Mat Mladin is in the middle of a late season charge on his rival and teammate Ben Spies for the 09 Superbike title.
It took Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Mat Mladin four separate starts on Saturday before he emerged victorious in the thrice red-flagged and shortened 19-lap Superbike Race 1. The win would be Mladin's third straight win and the 40th consecutive victory for his team.
The first Superbike race, (originally scheduled for 26-laps) was red-flagged for the first time when American Honda rider, Neil Hodgson's CBR1000RR engine failed, thereby collecting Roadracingworld.com's Robertino Pietri and privateer Suzuki rider Shane Narbonne. Pietri was apparently uninjured in the crash; however, Narbonne suffered injuries serious enough to require him to be airlifted to the hospital.
After the mess was cleaned up, the race was restarted, but Mladin and Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jamie Hacking crashed simultaneously on Lap 1. It is said that the cause of the crash was water that leaked onto the track after someone emptied their cooler out. The race was again started for the third time, however, Corona Extra Honda Racing's Mat Lynn crashed by himself with his bike starting on fire. Lynn's crash would also collect fellow Honda pilot, Miguel Duhamel, again bringing out the red-flag for the third time.
On the fourth and final restart, it was Mladin, crossing the finish line first, just under two seconds ahead of his teammate Ben Spies. Hacking would finish a close third with Yamaha's Jason Disalvo and fellow Rockstar Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden finishing fourth.
"It was a long day for everyone, with three red flags, but that's the way it goes sometimes," said Race 1's winner. It was good to get the win today for the Rockstar Makita Suzuki crew. I would have preferred to have gotten a full 26-lap race in because we don't seem to do it very much here at Mid-Ohio. But I'm happy to get the win, and it was a good day for us."
AMA Superbike Mid-Ohio Race 1 Results:
Monster Kawasaki rider Jamie Hacking has ridden the Ninja ZX-10R hard all year long. The Hacker had the ZX on the box in both Superbike races at Mid-Ohio.
1. Mat Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R1000
2. Ben Spies, Suzuki GSX-R1000
3. Jamie Hacking, Kawasaki ZX-10R
4. Jason DiSalvo, Yamaha YZF-R1
5. Tommy Hayden, Suzuki GSX-R1000
6. Roger Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-10R
7. Eric Bostrom, Yamaha YZF-R1
8. Geoff May, Suzuki GSX-R1000
9. Chris Peris, Suzuki GSX-R1000
10. Scott Jensen, Suzuki GSX-R1000
Superbike Race 2
Mat Mladin pushed his current winning streak to four in a row and the career tally to 70 with another Superbike victory at Mid-Ohio. The six-time AMA Superbike champ bettered his usual rival, teammate and current two-time title holder, Ben Spies. Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jamie Hacking claimed the Sunday's final podium position.
After surrendering the front spot in the opening laps, the points-leading Spies was never a threat for the win as Mladin quickly built up a six-second barrier and carried it to the finish. Marking an unprecedented 70 wins in his career, Mladin also claws into Spies' points gap, closing to 27 points behind his teammate.
Hacking's podium finish complements Saturday's third-place rostrum result and solidifies the British-born rider's position as '08's third-best AMA Superbike pilot.
The battle for fourth took place between American Honda's Neil Hodgson and the third Yoshimura Suzuki of Tommy Hayden, with the British Honda pilot getting the better of the deal. Hodgson also holds fourth-place in the championship standings.
American Honda's Miguel Duhamel held off Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo for sixth place in Race 2 at Mid-Ohio.
Finishing sixth was American Honda's second rider and long-time AMA veteran Miguel Duhamel. Yamaha's Jason DiSalvo took seventh followed by a slew of GSX-R riders: Jordan Suzuki's Geoff May and privateers Chris Peris and Kenny Noyes rounding out the top 10.
With five races remaining in the championship Mladin has his work cut out for him, having to win all the remaining races and hope for a Spies bobble. But if anyone can do it, it's the steely Australian.
The next round of the AMA Superbike championship takes place in two week's time at the VIR circuit August 15-17.
AMA Superbike Mid-Ohio Results:
1 Mathew Mladin Suzuki GSX-R1000
2 Ben Spies Suzuki GSX-R1000
3 Jamie Hacking Kawasaki ZX-10R
4 Neil Hodgson Honda CBR1000RR
5 Tommy Hayden Suzuki GSX-R1000
6 Miguel DuHamel Honda CBR1000RR
7 Jason DiSalvo Yamaha YZF-R1
8 Geoff May Suzuki GSX-R1000
9 Chris Peris Suzuki GSX-R1000
10 Kenny Noyes Suzuki GSX-R1000
AMA Supersport Race Report
Graves Yamaha's Ben Bostrom inches ever-closer to the 2008 AMA Supersport title with yet another win.
At the beginning the 2008 Supersport season Yamaha's Ben Bostrom had a modest goal - win every single race. Well, the veteran AMA rider may have fallen short of that ambitious objective, but he's coming as close as possible at Mid-Ohio with yet another win aboard the Yamaha YZF-R6. Joining Bostrom on the SS podium were M4 EMGO Suzuki's Martin Cardenas and Erion Honda's Josh Hayes.
Bostrom earned the win after an early tussle with the M4 EMGO Suzuki boys, Cardenas and Blake Young. In the opening laps it was actually Cardenas to lead the class, holding the front for the opening five laps before surrendering the position to Bostrom. Meanwhile Young would eventually give up ground to the hard-charging Bostrom and former Supersport champion Hayes.
Young would go on to finish an eventual fourth, one spot ahead of Bostrom's nearest rival in the title chase, Erion's Jake Zemke.
Bostrom now holds a 22-point lead over his Honda-equipped rival. Meanwhile, Zemke's teammate, Hayes, sits a distant 60 points behind Bostrom at 207. Right on the Gulfport, Mississippi rider's title heels is Young at 203.
AMA Supersport Mid-Ohio Results:
1 Ben Bostrom Yamaha YZF-R6
2 Martin Cardenas Suzuki GSX-R600 2.715
3 Josh Hayes Honda CBR600RR 2.863
4 Blake Young Suzuki GSX-R600 8.416
5 Jake Zemke Honda CBR600RR 8.7
6 Steve Rapp Kawasaki ZX-6R 8.883
7 Cory West Suzuki GSX-R600 18.724
8 Bobby Fong Suzuki GSX-R600 19.087
9 Chaz Davies Kawasaki ZX-6R 21.482
10 Tommy Aquino Yamaha YZF-R6 22.637
AMA Supersport Championship Points:
1 B. Bostrom 267
2 J. Zemke 245
3 J. Hayes 207
4 B. Young 203
5 J. Herrin 180