AMA American Superbike Fontana results

Race one decided by 0.068 seconds

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Mar. 23, 2009
Mat Mladin pulled out the double victory, March 21-22 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., but Tommy Hayden gave him flashbacks of a former teammate.

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mladin earned his second-consecutive Superpole to start in front for race one but it was his teammate Hayden that jumped out to an early advantage. Mladin recovered to take the lead on the second lap of the 19 lap race. Hayden stayed close until lap nine when he retook the lead.

Mladin recaptured the lead with two laps remaining but Hayden came back to the front on the final lap. Hayden was moments away from his first Superbike win when Mladin made one final challenge on turn 10 to come out ahead. The two Suzuki GSX-R1000s sprinted to the line with Mladin winning by 0.068 seconds.

“I had a pretty good pace, good rhythm and the laps were pretty consistent but Mat wasn’t going anywhere,” says Hayden.  “I was plus zero the whole way. I tried to get through the lappers clean and I felt that I struggled a little bit with those, I could have been a little more aggressive and it would have helped me out. Overall it was a good race and a good start to the season. It’s a little disappointing to be that close but it’s where I wanted to be at this part of the year, to be close to Mat, see what he does and try to learn from him and at least challenge for victories. I feel like I’ve made that step and now I just have to work on closing them out.”

Mat Mladin holds off teammate Tommy Hayden.National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Geoff May finished third to complete an all-Gixxer podium.

Race two began with a red flag but once the racing resumed, Hayden took the holeshot for the early lead. Mladin soon took over the lead with Hayden close behind in second just ahead of Jordan Suzuki’s May and Aaron Yates.

Hayden retook the lead on lap seven but Mladin, not eager to repeat the close finish from race one, regained the lead on lap ten and surged ahead to win by 8.759 seconds.

“I think I’m going to have a chat with Suzuki about the teammates they keep signing up for me,” says Mladin, referring to Hayden and his former teammate and rival Ben Spies. “At the start I wanted to have a look and see what Tommy had in a few spots. There were a couple of spots yesterday that we were definitely lacking compared to Tommy and we learned a little bit from him and changed the bike. We had no chance to try it out this morning but went with it for the race and definitely were able to keep that gap between us a little bit better in those spots today.”

Foremost Pegram Ducati’s Larry Pegram edged out May to claim the third podium position, rebounding from a race one highside crash on the first lap.

“We crashed yesterday, so I was in some pain today,” says Pegram. “I got a little tired towards the end of the race, and I was definitely a little too tentative at the beginning of it and let those guys get away.”

AMA Pro Racing announced after the race that Mladin was placed on probation for skipping out on a mandatory autograph session. Riders Michael Beck, Kevin Boisvert, Mark Simon and Dustin O’Hara were also placed on probation for missing the autograph signing.

2009 AMA American Superbike: Fontana race one top five results
Pos. Rider Bike Time
1st Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 -
2nd Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 +0.068
3rd Geoff May Suzuki GSX-R1000 +13.542
4th Blake Young Suzuki GSX-R1000 +18.869
5th Jake Holden Honda CBR1000RR +21.725

2009 AMA American Superbike: Fontana race two top five results
Pos. Rider Bike Time
1st Mat Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000 -
2nd Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000 +8.759
3rd Larry Pegram Ducati 1098R +13.371
4th Geoff May Suzuki GSX-R1000 +13.584
5th Ben Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R1 +19.655