Mladin Sweeps AMA Superbike Races at VIR Alton, Va. (August 20) -- Six-time AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin of Australia won Sunday's AMA Superbike Championship race at VIRginia International Raceway's Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals....
Mladin Sweeps AMA Superbike Races at VIR
Alton, Va. (August 20) -- Six-time AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin of Australia won Sunday's AMA Superbike Championship race at VIRginia International Raceway's Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals. The victory completed a sweep of the VIR doubleheader weekend for Mladin, who also won Saturday's race. It marked the second doubleheader sweep of the season for Mladin, who won both legs at Elkhart Lake, Wis., in June.
Mladin's Yoshimura Suzuki passed teammate Aaron Yates, of Milledgeville, Ga., on lap 12 of the 28-lap final and motored away to a 5.278-second margin of victory. Yates finished second. Former series champion Miguel Duhamel was third on a Honda.
"It was hard work getting around Miguel and Aaron," said Mladin, whose perfect weekend breathed new life into the AMA Superbike title chase. "Everyone's talking about the young guys in the series, but you've got three of the oldest riders in the series up here, so experience counts for something."
Series leader Ben Spies broke his right hand in Friday qualifying. The 22-year-old from Longview, Texas, rode with the injury and finished fourth. He held a 45-point lead in the series coming into the weekend and leaves 29 points ahead of defending champ Mladin with three rounds remaining.
In the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship race, Yamaha USA's Jamie Hacking clinched the series title with two races remaining when championship protagonist Roger Hayden's Kawasaki fell out. Hacking emerged victorious in a tight three-way battle with Team M4 Emgo Suzuki teammates Geoff May and Michael Barnes taking second and third, respectively.
Yamaha swept the podium in the Respol Superstock Championship race, with Eric Bostrom winning over teammates Hacking and Jason DiSalvo. The win was veteran Bostrom's first ever in the Superstock series.
The weekend was a huge success, with race promoter Cameron Gray of M1 Entertainment estimating the record weekend crowd at 50,000 over the course of the three-day event. It was the second consecutive year that Gray has promoted the event, which featured a wide variety of off-track entertainment and attractions for the fans.
"We are thrilled with this year's Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals," Gray said. "We built on last year's success and have exceeded our expectations in terms of spectators and sponsorships. The Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals is quickly becoming one of the 'must-do' events on the professional motorcycle racing calendar, and we intend to keep building on our momentum in the years to come. The staff at VIR has been great to work with, and the fans here are terrific. As soon as we catch our breath, we'll be hard at work on our plans to make this event even better for next year."
"The Suzuki Big Kahuna Nationals is our most-anticipated event of the year," said VIR general manager Josh Lief, "and Cameron Gray and his staff have outdone themselves in putting on a great show for both the fans and the racers. They have transformed a race weekend into a three-day festival of motorcycling, and we have heard nothing but rave reviews from the spectators. We look forward to more of the same next year, and for many years to come."
The next spectator event on VIR's schedule is the annual visit of Historic Sportscar Racing, Ltd., scheduled for Labor Day weekend. For more information, visit www.hsrracing.com.