Mladin Returns to Victory Lane at Infineon
NEWS May 17, 2009
Mladin held off repeated attempts by runner-up Ben Bostrom (No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) to take the number one spot as the two ran like they were qualifying from the moment the green flag dropped.
"It was a tough one today," said Mladin, who holds the record for AMA Pro American Superbike wins at Infineon with nine. "I had nothing left out there today. I went as hard as I could and kept going and going and going. I got stuck behind a couple of lappers but I said (to myself) I didn't want to give Ben a sniff, but he got one and he got pretty close. I just put my head down and went hard the rest of the way."
Bostrom spent his laps not only chasing Mladin, but holding off the charge of third place finisher Tommy Hayden (No. 22 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-1000R). Hayden threw down fast lap after fast lap at Bostrom but couldn't get by the rider from California.
"It's a tough track, one of the toughest we go to," said Bostrom. "I love it so much and I've always wanted to win a Superbike race here but I've never done it. Congratulations to Mat and Tommy, especially Mat. He rode a perfect race and it was stellar to watch".
Bostrom closed to within .608 seconds of Mladin on Lap 18 as both riders fought through traffic, but was never closer as Mladin led all 22 laps and stretched the lead to 1.833 seconds at the checkered flag. For Bostrom, his second-place finish was his highest in AMA Pro American Superbike this season.
Of the leaders, Hayden seemed to suffer the most with lapped traffic, falling back time and time again only to charge back to the rear wheel of Bostrom, but was unable to maintain enough momentum to complete the pass.
"It was a very tough race for me," said Hayden. "In the beginning Mat had his head down and was doing some quick laps. I just tried to hang in and stay close. I knew the bike was good over the distance of the race so I wanted to stay in and I hoped to make something happen but I made mistakes and lost some time. After that, I just tried to hang on."
Josh Hayes (No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1) finished fourth as the Saturday AMA Pro American Superbike winner couldn't mount a charge to match the front three riders.
"It was very disappointing today, especially after yesterday," said Hayes, whose victory in Saturday's race came as the first American Superbike win of his career. "The guys worked hard on the R1 and it was all rider error. I had a headache earlier and I don't know if it was allergies or what, but I just wasn't feeling right. The R1 was staying up with the front riders and I was just trying to ride my race and hope something happened up front. But I started messing up, hitting the bumps and missing the lines and I just tried to hang on."
Mladin, who has won eight of the last 14 American Superbike races at Infineon, increases his points lead over teammate Hayden, 268-189. Hayes' performance this weekend improves him from sixth position to third in the 2009 championship points battle with 160, while Bostrom's strong performance on Sunday takes him to fourth with 150 points.
Round Six for AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited will be the Suzuki Superbike Doubleheader in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin at Road America June 5-7.
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