Spies Gets Eighth Pole

Henny Ray Abrams | August 30, 2008

BRASELTON, GA, AUG 30: Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ben Spies led a Suzuki sweep of the top three positions with his eighth pole in a row in final Superbike qualifying for the Suzuki Superbike Showdown at Road Atlanta. The lap of 1:23.421 mins. was a new record for the slightly reconfigured 12-turn, 2.55-mile road course. “We just went out on some race set-up and got going pretty good, pretty consistent,” Spies said. “With everything up in limbo, I just wanted to put in as good a lap as we could and if we got a point, we got a point and if we didn’t, we didn’t. I kind of took it turn by turn and I knew I was on a good one. I kept going with it and it was a decent lap. We just kind of watched to see what everybody else was doing and that was about it. “It was a pretty clean session, everything went pretty good. We made some changes to the bike last night and made it better. Hopefully it will be a good race.” Teammates Mat Mladin and Tommy Hayden were second and third, respectively, as they’d been on Friday. But their Friday times had been disallowed after their crankshafts were found to be out of compliance. Spies’ crankshaft, on visual inspection, was said to be legal by AMA Pro Racing officials. “My bike has been good all year,” Spies said. “It’s a mess what’s going on and I’m not getting involved with that. I don’t know what’s going on but it’s a definite mess. It’s not up to me so I can’t speak for anybody on it.” Filling out the front row was Yamaha’s Jason DiSalvo, with teammate Eric Bostrom leading off row two from the Monster Kawasaki of Jamie Hacking. Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates was seventh with Monster Kawasaki’s Roger Lee Hayden eighth. Hayden broken a bone in his left hand during Friday Superbike qualifying and withdrew this morning. Superbike Qualifying: 1. Ben Spies (Suzuki) 1:23.421 2. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 1:23.801 3. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:24.404 4. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha) 1:24.463 5. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:24.562 6. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:24.701 7. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:24.911 8. Roger Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:25.392 9. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 1:25.652 10. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 1:25.671

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.