Mladin Wins from Pole at Mazda Raceway
NEWS July 5, 2009
As he has done at every previous American Superbike round this season, Mladin started his No. 7 Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 from the pole position. However, the Aussie dropped all the way back to sixth place on the opening lap before beginning his march back to the front. He was fifth at the end of Lap 2, took fourth place on Lap 3, third on Lap 5 and second on Lap 6 of the 18-lap race.
Mladin then began stalking teammate and race leader Blake Young on the No. 79 Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000. He finally made his move to the inside in Turn 11 on Lap 11 and went on to lead the rest of the way. Mladin crossed the stripe 1.642 seconds ahead of Young and 4.588 seconds in front of Aaron Yates on the No. 23 Brand Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000, giving Suzuki a podium sweep. Mladin now leads the American Superbike championship standings by 127 points over teammate Tommy Hayden (No. 22 Rockstar/Makita/Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) with 12 of 20 races now in the books.
"It was obviously a good race for us today," Mladin said. "Most importantly, it's great to have the three Suzukis up here. That's what we're here to do is to try and get a Suzuki on top of the box. Today, it was good to fill the podium."
Young led Laps 2 through 10 en route to his third second-place result of the season and his seventh top-five result in 10 starts. He missed the doubleheader at Infineon Raceway in May due to an injury.
"We got off to a really good start and got to lead some laps," Young said. "I think that's probably the most amount of laps I've led so far in a Superbike race, so it felt really good. The crew worked really hard for me this weekend. I really want to thank them. It got a little rough around the shop, but some guys stepped in and stepped up and filled some shoes. They took care of business and got us up here today, so I really want to give this one to the guys back at the shop and thank them very much for everything. It was a good race for us. I tried to set a pretty good pace and Mat was coming. When he got by, he kind of got a little bit of a gap on me. I tried to jump in as quick as I could to learn where he was better than me, but I just put my head down and figured anything could happen. We ended up second today and I'm really happy with it."
Yates picked up his second consecutive third-place trophy finish and his third podium result of the season. He has finished inside the top 10 in 10 races this season.
"It went okay," Yates said. "I kind of fell in a pace and couldn't really get going any better. I thought we could go faster. We had a pretty good run this morning, but the bike just didn't feel like it did in the morning warm up. We made a couple little changes and we thought it was going to give us a little better feel, but I was kind of stuck in a groove there. These guys (Mladin and Young) got out there. They were going fast. I think I was matching their pace, and I don't know how hard Mat was going, but I just couldn't close up any ground. It just feels good to bring home a podium position for the Jordan Suzuki crew. They worked hard this weekend and made it on the podium."
Josh Hayes finished fourth on the No. 4 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1 for his seventh top-five run of the year. Hayes came home one spot ahead of teammate Ben Bostrom, who finished fifth aboard his No. 2 Yamaha Motor Corp. USA Yamaha R1 and led the race's opening lap. Bostrom has finished inside the top five in each of his last four American Superbike starts and a total of seven times this season.
The race was shortened to 18 laps from its scheduled 23-lap distance due to a pair of first-lap incidents. The initial race start was aborted when four bikes jumped the standing start. On the second start, a crash involving multiple riders in Turn 2 originally brought out a full-course yellow and the safety car and later a red flag when several riders passed the safety car on course.
Next up for AMA Pro American Superbike is a doubleheader at the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tires at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course on the weekend of July 17-19.
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