AMA Pro Racing press release:
Mat Mladin doubled up on race wins in the Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge at Auto Club Speedway this weekend where the Australian veteran swept both AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited races.
Mladin (No. 7 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) battled with teammate and early race leader Tommy Hayden (No. 22 Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000) for the second-straight day but ultimately prevailed for this third win in as many American Superbike starts this season.
“I think I’m going to have a chat with Suzuki about the teammates they keep signing up for me,” said Mladin, in reference to both Hayden and former teammate and rival Ben Spies. “At the start I wanted to have a look and see what Tommy had in a few spots. There were a couple of spots yesterday that we were definitely lacking compared to Tommy and we learned a little bit from him and changed the bike. We had no chance to try it out this morning but went with it for the race and definitely were able to keep that gap between us a little bit better in those spots today.”
Mladin made the winning pass on the run through Auto Club’s tri-oval on Lap 10 and steadily pulled away from Hayden, who did well to nurse his damaged Suzuki to the finish after an unintentional contact incident with third-place runner Aaron Yates (No. 23 Brand Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000).
“I got on the front straightaway, missed a couple of gears and didn’t have anywhere to go,” Hayden said. “It was definitely my fault and I apologize to him for that, hopefully it didn’t cause too big of an issue for him. Mat had a pretty big lead so I just tried to hold on to second to bring it home.”
Aside from the Yoshimura duo’s weekend of success, another top story from the race was the rebound of Larry Pegram (No. 72 Foremost Insurance/Ducati 1098R) from yesterday’s opening race incident. Pegram highsided just after the initial Saturday race start but recovered to finish third in Sunday’s final.
“We crashed yesterday, so I was in some pain today,” said Pegram, who took advantage of the Hayden and Yates incident. “I got a little tired towards the end of the race, and I was definitely a little too tentative at the beginning of it and let those guys get away. I was happy with third, obviously something happened to Aaron (Yates), and I thought he had third pretty well locked up but something happened to us yesterday so I think we deserved this.”
Fourth-place went to No. 54 National Guard/Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 rider Geoff May who capped a good weekend after finishing third in yesterday’s race. Ben Bostrom (No. 2 Yamaha YZF-R1) also posted his best American Superbike result of the season to round out the top five. Yates recovered to finish 10th.
Buell scored its first major motorcycle road racing win Saturday at Auto Club Speedway after years of competition in AMA Pro Road Racing. Less than 24 hours later they did it again.
Danny Eslick (No. 9 Bruce Rossmeyer’s Daytona Racing/RMR Buell 1125R) turned in his second flag-to-flag performance in as many days Sunday to sweep both AMA Pro Daytona SportBike presented by AMSOIL races at the Suzuki AMA Pro Superbike Challenge.
“It feels good to be back up here again,” said Eslick, who took the lead at the start of the race from second on the grid. “It wasn’t as easy today as it was yesterday, not that yesterday was easy, but Jamie (Hacking) had the pressure on me. I was waiting on a sneak move but it never quite happened. The Bruce Rossmeyer’s/RMR Geico Powersports Buell 1125R really stuck in there today.”
Hacking (No. 88 Monster/Attack Kawasaki Ninja ZX-6R) was the weekend’s Daytona SportBike Superpole winner and finished second to Eslick in both races this weekend. On Sunday, however, he steadily reeled the Buell rider in during the final half of the 21-lap race.
“We went out with a new setting that we hadn’t ridden on,” said Hacking, who spent the first part of the race battling in a large group of Daytona SportBikes. “It took me awhile at the beginning to figure out what the bike was doing, which is why I fell back a little bit, but once I got settled in I managed to put in some good laps and managed to catch Danny. I was thinking about everything I could possibly do. The ZX-6R ran as well as it could but it just didn’t have it today.”
Team M4 Suzuki rider Jason DiSalvo (No. 40 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) edged teammate Martin Cardenas (No. 36 Team M4 Suzuki GSX-R600) at the finish line to take the final podium spot.
“It was an awesome race, everyone battled so hard,” DiSalvo said. “I pulled up alongside Martin down the back straight and made the pass for third on the lap to the white flag, and then on the last lap he wouldn’t let me make it stick. It was M4 versus M4, I don’t know if my engine was a little tighter or what. I tried to get a drive on him, timed the draft just right and it worked.”
For the second straight day, parity was the theme of the race in Daytona SportBike where six different makes of motorcycles were ridden by the top-seven finishers. The top trio of Buell, Kawasaki and Suzuki were joined by the Yamaha YZF-R6, Honda CBR600RR and Aprilia RSV1000R.
Cardenas, who finished third Saturday, took fourth Sunday while Josh Herrin (No. 8 Team Graves Yamaha YZF-R6) completed the top five.