Mladin wins incident-strewn Mid-Ohio final Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin scored his third straight AMA Superbike victory of the season on Saturday at Mid-Ohio, handing his team an amazing 40th consecutive premier class win while...
Mladin wins incident-strewn Mid-Ohio final
Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin scored his third straight AMA Superbike victory of the season on Saturday at Mid-Ohio, handing his team an amazing 40th consecutive premier class win while upping his all-time wins mark to 69.
However, Saturday's final was anything but business as usual, as the chaotic affair included three red flags, numerous crashes (including one by Mladin), and took well over two hours to finally complete.
The opening seven laps featured a tight three-way scrap for the lead with Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jamie Hacking grabbing the initial holeshot before giving way to Mladin at the conclusion of the opening lap.
Hacking didn't fade, however, as he pressed the Australian at the front, occasionally showing him a wheel entering Turn 6. All the while, polesitter Ben Spies was lurking behind, sitting a close third.
However, just as the lead group was completing lap 8 (and Mladin looked like he might start to squeak open a gap), the race came to a dramatic halt.
American Honda's Neil Hodgson suffered a nightmarish start from the front row, dropping back several positions. The former World Superbike champ rebounded to dice his way up to fourth before his CBR1000RR's motor gave way, laying oil on the circuit in the Turn 12/13 area. Several riders behind him were caught out, with a few crashing heavily into the hay bales, bringing out the red flag.
The restarted race lasted less than a lap before a second red flag flew as leader Mladin and second-placed Hacking crashed separately just feet apart as they crested the hill in Turn 9. Incredibly, the cause was fluid on the circuit that had leaked from an over-passing bridge, presumably after a fan dumped a cooler over the track.
Despite not falling, Spies was in visible pain as he returned to the pits following a near highside. Meanwhile, Mladin remounted and made it back fairly quickly while Hacking finally did the same after having to push his ZX-10R for a considerably distance before finally getting it running again.
The third start was red-flagged four laps later after Corona Honda's Matt Lynn went sliding across Turn 2 with his CBR1000RR right on his heels in a full-on fireball. Moments later Miguel DuHamel (who crashed in the original start but was given new life by the original red flag) came sliding off his bike right alongside Lynn.
The final restart saw the races last nine laps raced in succession. The Australian grabbed yet another holeshot and quickly worked up an advantage.
Behind, Hacking held off title leader Spies until the Texan finally ducked to the inside on the brakes entering Turn 6 on the penultimate lap. Spies went on to finish second after the arduous affair while Hacking rounded out the podium.
Yamaha USA's Jason DiSalvo worked past third works Suzuki rider Tommy Hayden to pick up fourth late, with Monster Energy Kawasaki's Roger Hayden narrowly beating DiSalvo's teammate, Eric Bostrom, to the stripe for sixth.
Superstock specialists Geoff May, Chris Peris, and Scott Jensen completed the top ten.
A second (and hopefully more conventional) AMA Superbike race will take place tomorrow at Mid-Ohio.