Mladin and Hayden DQ’ed From Friday Qualifying

Henny Ray Abrams | August 29, 2008

BRASELTON, GA, AUG 29: For the second race in a row, AMA Pro Racing tech inspectors have alleged that the crankshaft in Mat Mladin’s Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 was illegal, only this time they alleged the same of Tommy Hayden’s machine.

Following Friday’s qualifying session at Road Atlanta, in which the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team of Ben Spies, Mat Mladin, and Tommy Hayden qualified one-two-three, the engines in all three race bikes were inspected. AMA tech inspectors, after a preliminary inspection, didn’t find a problem with the crankshaft on Spies’ machine, but did with the two others. Hayden’s and Mladin’s were torn down and the crankshafts removed.

Hours later, a press release issued from Daytona Beach, Florida said that all of Mladin’s and Hayden’s Friday qualifying times would be disallowed “for use of non-homologated crankshafts.” Both will be allowed to take part in the Saturday morning qualifying session prior to Saturday’s 17th of 19 Superbike races.

The teams didn’t get both of their machines back until around 7:00 p.m., after which they had to begin to prepare them for Saturday’s races.

What complicates the situation is that, according to Don Sakakura, who spoke to Cycle News on Friday morning, the AMA never told the team what the alleged non-compliance issue was with the crankshaft from Virginia International Raceway, where Mladin was disqualified from both races for alleged crankshaft violations. That infraction has been appealed.

And they didn’t immediately tell the team what the issue was with the crankshafts at Road Atlanta. Which leaves open the possibility that the engines in Mladin’s and Hayden’s Saturday race bikes will also be accused of having illegal crankshafts.

Why they haven’t been told isn’t known. A phone call placed to Bill Syfan of the Daytona Motorsports Group wasn’t immediately returned.

Yoshimura Suzuki team manager Don Sakakura also didn’t return phone calls seeking comment.


Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.