Professional rider on closed course competition.


April 30, 2006

Team Suzuki Press Office – April 30, 2006.

Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies raced his GSX-R1000 to a second consecutive AMA Superbike Championship double-header victory at the second Fontana race in California.

The 23-year-old Texan took the lead from the start from team mate Mat Mladin, lost it, then moved to the front again to win by 4.4 seconds over the six-time champion. Aaron Yates, who finished third in the Superstock race earlier in the day, finished eighth overall.

“I really have to thank the Yoshimura Suzuki crew for giving me another Suzuki GSX-R1000 to win on,” said Spies from the podium. “I don’t know if the rest of the races will be quite this easy but we’ve got to keep on it because Mat is a six-time champion and he’s going to come back even harder. So we’ll go home, do some homework and see what we can come up with for Infineon.”

Spies started the afternoon’s 28-lap race from pole position and took the lead immediately. He led for several laps before being overtaken by Mladin. With about 10 laps to go, however, Spies passed his team mate back and rode on to victory.

“Fontana has always been a good track for me,” explained Spies. “We caught a break yesterday, with Mat having some problems, but I had to work for it today. I just tried to set a good pace and then the gap started growing and I just tried to stretch it out.”

Like Spies, Mladin’s start was strong and he led for a number of laps before settling into second place. “With about 10 laps to go, I was wishing I was at the beach,” joked Mladin. “We just didn’t have it today, that’s it. This is the fifth race into the championship and we had to shut it down today to bring it home. It’s good to have somebody here to help me pick up my game and I’m looking forward to the next race.”

Yates was feeling some after-effects from the shoulder he injured at Fontana during testing back in February. “This track is a little rough on my shoulder,” he said about finishing eighth. “And we’ve been having some set-up issues with the bike as well.”

AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers:

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

Championship Points (after 5 rounds): 1 Spies 182, 2 Mladin 163, 3 Duhamel 140, 4 Hodgson 130, 5 Yates 126, 6 Hayden 124, 7 Bostrom 119, 8 Zemke 110, 9 Pridmore 108, 10 Pegram 93.

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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