Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin is on pace to run the table in the American Superbike series without the talent of Ben Spies around to keep him honest.
Mat Mladin used pole position to grab an early lead and never looked back in a wire-to-wire win today at Road Atlanta, wrapping up a double podium weekend for the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider. By the time the Australian rider posted his best time of 1:25.672 on Lap 2 the race was pretty much over. He pushed the gap wider, averaging about a second a lap until he had over a 10-second advantage by Lap 11.
“I had a bit of a tumble in practice this morning and, as usual, my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team got the bike together for me and ready for the race. It was a good race for us; we had a bit of a crack at it and put in some good laps. Around lap 10 or 11, I was trying to figure out whether I should keep pushing it, but my boys get a bit nervous when I do that. I figured I’d pushed my luck today enough already so I just decided to have a bit of fun at the end of the race,” Mladin said.
Aaron Yates(23), Geoff May(54), Blake Young(79), and Josh Hayes(4) fought a tight race for the remaining top 5 spots after Mat Mladin swept Race 2 at Road Atlanta.
A late push by a pack consisting of Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Blake Young, National Guard Jordan Suzuki’s Geoff May and Yamaha’s Josh Hayes made Mladin’s 4.199-second win appear closer than it really was.
The real battle would be waged for second place. Hayes and Young would dice it out in the earliest stages of the race until a hard-charging May passed them both on Lap 12. Mays led the surge to close the gap on Mladin and looked destined to grab second-place points before Young executed a draft-pass on the final lap and held on for the first podium of his Superbike career. May earned the final podium position, crossing the line 0.177-sceonds behind.
“I got a good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and after a few laps, Geoff (May) came by with some good pace. I definitely jumped in and tried to see where he was a little bit better than me. I’ve got to give a ‘heads up’ to my guys for giving me the best motorcycle I’ve had all weekend long. We never took a step back at all this weekend, everything was going forward,” Young said.
Privateer Suzuki rider Taylor Knapp(44) and Neil Hodgson’s replacement Jake Holden(100) once again found themselves battling for position in the second race, with Knapp finishing two places in front of Holden for a solid seventh place.
Hayes would bring the YZF-R1 home in fourth place, followed by Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates. Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s third rider, Tommy Hayden was also in the mix for the middle positions, settling for sixth place after dueling with Yates and Hayes for much of the race.
Privateer Suzuki rider Taylor Knapp had a good showing and finished in seventh-position. Ben Bostrom was the second Yamaha rider to break the Suzuki stronghold on the top ten, finishing eighth-fastest, followed by the top Honda finisher, Jake Holden, who brought his Corona Extra Honda CBR1000RR home in ninth place.
Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram grabbed the final slot in the top ten.
The victory is Mladin’s 77th career win, and it is the 14th time he has stood atop the podium at Road Atlanta. The question now is will Mladin run the table in American Superbike this year?
Mat Mladin once again took the top spot in Race 2, with Rockstar/Makita/Suzuki teammate Blake Young taking second and Geoff May with twin third-places at Road Atlanta.
American Superbike Race 2 Results –
1. M. Mladin (Suzuki)
2. B. Young (Suzuki) +4.199
3. G. May (Suzuki) +4.376
4. J. Hayes (Yamaha) +6.894
5. A. Yates (Suzuki) +7.338
6. T. Hayden (Suzuki) +7.748
7. T. Knapp(Suzuki) +16.459
8. B. Bostrom (Yamaha) +19.974
9. J. Holden (Honda) +23.784
10. L. Pegram (Ducati) +31.370
11. D. Anthony (Suzuki)
12. C. Ulrich (Suzuki)
13. A. Gobert (Honda)
14. H. Mazzota (Suzuki)
15. S. Jensen (Suzuki)