AMA Superbike - round 4

Yoshimura Suzuki dominated the AMA Superbike double-header weekend at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California at the weekend. Mladin and Spies both have the same number of points leading the championship, some forty one points ahead of Duhamel.

Six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin won both races on Saturday and Sunday, with defending AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies bringing home second place in each event. This result has Mladin and Spies tied for the lead in the overall championship points standings.

Yoshimura Suzuki team mate Tommy Hayden also put in two impressive rides, finishing in seventh on Saturday and fifth in Sunday's event.

"I've got to thank my crew first and foremost," said Mladin from the podium. "They've worked very hard to keep things tight. The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 ran beautifully again and I was able to get a really good start."

Earlier in the weekend, Spies picked up his 11th career pole position, posting a track record-breaking lap time of 1:34.991. Mladin was second-fastest in qualifying with a lap time of 1:35.128, while Hayden rounded out the second row of the grid with a 1:36.860 lap time.

The double-header weekend's second race was very similar to the first event: Mladin got the holeshot and led all 28 laps. "It was a good weekend for us," said Mladin of his 56th career AMA Superbike win. "We've tried very hard to win as many races as possible. I came here ready to ride as hard as I had to. I just want to get as much out of me as I can and to get as much out of the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 as I can. I'll worry about everything else later."

Again mimicking Saturday's race, Spies got a good start and was in second place for almost the entire race. "We just didn't have the pace today," said Spies. "Mat was riding a defensive race. In the end, he was just a little faster. He stepped it up, for sure, and we just have to take it up another notch. But we know what we have to do so we'll put our heads down and get ready for Road America. That's one of my favourite tracks and I'm looking forward to it."

Miguel Duhamel tasted champagne on Saturday, after Sunday's race said " Even though we tried to make some changes to make it a bit better, I just couldn’t get the feel that we wanted out of it. We made some minor changes before the race. We made some big changes this morning. We were trying to get more traction. We thought maybe if we got more traction out of the back, obviously we’d have faster lap times. So we just tried to accomplish that. But we lost a little bit of the handling of the bike. Some aspects were good-on the brakes; turning wasn’t so good. So I just tried to make the best of what I had. When the tire went away in the back, at least I tried to change riding style a little bit. Tried to rear steer the bike a lot. I still tried to put some pressure on Jake (Zemke), but he looked real comfortable up there, like he could step it up if he needed to. I really wanted another podium, but it wasn’t to be today."

Hayden also stepped up his performance over the weekend. The two-time AMA Supersport Champion got a decent start but still had to work his way up to the front of the pack. But he did what he had to do to pick up a top-five finish.

"Today went a lot better than yesterday," said Hayden. "My race speed was faster, my times were better and I was a lot closer to the podium. We still have a lot of work to do. Hopefully between now and Road America we can make some improvements. I'd really like to get on the podium soon."

AMA Superbike Saturday
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
2. Ben Spies (Suzuki)
3. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
4. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha)
5. Jake Zemke (Honda)
6. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)
7. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
8. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
9. James Ellison (Honda)
10. Matt Lynn (MV Agusta)

AMA Superbike Sunday
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
2. Ben Spies (Suzuki)
3. Jake Zemke (Honda)
4. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
5. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)
6. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha)
7. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha)
8. James Ellison (Honda)
9. Jake Holden (Suzuki)
10. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)

AMA Superbike Championship Standings
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 238
2. Ben Spies (Suzuki) 238
3. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 197
4. Jake Zemke (Honda) 181
5. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 180
6. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha) 166
7. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) 156
8. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 156
9. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 134
10. James Ellison (Honda) 127