AMA Superbike - Round 7

Even before the start of Saturday's AMA Superbike race at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, there were problems for the riders. There was intense, near record heat in the beautiful Monterey Peninsula. There was also little practice and qualifying time for the racers, which is held as a support race for the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix. The race was won by Suzuki’s Ben Spies from Kawasaki’s Tommy Hayden, the older brother of Repsol Honda’s Nicky Hayden, and Ducati’s Neil Hodgson.

The track has recently been repaved with some areas having extraordinary bumps, especially out of the signature Corkscrew turn. What it all meant was that the valuable data gathered by teams in previous years of racing and testing was of only marginal value.

Miguel Duhamel led off the start, held late on a 38 degree afternoon in the hills east of Monterey, California. But his moment of glory was short-lived. A multi-rider first turn incident brought out a red flag and forced a re-start.

The second time around Duhamel was strong and he ran second for the first two laps and third for the next nine-before he struck traction problems at the rear and decided to finish fourth. Ducati 999-mounted Hodgson charged through the field in the California heat, moving his way through a fierce pack of Superbike riders. Hodgson rose from sixth place in the early stages to challenge for second place in the 28-lap event. Teammate Ben Bostrom finished seventh despite dehydration forcing him to the medical center immediately after the race. Bostrom ran strongly in second place before becoming ill at the mid-point of the event.

Results
1. Ben Spies, Suzuki
2. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki
3. Neil Hodgson, Parts Unlimited Ducati
4. Miguel Duhamel, Honda
5. Aaron Yates, Suzuki
6. Mat Mladin, Suzuki
7. Ben Bostrom, Ducati
8. Jake Zemke, Honda
9. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki
10. Steve Rapp, Suzuki

AMA Superbike Championship points (after 12 races)
1. Ben Spies, Suzuki 426
2. Mat Mladin, Suzuki 392
3. Miguel Duhamel, Honda 329
4. Neil Hodgson, Ducati 317
5. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki 304
5= Aaron Yates, Suzuki 304
7. Jake Zemke, Honda 296
8. Ben Bostrom, Ducati 268
9. Jason Pridmore, Suzuki 259
10. Steve Rapp, Suzuki 226

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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 visit race circuit
round 9. August 18-20 - Virginia International Raceway, Alton, VA visit race circuit
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