Professional rider on closed course competition.


August 5, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – August 5, 2006.

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies and Mat Mladin finished one-two at today’s Mid-Ohio AMA Superbike double-header first leg on their GSX-R1000s.

Spies led from the start and had opened up a 9.2-second lead over six-time Champion Mladin before the race was red-flagged just past the halfway stage.

“The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 has just been working so good,” said Spies, who extended his lead in the points chase with this win. “The bike and the Dunlop tires made my job easy this weekend. I want to thank Suzuki and my crew for doing such a good job and it’s great to see Yoshimura Suzuki one-two on the podium again.”

Earlier in the day, Saturday’s final qualifying session saw Spies break last year’s track record when he posted a fastest lap of 1:24.917 and captured his sixth pole position of the season. Mladin was gridded next to Spies on the front row of the grid in second place, thanks to a best lap time of 1:25.442. Yates qualified a few spots back in fourth position with a 1:25.899 lap time.

“The race is going to be tough,” predicted Spies after taking pole. “It was kind of rough yesterday because we had provisional pole but it wasn’t that easy at all. We went out today on a pure race set-up and did about seven laps within the pole lap so that was good.”

The afternoon’s 26-lap race was a good one for Spies, who got a great start on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and pulled out ahead of the field. He’d created a good-sized gap when a rider went down and a red flag was thrown. After the re-start, it took Spies a lap to get back into first place, but once he regained the lead, the young Texan held it until the race’s end.

“Today was really tough,” added Spies. “In the first start, I just hammered and got a pretty good gap. After the red flag, we put on new tyres and I just went out and gave 110 per cent until I had nothing else to give. Right now, we’ve got the championship lead, the Suzuki is comfortable and the bike is running really good. We just need to keep running up front and winning races.”

For Mladin, the first start was not the best, but even so, the defending AMA Superbike Champion rode a strong race and moved quickly through the field to slot into second place. After the red flag, he got a better start and was in second position within a few laps.

“I was trying hard and doing the best I could,” said Mladin. “Ben’s doing a great job and we’re kind of playing catch-up right now. There are a couple of spots on the track where Ben’s making up time and we need to work on those spots. We know we have to win races so we’ll go back and do a little homework and see what we can come up with for tomorrow.”

Yates also got a good start at the first of the race and ran up front before settling into fifth position. After the red flag, the laid-back Georgian settled into a strong fourth place.

“This race was better than most this year,” said Yates of finishing in fourth. “I hated to see the red flag because I had a good groove going and had started making up time on the leaders. I was right there and looking forward to a good race to the end and then we had to start all over. Overall, it was a pretty decent ride and now we’ll make a few adjustments to make the Suzuki better for tomorrow.”

AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers:

1 Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2 Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
3 Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
4 Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki)
5 Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki)
6 Steve Rapp (Jordan Suzuki)
7 Jake Holden (Jordan Suzuki)
8 Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)
9 Larry Pegram (Honda)
10 Matt Lynn (Suzuki)

For more stories about Mat Mladin, click here . For photos, click here .
For more stories about Aaron Yates, click here . For photos, click here .
For more stories about Ben Spies, click here . For photos, click here .

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