Professional rider on closed course competition.


May 20, 2006

Suzuki Press Office – May 20, 2006.

Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies raced his GSX-R1000 to its fifth consecutive race victory in today’s opening AMA Superbike Championship race at Infineon Raceway, California.

The young Texan led from the start of the 28 lapper to beat team mate and six-time Champion Mat Mladin by almost seven seconds and is now within one victory of equalling the record of most consecutive wins set by Honda’s Miguel Duhamel.

Duhamel finished third, stopping third Yoshimura team rider Aaron Yates from making it a Suzuki one-two-three.

“I got a really good start and just tried to put my head down,” said Spies, only the fourth rider to ever win five consecutive AMA Superbike races. “I saw we were gapping the field and I just tried to hammer away at it and hold on to the end. I have to thank my crew because the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was just awesome and I can’t say enough about the Dunlop tyres.”

Earlier in the day, Spies took his third pole position after posting a track record-breaking fastest lap of 1:35.893. He said: “I really feel that I’m riding the same as I did last year but I’ve been able to get the GSX-R set up so that I’m more comfortable. I’m also a little more confident and that means I can ride the bike harder.”

Team mate Mladin carded the second spot on the grid with a 1:36.556 lap time and Yates took fifth position with a time of 1:37.013.

The main event saw Spies get the holeshot and lead all 28 laps to take the win. “I really wanted to set the pace and see what I could do. The last few races we’ve followed and so it was good to lead a whole race. I don’t know about Mat but I was pretty worn-out, muscle-wise. By the end, I was just focusing on trying to hit my lines, not making any mistakes and putting good laps together.”

Mladin was off the line right behind Spies and he pushed his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 hard and rode a smooth, consistent race to second place. “It was a good race today,” said the Australian. “Unfortunately I couldn’t get up ahead of Ben. He rode a great race today and hopefully tomorrow the weather will hold out and we’ll come back with something for him.”

Yates, meanwhile, started several positions back from his team mates. The Georgian worked his way through the field and battled hard for third before finishing up in fourth position.

“I didn’t really get the best start,” said Yates. “But on the first lap I was able to get past a couple of guys but then I got stuck. Towards the end of the race I tried to work my way up but then I made a mistake and got fourth. Tomorrow, we’ll work on putting my Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 up on the podium with my team mates.”

Superbike Results:

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

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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