| From Mat Mladin Racing|
Final Qualifying and First Race Report
Lexington, Ohio, USA (Friday, 25 July) – Three-times American Superbike champion Mat Mladin scored his eighth race win of the season and as a result has extended his AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship points lead after a thrilling days racing at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Ohio.
Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) was forced to fend of a last lap challenge by Erion Honda’s Kurtis Roberts where the two riders swapped the race lead on a handful of occasions before Roberts crashed out of contention at turn eight, leaving Mladin to take the win, 6.14 seconds clear of privateer Jason Pridmore (Attack Suzuki). American Honda’s Miguel DuHamel placed third winning a close battle over teammate Ben Bostrom, and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Aaron Yates.
The win, Mladin’s 22nd AMA career victory and second at Mid-Ohio, gives the Australian a 25-point lead over teammate Aaron Yates, who finished fifth in today’s race, the first of two 26-lap AMA Superbike nationals scheduled for the weekend.
Today’s race was run in two stages after an accident forced race officials to bring out the red flag with eight laps remaining, with Mladin holding the race lead over Roberts and Pridmore. To that point, Mladin and Roberts had battled closely with Mladin holding the upper hand with track position. The restart saw any time advantage nullified leaving the field with a nine-lap sprint to the flag. Mladin again took control and led, but with just under two laps to run, came under immense pressure from Roberts. A mistake by Roberts on the final lap allowed Mladin to complete the lap with an unchallenged run to the flag.
“It was a two stage race, we were leading when the red flag came out with eight laps to go in the first stage, leaving us with a nine-lap restart,” said Mladin. “I led the restart till about a lap and a half to run when Kurtis (Roberts) came by me. We swapped places a couple of times on the last lap, but I ran a little wide on the exit of the Esses and he got by me again, but his race was done at the next turn when he crashed. It was a great race. The final lap passes were all clean moves and just finished off a great race.”
Earlier in the day, Mladin blasted his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 to his 30th career AMA pole position edging out Roberts and DuHamel, with Pridmore completing the front row of the grid. Mladin’s time of 1:26.654, was just outside his existing Superbike lap record of 1:26.498 set in 2001 around the picturesque 3.86km (2.40 miles) Ohio circuit. Roberts (1:26.852) and DuHamel (1:26.936), where the only other riders to drop into the 1:26 bracket, with Pridmore’s best being a 1:27.072.
“Qualifying ended up being close, but we did a fast enough lap to get us pole position for the race. The point for pole, plus the points for leading the most laps in the race and the win itself has given us maximum points so far this weekend, so now we just need to do the same in tomorrow’s second race.”
Racing continues tomorrow with the second 36-lap AMA Superbike national scheduled for late in the afternoon.
Rd 13, AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship
RACE RESULT, 26 Laps - Top 10
1. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 26 Laps
2. Jason Pridmore (Attack Suzuki) +6.140 seconds
3. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) +7.810
4. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) +8.832
5. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) +8.946
6. Giovanni Bussei (Ducati Austin) +15.898
7. Kurtis Roberts (Erion Honda) +20.833
8. Shawn Higbee (KWS Suzuki) +23.377
9. Geoff May (Suzuki) +39.602
10. Mike Ciccotto (Suzuki) +46.474
COMBINED QUALIFYING, Saturday - Top 10
1. Mat Mladin Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:26.654 mins
2. Kurtis Roberts (Erion Honda) 1:26.852
3. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) 1:26.936
4. Jason Pridmore (Attack Suzuki) 1:27.072
5. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:27.093
6. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:27.417
7. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) 1:28.681
8. Giovanni Bussei (Ducati Austin) 1:28.799
9. Jordan Szoke (Corona Extra Suzuki) 1:28.909
10. Steve Rapp (Valvoline EMGO Suzuki) 1:29.254
2003 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship (points after 13 of 18 rounds)
1. M Mladin (396); 2. A Yates (371), 3. E Bostrom (350); 4. B Bostrom (347); 5. K Roberts (345), 6. M DuHamel (332); 7. J Pridmore (280); 8. S Higbee (275), 9. L Pegram (211); 10. V Haskovec (199).
MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE – FAST FACTS
Circuit length: 3.86km / 2.40 miles
2002 Pole position: Nicky Hayden (American Honda) 1: 27.130 mins
Lap Record: Mat Mladin (Team Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:26.498 (2001)
Mid-Ohio Race Win For Mladin - Extends American Superbike Title Lead () 07/27 12:08 PM
The views and opinions expressed in these pages are strictly those of the authors and cannot be taken to represent the views and opinions of Formula Xtreme Promotions Pty Ltd or the Australasian Superbike Company Pty Ltd (Ausco).