AMA Superbike - round 3

Suzuki's Mat Mladin and team mate Ben Spies dominated the second leg of the AMA Superbike Championship double-header at California Speedway in Fontana today, with Mladin taking the victory by just 0.035 seconds.

The six-time AMA Champion reversed the places on his team mate as the two GSX-R1000s finished 21 seconds ahead of third-placed Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) in the 28 lapper.

Third Yoshimura rider Tommy Hayden finished in fourth place after an equally-close and exciting battle with Honda's Jake Zemke, who finished 0.0334 seconds behind.

"After yesterday, we were off from what we'd wanted to do," said Mladin, who finished second to Spies in Saturday's race. "Today, we got everything together. Right from the start, I put my head down. This is a bit of a hometown race for us so it means a lot to get a win here."

The previous day, Spies had picked up his third AMA Superbike pole position of the season with a qualifying lap of 1:23.117. Mladin was second with a best time of 1:23.711, while Hayden rounded out the front row of the grid with a 1:24.475 lap time.

At the start of the 28-lap race, Mladin took the lead almost immediately. Spies slotted in behind and they battled together for the entire race.

"I have no illusions that the season is going to be anything but tough," maintained Mladin. "It's going to be hard racing and I'm looking forward to it. I've won several championships already and it's tough racing that motivates me. Today, I was 100 per cent the whole way. There wasn't anything left on the table."

Although Spies showed his team mate a wheel a few times, in the end the defending AMA Superbike Champion brought home a very close second place. Although Spies did not win the race, he still maintains the lead in the overall championship points standings.

"I would be happier if we could have gotten the win today," said Spies. "But Mat set a blistering pace. The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working great and I tried to get it done today but we fell a little short. We just need to see what we can do to come back strong for the race at Infineon next month."

Going into Sunday's race, team mate Hayden was still recovering from Saturday afternoon's crash in AMA Supersport qualifying. Even so, the new Yoshimura Suzuki rider rode hard and finished just shy of the podium.

"Today was pretty similar to yesterday," said Hayden, who finished fourth in Saturday's race as well. "I got a decent start on the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and then I fell back a couple of positions. But after four or five laps - I don't know if it was me or the bike or both -I just felt more comfortable and started going faster for the rest of the race. So I guess I need to work on improving my starts. But all things considered, I feel like two fourth-place finishes is pretty solid."

All of Suzuki's road race teams will return for round four of the AMA Superbike Series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California the weekend of May 18 - 20th.

AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers

1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
3. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha)
4. Tommy Hayden (Yoshimura Suzuki)
5. Jake Zemke (Honda)
6. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
7. Roger Lee Hayden, Kawasaki)
8. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
9. Aaron Yates (Jordan Suzuki)
10. Jason Disalvo (Yamaha)


AMA Superstock

It was a Suzuki sweep in the AMA Superstock race at California Speedway in Fontana with Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies winning the race and Jordan Suzuki's Jake Holden and Aaron Yates bringing home second and third place, respectively.

With this second Superstock victory of the year, Spies took over the overall championship points lead: "I just want to thank my crew and Yoshimura Suzuki," said defending AMA Superbike Champion Spies. "And congratulations to Jake and Aaron, they rode a great race. Jake pushed me all the way to the end. I just tried to keep my head down the whole time. There for a few laps, though, I forgot how to ride but then I was able to get in a groove."

After taking the AMA Superbike pole the previous day, Spies went back out and nabbed the AMA Superstock pole after turning a 1:24.804 lap time. Yates and Holden picked up the second and third-place spots with 1:25.203 and 1:25.237 lap times.

"The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 is working great," said Spies. "Everything is going exactly as planned. Hopefully we can keep it up and get a win in the Superstock race tomorrow."

In the 17-lap race, M4 EMGO Suzuki's Geoff May took the lead immediately but was passed within a few laps by Spies. The young Texan began gapping the field almost immediately and brought home the win.

"It was a good race," said Spies. "The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working good, though I wish we had a little more time to devote to testing the Superstock bike. But we were able to get it done today and, hopefully, we'll be able to do that for the rest of the season."

Like Spies, Holden got a good start on his Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 and was in fourth position for the first few laps. He methodically worked his way up into second position and followed Spies home.

"It's nice to be up here," said Holden of his second Superstock podium. "I've been waiting to get up here for a long time. It's been a long journey but I'm glad to be here with the Jordan Suzuki crew. I gave it all I had and I'm looking forward to a good season. Hopefully, we'll be up here a good bit."

Holden's Jordan Suzuki team mate Yates rounded out the podium in third place. Early on in the race, Yates and Holden diced for position before Yates settled into third.

"It was a good race," said Yates. "Jake came by me and he was gone; he was on rails. Jake and Ben rode an awesome race. I wanted to be up there battling with them but I was struggling with grip a little bit and so I just tried to bring it home for the Jordan Suzuki crew and get as many points as possible."

Overall, Suzuki riders represented eight of the top-10 AMA Superstock finishers at California Speedway and eight out of the top-10 AMA Superstock championship points leaders.

All of Suzuki's road race teams will return for round four of the AMA Superbike Series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on May 18 - 20th.

AMA Superstock Top 10 Finishers

1. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2. Jake Holden (Jordan Suzuki)
3. Aaron Yates (Jordan Suzuki)
4. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)
5. Geoff May (M4 EMGO Suzuki)
6. Danny Eslick (MPT Suzuki)
7. Martin Cardenas (Kawasaki)
8. Scott Jensen (Suzuki)
9. Blake Young (MPT Suzuki)
10. Robertino Pietri (Suzuki)


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