AMA Superbike - Round 11 get ready

Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies and Mat Mladin go into this weekend’s final-round AMA Superbike Championship round at Lexington, Ohio both capable of lifting the title on their GSX-R1000s.

Spies leads the series by 20 points from the six-time Champion. The 22-year-old Texan has won 10 races this year and he’s captured seven out of 10 pole positions. At this year’s first Mid-Ohio Superbike double-header weekend in August, Spies picked up a pair of wins and he hopes to lift his first AMA Superbike crown this time around.

“I broke my hand at VIR and that’s been a bit of a challenge but it’s better now. It’s definitely healing,” said Spies, who only needs to finish in 13th or better to win the Championship. “It’ll be cool to see the whole new race format – there’s no qualifying, no extra point to get for pole, just the point for leading the most laps. I just need to see who’s in my heat race and how hard I have to ride my Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to get into the main race. Then it’s just a matter of getting in position and waiting for the flag.”

Mladin, however, doesn’t plan to sit back and allow Spies an easy job of it. He is the only six-time AMA Superbike Champion ever and he has a record 50 AMA Superbike career wins and 48 AMA Superbike career pole positions. 

The 15-turn, 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) Mid-Ohio circuit is a tight track with some elevation changes but also has a straight that allows drafting and passing on the brakes. The circuit, famous for The Keyhole turn, has seen safety improvements the last few years and was resurfaced in the off-season.

Instead of the traditional timed qualifying, the AMA Superbike competitors will take part in five-lap heat races on Saturday afternoon. The top 20 finishers will race in the Parts Unlimited-sponsored final on Sunday, with the rest entering a consolation race.

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round 1. March 8-11 - Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, FL : Race : Qualify 2 : Qualify : Get ready
round 2. April 21-23 - Barber Motorsports Park, Birmingham, AL : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify 2 : Get ready
round 3. April 28-30 - California Speedway, Fontana, CA : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify 2 : Get ready
round 4. May 19-21 - Infineon Raceway. Sonoma, CA : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify 2 : Get ready
round 5. June 2-4 - Road America, Elkhart Lake, WI : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify 2 : Get ready
round 6. June 16-18 - Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify 2
round 7. July 21-23 - Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Monterey, CA (with MotoGP) : Race : Qualify : Get ready
round 8. August 4-6 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify
round 9. August 18-20 - Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA : Race 2 : Race 1 : Qualify : Get ready
round 10. September 1-3 - Road Atlanta, Braselton, GA visit race circuit
round 11. Sept. 30-Oct. 1 - Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, OH visit race circuit