Spies clears off as Mladin crashes out Ben Spies claimed a fifth consecutive win today at Miller Motorsports Park in what could easily prove the pivotal race of the 2008 AMA Superbike Championship season. The Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki...
Spies clears off as Mladin crashes out
Ben Spies claimed a fifth consecutive win today at Miller Motorsports Park in what could easily prove the pivotal race of the 2008 AMA Superbike Championship season.
The Rockstar Makita Yoshimura Suzuki ace rocketed off the line into first from pole and was followed close behind by rival Mat Mladin on his similarly-equipped GSX-R1000. The two were almost three seconds clear of the field following the opening lap, but the biggest moment of the race was soon to follow.
Mladin, who closed the gap slightly on Spies while running the race's second circulation, lowsided out of the chase at speed in one of 4.5-mile circuit's fast lefthanders. Mladin was unable to remount his bike, leaving him 20th -- last place in the order.
Spies, who suddenly found himself all alone at the front with close to a five-second advantage, carried on over the race's final 12 laps to grab his 23rd career AMA Superbike victory.
Monster Energy Kawasaki's Jamie Hacking added some flair and drama to the fight for second. After impressing in practice and qualifying, the British-born pilot made the race a bit of hard work for himself, running off track, back on briefly, and then back off, and finally on again, while holding third on the second lap.
He fell all the way back to eighth in the process before regrouping to pick off his opponents one at a time as he charged his way back up the field. Lapping as much as a second-a-and-half quicker than anyone else on the track mid-race, Hacking took over the runner-up position shortly after closing in on a pre-existing hard-fought clash for the spot featuring American Honda's Neil Hodgson and Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates on lap 10.
Contact was made between Yates and Hodgson and later Hacking and Hodgson as the Kawasaki star stormed through. Hacking actually made a bit of a run on Spies at the end, finishing just 1.601 seconds off the win at the checkered flag.
Former World and British Superbike champ Hodgson ultimately just fended off Yates to claim Honda's first podium finish on their all-new 2008 CBR1000RR.
Hodgson's teammate, Miguel DuHamel, put in a rather lonely ride for fifth, followed by Yamaha USA's Eric Bostrom and Jason DiSalvo.
Team ESP's Chris Peris, Suzuki-mounted David Anthony, and Pirelli-backed Scott Jenson rounded out the top ten.