Not even a summer shower could cool off Mat Mladin as the Yoshimura Suzuki rider was blazing all weekend, completing the double at Mid-Ohio on Sunday. Mladin backed up his claim that he could run with championship points leader Ben Spies if he got good starts by sweeping the races at Mid-Ohio. Mladin was in fourth heading into Turn 1 and moved into second behind Spies by the end of the first lap, less than a second off the pace. His two victories this weekend shaved seven points off of Spies’ lead with six races remaining.
Mat Mladin rode like a man possessed after he got a second chance to start side-by-side to rival Spies. – Mid-Ohio
A small lapse through the Carousel allowed Mladin to sneak past Spies with a bold maneuver on the inside. After the pass, Spies never trailed Mladin by more than two seconds, but was never able to overcome the gap as the Yoshi duo ran almost identical lap times. On this weekend, though, Mladin was clearly the fastest rider.
“He was covering things pretty good in most places. I figured there and the double-righthander I had a chance to get him. In the double right it would have been a little sketch to give it a go… I was a little bit better entering the left-hand sweeper entering the Carousel so I really swung it out hard to the left. Pretty early on I got a good run on him — I jumped on the brakes and was still closing in on him pretty good. I was nice and wide so I said, ‘okay, now’s the time to go in,” Mladin said.
Track officials worked frantically to get the track race-ready after a morning storm swept through the area. The superbike race didn’t get underway until 7:15 p.m., forcing the support class races to be cancelled.
Monster Energy Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking crossed the finish line third-fastest to join Mladin and Spies on the rostrum. Hacking rode his ZX-10R through a six-rider traffic jam that competed for third during the early laps then powered away from the pack.
Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates was fourth-fastest for the second consecutive race. American Honda’s Jake Zemke and Miguel Duhamel attempted to overcome the Jordan Suzuki rider, but Yates ran hard enough to hold them off, giving Duhamel a dose of what he served up for Yates the day before.
Yamaha USA’s Eric Bostrom came across the line seventh-fastest. Kawasaki’s Roger Hayden edged out brother Tommy on his Suzuki for eighth place.
Yamaha USA’s second rider Jason DiSalvo crashed in the short practice session that was hastily squeezed in 15 minutes before the race and did not compete in the main. He came in following the warm-up lap, apparently still suffering the effects of the crash.
The paddock heads toward Virginia in two week’s for the next round of AMA Superbike racing. It will be interesting to see if Mladin carries the momentum from his double podium at Mid-Ohio to VIR or if Spies can hold off the six-time champion and defend the crown.
AMA Superbike Mid-Ohio Race 2 Results:
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
2. Ben Spies (Suzuki) +1.168
3. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) +18.457
4. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) +21.080
5. Jake Zemke (Honda) +22.233
6. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) +23.695
7. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha)+29.529
8. Roger Hayden (Kawasaki) +33.228
9. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 40.350
10. Matt Lynn (MV Agusta) +40.400
11. James Ellison (Honda) +44.131
12. Luca Scassa (MV Agusta) +50.581
AMA Superbike Championship Points
1. B. Spies 486
2. M. Mladin 469
3. M. Duhamel 360
4. J. Zemke 342
5. T. Hayden 336
6. A. Yates 326
7. J. Disalvo 300
8. J. Hacking 289
9. E. Bostrom 274
10. J. Ellison 256
*Due to rain early in the day, the Supersport and Superstock races were cancelled due to a lack of daylight.