Mladin's Suzuki Broom Sweeps VIRginia International Raceway AMA Superbikes DANVILLE, VA. - Mat Mladin, riding on his American Suzuki /Yoshimura US Suzuki GSX-R1000, swept both halves of the AMA Suzuki Big Kahuna Superbike Nationals presented by...
Mladin's Suzuki Broom Sweeps VIRginia International Raceway AMA Superbikes
DANVILLE, VA. - Mat Mladin, riding on his American Suzuki /Yoshimura US Suzuki GSX-R1000, swept both halves of the AMA Suzuki Big Kahuna Superbike Nationals presented by Dunlop and ROCKSTAR Energy Drink.
Mat Mladin continued his domination of the race when in Sunday morning's final practice session he turned a lap nearly a full second quicker than teammate Ben Spies' lap. Mladin's lap time of 1:23.862 fell short of his pole-winning time of 1:23.698 while Spies' time was even further behind his qualifying time: 1:24.731 in practice vs. 1:24.216 in qualifying.
The pair of Suzuki riders both headed fellow Suzuki rider Aaron Yates' time of 1:24.827 and Jamie Hacking's 1:25.098 in the final practice, as the lap times Sunday mirrored the order set in qualifying. "It's the second time we've done it this year (swept the weekend) said Mladin. "We're just fighting to come back as strong as we can," he continued, talking about the point challenge.
"We threw some chunks out of the tire, so we knew we weren't going forward," said Spies after the race, describing how he could not challenge for the win.
In the race, Mladin jumped to a lead of nearly a half second over his younger partner and with only few exceptions, increased the gap every lap, eventually beating Spies by 5.591 seconds. Mladin has ten wins for the 2007 season, to Spies' six, but Spies has yet to finish lower than second, giving him a slender six point lead in the championship over Mladin.
Combined, the pair have won every race for their team in 2007, with Jake Zemke third in points following the Virginia rounds, some 160 points behind leader Spies.
The day's action was not limited to the Superbikes as in preliminary races, Spies swept to victory in the Superstock Series presented by Dynojet, followed by Aaron Yates and Jake Holden, all on board stock Suzuki GSX-R1000 motorcycles. Yates and Holden race for the team owned by NBA superstar Michael Jordan. The second preliminary race of the day went to Joshua Hayes, on his Honda CBR600, followed by Martin Cardenas and Jamie Hacking, riding a Suzuki GSX-R600 and a Kawasaki ZX-6R in the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei feature race. Cardenas has never raced at VIR prior to this weekend.
The next race featured on the AMA Pro calendar is another Superbike double-header for Labor Day weekend, August 31-Sept. 2, the AMA Suzuki Superbike Showdown, presented by Makita at Road Atlanta.
VIR's next major event is the GT Live/Koni Challenge event, the weekend of October 5-7. With the widest variety of motorsports available, the headliner event will be the Koni Challenge races for high-performance production sports cars, coupes and sedans. With limited modifications, these are the same cars seen on the highways every day. The VIR races will be the finales for the two classes, both featuring a six-hour enduro format. The big engined Grand Sport (GS) racers will take the track in the weekend's capstone, while the smaller Street Tuner (ST) class attracts the import and hot compact crowd.
GS races feature Porsche, Nissan, BMW, Mustang and Pontiac, while the ST cars attract entries such as Mazda RX-8, Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Dodge SRT-4, MINI Cooper S, Acuras and a variety of BMWs. The entire field races on Hoosier tires, further equalizing the competition.