconds for the win in Supersport racing, ending Yamaha’s winning streak at four. The win puts Zemke in a tie with Graves Motorsports Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom for the series lead, but Bostrom holds the edge with three wins to one for the season.

Zemke traded the lead with Hayes and M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Blake Young for much of the race. Young made a final push on the last lap and was poised to take the lead when his bike started to slow on the end stretch and he coasted in with a disappointing sixth place finish. Young’s teammate, Cory West flew past him for third place to earn his first career AMA podium.

Zemke and Hayes had similar success in the AMA Formula Xtreme Series race with an identical one-two finish while Kawasaki’s Steve Rapp rounded out the podium in third.

In Superstock action, Geoff May of Jordan Suzuki earned his first career AMA win while teammate and fellow Georgian Aaron Yates came in second. Jake Holden followed in third place for Honda.

AMA Superbike - Miller Motorsports Park race 1 results

Pos. Rider Bike Time
1. Ben Spies Suzuki GSX-R1000 --
2. Jamie Hacking Kawasaki ZX-10R +1.601
3. Neil Hodgson Honda CBR1000RR +5.123
4. Aaron Yates Suzuki GSX-R1000 +5.264
5. Miguel DuHamel Suzuki GSX-R1000 +9.692

AMA Superbike - Miller Motorsports Park race 2 results

Pos. Rider Bike Time
1. Ben Spies Suzuki GSX-R1000 --
2. Jamie Hacking Kawasaki ZX-10R +6.898
3. Neil Hodgson Honda CBR1000RR +14.703
4. Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 +17.331
5. Aaron Yates Honda CBR1000RR +26.424