Spies Takes Pole at Mid-Ohio

Paul Carruthers | August 2, 2008

LEXINGTON, OHIO, AUG. 2 – Whether or not Ben Spies is healthy enough to do it for 26 laps later this afternoon won’t be known until then, but the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider proved that even when under the weather he’s good enough for one fast lap. And that fast lap today at the Mid-Ohio Sport Car Course was good enough to earn him pole position for the the two AMA Superbike races, the first of which will be held this afternoon. The pole, Spies’ sixth on the year, was earned in his final lap and it knocked his teammate Mat Mladin from the top spot with Mladin’s best coming in yesterday’s qualifying session. And his qualifying record lap came just 12 days after an operation in which Spies’ appendix was removed in Dallas. Spies lapped at 1:23.639 on the final lap, besting Mladin’s 1:23.913 from Friday. “Every day’s getting a lot better,” Spies said of his recovery. Monster Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking will start third from the pole after clocking a lap of 1:24.329, enough to keep him ahead of American Honda’s Neil Hodgson (1:24.737 mins.), who he passed in the Superbike point standings at the previous Laguna Seca round. This was Hodgson’s first front row appearance of the season. Superbike Qualifying: 1. Ben Spies (Suzuki) 1:23.639 2. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 1:23.912 3. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:24.329 4. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 1:24.737 5. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:24.970 6. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:25.099 7. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha) 1:25.115 8. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 1:25.479 9. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:25.561 10. Geoff May (Suzuki) 1:25.955

Paul Carruthers | Editor

Paul Carruthers took over as the editor of Cycle News in 1993 after serving as associate editor since starting his career at the publication in 1985. Carruthers has covered every facet of the sport in his near-28-year tenure at America's Daily Motorcycle News Source.