Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin completed a clean sweep of the AMA Superbike double-header at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama with a Suzuki GSX-R1000 one-two.
The six-time champion beat current champion and team mate Ben Spies to the flag with Honda's Miguel Duhamel third and new Yoshimura team rider Tommy Hayden fourth.
"It was a nice race for us," said Mladin about his 53rd career victory and his fifth win at Barber. "It was good to get some of the points we lost out on from Daytona. I have to say thanks to my crew and to Suzuki for delivering us the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. Now, I'm just looking toward the Fontana race next weekend and having a good rest of the season."
After yesterday's qualifying session, the Yoshimura Suzuki team was gridded on the front row. Spies led the way after picking up his second pole position of the year, Mladin was in the second spot and Hayden rounded out the front row.
The start of the 28-lap race had Hayden out in front with Mladin and Spies close behind. Within a few short laps, however, Mladin took over and led the rest of the race to victory.
"It was a good weekend for us," said Mladin. "We tested here about a month ago. We have a good motorbike with the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 and we ran a good pace with consistent laps. So coming into this race, we knew what we had and it was just a matter of keeping it clean for all 28 laps. The Suzuki worked well throughout the whole race and we just did what we had to do to bring it home with a win."
Early in the race, Spies slotted in behind Mladin in second position. He pushed hard but was unable to overtake his team mate, with the result being a strong second-place finish. Although he didn't win the race, Spies' impressive ride helped him maintain his lead in the AMA Superbike points chase.
"I just couldn't get into a rhythm today," said Spies. "And I made a bunch of little mistakes that added up. It was all me. I wish we could have been there for the win but we just couldn't do it today. The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working good and was actually working better at the end of the race. We kept going faster and faster. We didn't win the race but we didn't get outright smoked either. Hopefully we can come back strong for Fontana."
Meanwhile, after initially leading the race, Hayden settled into fifth position and was turning consistent laps. With less than 10 laps to go, however, he made a pass for fourth position and held on to the finish.
"The start on my Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was really great," said Hayden about leading the first few laps of Sunday's Superbike race. "Then I fell back a little, but towards the end, I started working my way back up again. We improved over our fifth-place finish yesterday and were a little bit closer to the leaders at the end. Hopefully, we can make the same kind of leap next week and have a chance for the podium at Fontana."
Yoshimura Suzuki will return for round three of the AMA Superbike Series at California Speedway in Fontana, California next weekend.
- 1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
- 2. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
- 3. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
- 4. Tommy Hayden (Yoshimura Suzuki)
- 5. Aaron Yates (Jordan Suzuki)
- 6. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha)
- 7. Jason Disalvo (Yamaha)
- 8. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
- 9. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki)
- 10. Jake Zemke (Honda)