Professional rider on closed course competition.
SPIES WINS MILLER AMA SUPERBIKE OPENER
June 17, 2006
Team Suzuki Press Office – June 17, 2006.
Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies won today’s AMA Superbike Championship race at the brand new Miller Motorsports Park in Utah and extended his series lead ahead of team mate Mat Mladin.
The young Texan came out tops in an exciting battle with Mladin, Ben Bostrom (Ducati) and Jake Zemke (Honda), who crashed in the closing stages of the race.
Aaron Yates raced to sixth place and Michael Jordan Motorsports-sponsored Jason Pridmore and Jake Holden rounded out the top 10.
Said Spies: “I got a good start off the line on my Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. I knew it was going to be a hard race. The pace that the leaders were running was pretty stout but the Suzuki was running good and now we know what the pace is going to be like tomorrow. We’ll go back and make a few changes and see how things turn out on Sunday.”
Earlier in the day, Saturday’s final qualifying session saw Spies capture his fourth pole position of the season after posting a blisteringly fast lap of 1:49.167. This lap time set the record for the new Miller facility. Mladin joined Spies on the front row of the grid in third place, thanks to a best lap time of 1:49.694. Yates qualified on the second row with a 1:50.513 lap time.
“My team made a pretty big change last night and that made all the difference in the world,” said Spies about his improved lap times from Friday’s session. “We’re trying to get the load off of the front tyre and we accomplished that. We went pretty quick and I’m confident in the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000."
Spies’ confidence was not misplaced: The 21-lap Superbike race saw Spies get a good start before falling into second place behind Mladin. Within a few laps, he settled into third, trying to save his Dunlop tyres and watching the fierce battle for the lead. As his team mate diced with a competitor, Spies took advantage and moved into first place and held it until the race’s end.
“It was an awesome race,” said Spies. “I told Mat before we got on the podium that even if I had finished second, that would have still been the most fun race of the season. We had four guys running up front and they were battling and swapping paint. It was a fun race and luckily we came out on top. It was the toughest race of the year. I think tomorrow is going to be the same thing.”
Like Spies, six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mladin got a great start and took over the lead immediately. While he and a competitor were battling intensely for the lead, however, Spies got by and Mladin maintained second place.
“It was a good race,” said Mladin. “Again, the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was one-two on the podium. We’ll do a bit of homework tonight and hopefully do better on Sunday.”
Yates, meanwhile, suffered an unfortunate start. Bu he charged hard on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and moved up into sixth position before the race was done.
“I blew the start and lost a lot of ground right there,” he said. “I was stuck behind some guys for a while, but then was able to get around them. I was struggling in some areas but I’m working with my team to come back with something better on Sunday.”
1. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
3. Ben Bostrom (Ducati)
4. Neil Hodgson (Ducati)
5. Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki)
6. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki)
7. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
8. Jake Zemke (Honda)
9. Jason Pridmore (Jordan Suzuki)
10. Jake Holden (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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