Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin won a hazardous and confusing American Superbike race at Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway. Second place went to Mladin’s teammate Blake Young. Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates finished in third.
Rockstar Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden jumped the start of the race, leaving the rest of the field behind. This necessitated another warm-up lap for the entire field. The race was then restarted but Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom would crash in Turn 2 collecting Corona Honda’s Neil Hodgson and Foremost Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram, however, the race would continue.
On the second lap, the Laguna Seca safety minivan came out on track for an unknown reason which almost caused some of the riders to crash into it. The race was restarted and then within seconds it was red flagged.
“We got a yellow flag I think,” said Mladin after the race. “I don’t even know. We came up the front staright up by the checkered flag and the pace car was parked over the side of the hill. Umm, yeah, it could have been very ugly. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to understand that the pace car doesn’t belong in motorcycle racing. This isn’t NASCAR we’re not having a cup of tea in the race car. [The] Pace car doesn’t belong on the racetrack and certainly shouldn’t be deployed in such an inadequate fashion.”
Ben Bostrom followed by Blake Young, Tommy Hayden, and Josh Hayes shortly after the American Superbike restart.
On the restart it was Bostrom with the holeshot followed by Hayden, Young, Hayes, Yates, Mladin and Hodgson. Right away Young tried to find a way past Bostrom and finally found it coming into Turn 5. Meanwhile, a determined Mladin moved his GSX-R1000 into third. While his teammate Hayden was putting pressure on Young.
While running in second place, Hayden pulled into the pits on Lap 6 for a ride through penalty. Mladin slowly crept up on Young and on Lap 12 he slipped past coming into the last corner. Immediately he began opening up a gap eventually taking the win by almost 2-seconds.
“It went okay,” said third place finisher, Yates. “We had a really nice start in the first get-go. We had a little issue with the pace car that was pretty hectic. Second start didn’t get off as good as I wanted. I kinda fell into a pace and couldn’t get going any faster. The bike didn’t feel like it did in the morning warm-up. I was kind of stuck in a groove. I just couldn’t close up any ground.”
American Superbike Race Results:
1. Mat Mladin – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 18 laps
2. Blake Young – Suzuki GSX-R1000 -1.641 seconds
3. Aaron Yates – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 4.587
4. Josh Hayes – Yamaha YZF-R1 – 4.686
5. Ben Bostrom – Yamaha YZF-R1 – 8.516
6. Neil Hodgson – Honda CBR1000RR – 8.774
7. Jake Holden – Honda CBR1000RR – 10.918
8. Tommy Hayden – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 11.863
9. Geoff May – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 13,789
10. Larry Pegram – Ducati 1098R – 31.443
11. Taylor Knapp – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 35.423
12. Chris Ulrich – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 51.310
13. Hawk Mazzotta – Suzuki GSX-R1000 – 56.037
14. Aaron Gobert – Honda CBR1000RR – 1:10.694
15. Ricky Corey – Yamaha R1 – 1:11.810
American Superbike Points Standings:
1. Mat Mladin – 355
2. Tommy Hayden – 228
3. Ben Bostrom – 203
4. Larry Pegram – 191
5. Josh Hayes – 182
6. Aaron Yates – 173
7. Geoff May – 173
8. Blake Young – 169
9. David Anthony – 120
10. Taylor Knapp – 107