Professional rider on closed course competition.
SPIES AND MLADIN ONE-TWO AT FONTANA
April 29, 2006
Team Suzuki Press Office – April 30, 2006.
Team Yoshimura Suzuki’s Ben Spies and Mat Mladin claimed another one-two at Saturday’s opening Fontana AMA Superbike Championship race on their GSX-R1000s.
For Spies, it was his third consecutive victory and one that helped him increase his series lead over six-time AMA Champion Mladin.
Mladin had earlier led the 28-lapper but Spies slipped by just past the half-way mark to win by almost seven seconds.
Said Spies: “I really want to thank my Yoshimura Suzuki crew because they’ve got my Suzuki GSX-R1000 running great. I’d also like to thank all the Southern California fans for coming out today and I hope to see everyone again tomorrow.”
Earlier in the afternoon, Spies captured his second career AMA Superbike pole position by posting a track record-breaking lap time of 1:22.939. “We did a 23.3 lap time yesterday and I felt like we could do a 22.9,” said Spies afterwards. “We knew the race pace was going to be quick at the beginning and we’ve found a race set-up that we like on the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.”
Team mate Mladin, who set the pole position at the Fontana race last year, qualified in the second spot on the grid with a 1:23.287 and Aaron Yates joined his team mates on the front row in fourth position with a fastest lap of 1:24.118.
In the 28-lap race, Spies got out front immediately but then made a mistake and moved back to fourth place on lap one. Even so, the young Texan quickly worked his way up into second place for several laps before taking the lead.
“I got a really good start, but then I ran wide,” said Spies. “I don’t know what happened. I lost my rear going into the last corner and came out fourth. I worked my way up and ran back up on Mat. I was ready for a big duel at the end of the race but I could tell that he was having some sort of problems. I’m sure he’ll get that ironed out. I have to thank my crew for putting a good bike like the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 under me.”
Mladin had taken advantage of Spies’ running wide at the start and took the lead for the first half of the race. When Spies passed him, however, he settled into second position until the flag.
“We had a couple of problems today,” said Mladin. “We probably chose the wrong tyre and we went backwards halfway through the race, but that’s the way it goes. We’ll come back tomorrow, pick something different and go from there.”
At the start, Yates got out with Spies and Mladin but had a few problems and faded back to fourth by the end of the race. “We got fourth place today and so we got some points in the championship,” said Yates. “But we’re going to make a few changes to the bike tonight and we’ll be better tomorrow.”
AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers:
1 Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2 Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
3 Jake Zemke (Honda)
4 Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki)
5 Neil Hodgson (Ducati)
6 Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
7 Ben Bostrom (Ducati)
8 Tommy Hayden (Kawasaki)
9 Jason Pridmore (Jordan 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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