Mladin On Laguna Pole

Paul Carruthers | September 27, 2008
MONTEREY, CA, SEPT. 27 – Any chance Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Ben Spies had of putting in a last-minute flier to take pole position away from his teammate Mat Mladin at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca was quashed by an horrific crash by Monster Kawasaki’s Jamie Hacking with just a few minutes left in the session.

Hacking’s crash brought out a red flag that ended the session with some four minutes remaining.

Hacking’s crash started at the exit of turn nine, the Kawasaki rider highsiding himself up and over the front of the ZX10R, but somehow saving it. From there, Hacking tried to get the bike righted as he was flipped over the highside and rode virtually alongside the bike as it headed for turn 10. Finally, the crash came to an horrific end with Hacking and the bike flipping wildly into the gravel trap on the entrance to turn 10.

It is not yet know if Hacking suffered injury, but the crash did put a stop to the session.

The stoppage gives Mladin pole position, though it means very little at this point with the championship point meaningless now that the title has been decided. Mladin, though, earned pole with his 1:23.592 – some four tenths off Spies’ pole position lap from the July event.

Spies ended up second with his 1:23.802 and the third Rockstar Makita Suzuki of Tommy Hayden snuck into third at the last minute with a 1:24.037. Hacking’s best lap of 1:24.103 will put him on the front row for tomorrow’s race.

Row two will be headed by Yamaha’s Eric Bostrom and he’ll be joined there by Jordan Suzuki’s Aaron Yates, Yamaha’s Jason DiSalvo and American Honda’s Neil Hodgson.

Final Qualifying

1. Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 1:23.692

2. Ben Spies (Suzuki) 1:23.802

3. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:24.037

4. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:24.103

5. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:24.136

6. Aaron Yates (Suzuki) 1:24.505

7. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha) 1:24.684

8. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 1:24.841

9. Jake Holden (Honda) 1:24.873

10. Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 1:25.228


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.