The weather could not have been more perfect in the beautiful Sonoma valley. The now popular double-header weekend meant Saturday was Superbike racing. After having taken three wins in the first three rounds of the series, Mat Mladin was ...
The weather could not have been more perfect in the beautiful Sonoma valley. The now popular double-header weekend meant Saturday was Superbike racing.
After having taken three wins in the first three rounds of the series, Mat Mladin was Saturday's race favorite. To everyone's disappointment, Eric Bostrom, did not qualify as well as many had expected and sat on the second row of the grid.
After 600cc SuperSport final qualifying, 4:00pm hit and the AMA SBK boys got ready to go racing. With Mat on pole position for the race, fighting for the lead early on would be important.
Racing began at 4:15 on the dot and Aaron Yates took the lead. Zemke followed closely, with Mat on the #98's tail. By lap 2, Mat took over second at the turn 9 chicane and Zemke took over first. Within laps, it was the Zemke-Mat show, as they began to visibly open up a gap between themselves and third place Aaron Yates. However, the pressure of the Hondas proved too great for Aaron as he ran off the track on lap 4.
With the Hondas of Ben Bostrom and Miguel Duhamel on the chase, followed by Eric Bostrom, Mat made a pass for the lead on lap 5. With plenty of laps to go, it was still anybody's race and Zemke stuck himself to Mladin's exhaust pipe. Sadly, by lap 8, the leading group had caught up to end of the pack.
By lap 12, a gap began to develop between Mat and his previous shadow, Zemke.
With 13 laps to go, Miguel hit the switch and passed Ben Bostrom on the brakes going into the turn 9 chicane.
Once Duhamel got a clear track, the hunt for 2nd place was on. Within 4 laps Duhamel had not only made up the gap to Zemke, he had passed him for second.
But the Canadian Gods were not to give Duhamel the victory, instead 4-time AMA Mat Mladin took those honors.
Other than the initial close racing of the opening laps, the highlight of the race must have been the crowd-pleasing, rear-wheel slide show Aaron Yates put on at the top of turn 3.
1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
2. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
3. Jake Zemke (Honda)
4. Ben Bostrom (Honda)
5. Eric Bostrom (Ducati)
6. Josh Hayes (Kawasaki)
7. David Stanton (Suzuki)
8. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
9. Geoff May (Suzuki)
10. Aaron Yates (Suzuki)