Mladin wins 70th AMA Superbike race

Rockstar Suzuki claims 40th straight victory

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 05, 2008
Mat Mladin claimed two victories, including his 70th AMA Superbike win, Aug. 2-3 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

The Saturday race began sluggishly with several restarts, including a red flag waved after Mladin and Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking crashed on the ninth turn of the first lap. Both riders reportedly slipped on a wet spot created after a cooler spilled onto the track from the overhead spectator bridge. The three restarts forced officials to shorten the length of the race to 19 laps from the planned 26.

Once things got started, Mladin raced to victory to claim Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki’s 40th consecutive AMA Superbike win. The Suzuki dominance continued with Mladin’s teammate Ben Spies finishing second.

“It was a long day for everyone, with three red flags, but that’s the way it goes sometimes,” says Mladin. “I would have preferred to have gotten a full 26- lap race in because we don't seem to do it very much here at Mid-Ohio. But I’m happy to get the win, and it was a good day for us.”

Hacking finished third for his seventh podium finish of the season.

Mat Mladin and Rockstar Suzuki reached some important milestones at Mid-Ohio.“There was so much stop and go, it’s all blended together,” says Hacking. “I felt really good today and I think we could have really contested for a win. But we got through it and are on the podium so I am really happy.”

Sunday’s race started much smoother but saw a repeat finish with Mladin, Spies and Hacking on the podium. Mladin’s win in the second race was the 70th of his career and seventh on the season.

Spies, who was still recovering from appendix surgery, led after the first lap but was soon overtaken by his teammate.

“We got a way better start than yesterday and I got into the lead and tried to go as quick as I could. Then Mat came by and I got in behind him and I was riding as hard as I could. But then I settled into a pace that was good for me,” says Spies. “The Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working a little better today than yesterday but we just didn’t have the quick laps in the middle of the race. Overall, the bike was working a little bit better and I was feeling a little bit better too.”

While Sunday’s AMA Superbike race was free of the delays from Saturday’s race, the Supersport results remain shrouded in controversy.

Graves Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom won the race by a comfortable margin but the results remain provisional pending a protest filed by Erion Honda and rider Jake Zemke. Erion Honda contended that the frame of Bostrom’s Yamaha YZF-R6 was fitted with an illegal triple clamp assembly. AMA Pro Racing conducted an investigation and determined that Bostrom's bike was legal.

Hayden Gillem was the highest-placing member of the Owensboro, Ky. Hayden family at Mid-Ohio.Zemke finished fifth in the provisional Supersport results but second in the Formula Xtreme series behind Erion Honda teammate Josh Hayes.

Suzuki was back on top in the Superstock race with Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates claiming the victory over M4 EMGO Suzuki’s Blake Young.

And in the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup, Hayden Gillim earned his first win.

If the Owensboro, Ky. native’s first name sounds familiar, then his results should be no surprise. The 13-year-old is a cousin of Nicky, Tommy and Roger Hayden. Gillim races in the AMA U.S. Rookies Cup under number 69, the number Nicky Hayden wears in MotoGP racing.

AMA Superbike top five standings
Pos. Rider Motorcycle Points
1st Ben Spies  Suzuki GSX-R1000 476
2nd Mat Mladin  Suzuki GSX-R1000 449
3rd Jamie Hacking  Kawasaki ZX-10R 377
4th Neil Hodgson  Honda CBR1000RR 344
5th Jason DiSalvo  Yamaha YZF-R1 339