Mladin Extends Streak at VIR, Yoshimura DANVILLE, VA -- Mat Mladin, on board his RockStar/Makita/American Suzuki GSX-R1000 race bike, stretched his string of victories at VIRginia International Raceway to seven races, sweeping the last ...
Mladin Extends Streak at VIR, Yoshimura
DANVILLE, VA -- Mat Mladin, on board his RockStar/Makita/American Suzuki GSX-R1000 race bike, stretched his string of victories at VIRginia International Raceway to seven races, sweeping the last three years' events, plus Saturday's Superbike feature. The win was Mladin's 71st career win and fifth consecutive in the current season.
Teammate and point leader Ben Spies held on to finish second after qualifying on pole, in spite of a near-crash on the fourth lap that he said lost about three seconds on that lap. The gap already opened by pole-winner Spies and Mladin just kept him out of the reaches of pursuing racers and he eventually finished just over eight seconds behind Mladin and over 20 seconds ahead of fellow team rider Tommy Hayden. Spies commented that: "I was just trying to latch on the back of Mat and go and kind of lost the rear a little bit and couldn't quite get back into a rhythm quick enough. I knew we were in trouble.
"I thought we had some decent pace and just when I saw the gap come down as quick as it did I knew we were kind of in trouble, and I was just going to try to see if we could hang onto him when he came by. I just had a bit of a moment and chilled out a little bit and got everything back together and got second. I could see that we had a pretty big gap on third so there wasn't a need to do anything silly, because I definitely didn't have the speed today to win."
Spies added "that was the best save I've ever had," commenting that he hoped it was on TV. Crashes did occur, with Neil Hodgson high-siding out of the race in Turn Two, followed just three laps later in the same spot by Jamie Hacking. Both riders walked away from their incidents.
Saturday's second race went to Formula Xtreme rider Joshua Hayes, mounted on his Honda CBR600RR, followed just under eight seconds later by Jake Zemke, who headed Suzuki rider Martin Cardenas by ten more seconds.
Racing continues Sunday at VIR with warmups starting at 8:30 and the Red Bull AMA U.S. Rookies Cup hitting the track for their 60-kilometer race at 11:00 and the Superbike feature race that finishes out the double-header weekend taking the green flag at 3:00 for 100 kilometers of non-stop action.
Tickets are available at the track gate.