SONOMA, Calif. (May 5, 2001) - Mat Mladin, who suffered a broken left fibula just four weeks ago, powered Yoshimura Suzuki to the pole position during qualifying Saturday for the American Motorcyclist Association Superbike Challenge at Sears Point...
SONOMA, Calif. (May 5, 2001) - Mat Mladin, who suffered a broken left fibula just four weeks ago, powered Yoshimura Suzuki to the pole position during qualifying Saturday for the American Motorcyclist Association Superbike Challenge at Sears Point Raceway.
"I was a little surprised by my effort," said Mladin, who also earned the pole at Sears Point Raceway in 1998 and won the event in 1999. "I still can't get around like I used to (because of the injury) but I had enough to get on the pole and that's what counts."
Mladin actually traded the top spot several times during the qualifying session with Anthony Gobert (Yamaha), but he finally took the top spot for good with a lap of 1 minute, 33.013 seconds over the 12-turn, 2.32-mile road course. Gobert wound up second (1:33.139), while Aaron Yates (1:33.482) and Nicky Hayden (1:33.645) completed the front row for Sunday's 26-lap main event, which begins at 2 p.m. Yates rides for Suzuki, while Hayden pilots a Honda.
"I was happy with my time but I obviously wanted to be first so I'm not 100-percent happy," Gobert said. "Being in the front row will put me in good position for the race."
Mladin suffered his broken left fibula during a motocross training accident one month ago in his native Australia. He is walking with a heavy limp, but it didn't seem to hamper his riding during qualifying.
"It won't be a problem completing 26 laps tomorrow," Mladin said. "If I can do one lap I can do 26 laps."
In other action, Yates grabbed the pole for Sunday's Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport main event, while Jason Pridmore (Attack Suzuki) won the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme main event, and Calistoga's Brian Parriott captured the Suzuki Genuine Accessories 750 SuperSport final. Sunday's 600 SuperSport final will begin at 11 a.m.