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Mid-Ohio: Doubleheader preview

MID-OHIO'S WISECO SUPERBIKE 100 DOUBLEHEADER IS WIDE OPEN PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 18, 2005) -- Any of a number of the leading AMA Superbike riders are expected to contend for victories in the upcoming pair of Wiseco Superbike 100 races, July ...

MID-OHIO'S WISECO SUPERBIKE 100 DOUBLEHEADER IS WIDE OPEN

PICKERINGTON, Ohio (July 18, 2005) -- Any of a number of the leading AMA Superbike riders are expected to contend for victories in the upcoming pair of Wiseco Superbike 100 races, July 22-24 at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, Ohio.

A total of five former winners will be on the grid at Mid-Ohio for rounds 12 and 13 of the 17-race AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited. Jake Zemke, Aaron Yates, Miguel Duhamel, Eric Bostrom and series leader Mat Mladin have all tasted victory on the challenging 2.4-mile, 15 turn circuit. The pair of Wiseco Superbike 100s are part of the Honda Super Cycle Weekend presented by Dunlop Tire.

This year's race is the 23rd annual Mid-Ohio Superbike event and has long been one of the best-attended races on the AMA Superbike calendar. Riders will be greeted this year by continued circuit safety improvements.

Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin comes to Mid-Ohio with a 31-point lead over teammate Ben Spies. Mladin, the all-time AMA Superbike wins leader from Australia, is looking to add to his 2005 tally of seven wins. He is the only four-time Mid-Ohio Superbike winner.

"I'm happy with the progress we're making this year," said Mladin, who is shooting for his sixth AMA Superbike Championship. "Suzuki came in with the strongest bike in the championship this year and our team has only made it better."

Mladin's teammate Aaron Yates swept the first Mid-Ohio Superbike doubleheader in 2000 and previously won the race in 1998. Yates has seven podium finishes to his credit so far this season, but is looking to score his first victory. He could join Mladin as a four-time winner, or even become the first five-time winner of Mid-Ohio this weekend.

Ducati Austin's Eric Bostrom is hot coming off his victory at Laguna Seca, on July 9. Bostrom is hoping to score his second career Mid-Ohio AMA Superbike victory. If he wins it would mark the first win for Ducati at Mid-Ohio since Doug Polen took victory on the Italian-made machine in 1992.

"We'll see what the coming races bring," Bostrom said. "I know we're improving and I'm getting more confident with each race, but at the same time it's going to be tough to beat the guys who have it dialed in and have been running up front all season."

Honda teammates Miguel Duhamel and Jake Zemke have both scored wins at Mid-Ohio, but the two have yet to win this year. Time is running short for Honda if it is to avoid being shut out in AMA Superbike for the first time since 1994.

Mid-Ohio fans will get their first opportunity to see Ben Spies and Neil Hodgson on AMA Superbikes. Spies is a Superbike rookie from Texas, who is second in the standings to Suzuki teammate Mladin. Mid-Ohio is a homecoming of sorts for Spies, who raced in his first AMA Pro road race at the track in 2000. Hodgson is the former British and World Superbike Champion who is making his debut in the American series this year. Already the Brit has scored a win last month in Elkhart Lake, Wis., and could be a major factor in his first visit to Mid-Ohio.

Three riders from independent or privateer teams are ranked inside the top 10 in AMA Superbike coming into Mid-Ohio. Marty Craggill (Mladin Motorsports Suzuki), Lee Acree (KWS/Millennium Suzuki) and Steve Rapp (Michael Jordan Suzuki) are eighth though tenth in the standings, respectively.

Mid-Ohio was the site of the last privateer victory in AMA Superbike. Privateer Dale Quarterley won Mid-Ohio in 1993 on a Kawasaki.

Both Wiseco Superbike 100s will be televised nationally on SPEED Channel with Saturday's Superbike beginning at 2 p.m. EST on Sunday, July 24, followed by live coverage of Sunday's Superbike final at 3 p.m.

For additional information contact Mid-Ohio at (614) 793-4600 or visit the website www.midohio.com.

About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the THQ AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship, the AMA Superbike Championship, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.

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Series AMA
Drivers Steve Rapp , Miguel Duhamel , Lee Acree , Aaron Yates , Eric Bostrom , Jake Zemke , Ben Spies , Dale Quarterley , Marty Craggill