Professional rider on closed course competition.

SPIES WINS AT LAGUNA SECA

July 23, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – July 23, 2006.

Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies battled record-breaking heat as well as the competition to win his eighth AMA Superbike race of the season and extend his points lead at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Saturday as team mates Aaron Yates and Mat Mladin took fifth and sixth.

“I really want to thank my team and credit the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000,” said Spies of his first Laguna Seca victory. “I asked them to bring me a bike that we wouldn’t have to make too many changes on because we had so little track time and that’s exactly what they did -- I just sat on it and rode around.”

Earlier in the day Spies picked up his fifth career pole position after posting a fastest lap time of 1:24.946. Yates qualified a close second with a best time of 1:25.433 while Mladin rounded out the front row of the grid in fourth with a 1:26.025.

“Right now, getting pole position is just another point toward the title,” said Spies. “It’s going to be a hard fight today, but we’ve found a good set-up for the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and the bike is working really well.”

Spies showed just how well the bike was working by taking the lead immediately and leading all 28 laps of the main event. “I just have to give all the credit to the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and my crew,” Spies reiterated. “I knew we had to show up with a bike that was good to go and the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was just that. I rode as hard as I could, but the bike and the Dunlop tyres made it easier this weekend.”

Yates also got a good start and was running in the top five for most of the race. “I got a decent start and then I got hung up behind some guys and couldn’t make any passes,” said Yates. “I got caught up in the pace and then I made a few mistakes. As the race went on, I had a hard time getting a good drive off the corners and it just got worse. I made a charge toward the end of the race but almost went off the track so I backed off. I was hoping to put my Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 up on the podium but it just didn’t happen today.”

Mladin, unlike his team mates, did not get a good start and was forced to play catch-up. Even so, the defending AMA Superbike Champion rode hard and charged up to sixth place before the end of the race.

“I made a mistake at the start and it bogged,” he said. “Then I was just doing the best I could and by the time I got up into a decent position it was too late to make any real difference.”

AMA SUPERBIKE RESULT:

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