Mladin’s 75th!

Paul Carruthers | March 22, 2009

Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin won his eighth AMA Superbike National at Auto Club Speedway today, the Australian returning some normalcy to the series by scoring a dominating 8.75-second win over his teammate Tommy Hayden on a cold and blustery day in Fontana, California.Yesterday, Hayden was just .070 of a second behind Mladin, but not today as the six-time AMA Superbike Champion was able to pull clear at just past halfway to easily win this one – the 75th of his AMA Superbike career.”I’m going to have to have a talk to Suzuki about he teammates they keep signing up for me,.” Mladin joked. “I wanted to have a bit of a look and see what Tommy [Hayden] had and we learned a little bit from him yesterday. I was able to keep that gap between us in those couple of spots today. I dropped the lap times and tried to stretch it out a little bit. It was a good race again and it’s great to have the Suzukis up here one-two again.”Third place today went to Foremost Insurance Ducati’s Larry Pegram, the Ohioan bouncing back from his highside crash on the first lap of yesterday’s race. Pegram was 4.6 seconds behind Hayden and barely ahead of National Guard Suzuki’s Geoff May, the Georgian just .213 of a second behind Pegram. The fourth place capped a successful weekend of racing for May, the Michael Jordan-backed rider finishing third and fourth over the two races.Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom ended up fifth, two spots better than yesterday. Bostrom was some six seconds behind May but almost 18 seconds ahead of his teammate Josh Hayes. Hayes barely bested Taylor Knapp Racing’s Taylor Knapp and Aussie Dave Racing’s David Anthony.The third Rockstar Makita Suzuki was ridden to ninth place by Blake Young, though the Wisconsinite had an eventful race. Young was meatballed for jumping the start on the opening lap and he rejoined the race in last place after his ride-through penalty. From there Young picked his way through the field to an eventual ninth-place finish.Tenth went to Aaron Yates on the Michael Jordan Motorsports entry – the veteran also having an eventful race. Just when he’d moved into challenge Hayden for second place, Yates ran in to the rear of the Rockstar Makita Suzuki rider on the front straightaway when Hayden missed a shift. The result was nearly horrific as Yates came close to crashing at high speed. Fortunately, he saved it, though he would fall back from there to finish an eventual 10th.

American Superbike1.                  Mat Mladin (Suzuki)2.                  Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)3.                  Larry Pegram (Ducati)4.                  Geoff May (Suzuki)5.                  Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)6.                  Josh Hayes (Yamaha)7.                  Taylor Knapp (Suzuki)8.                  Davide Anthony (Suzuki)9.                  Blake Young (Suzuki)10.                  Aaron Yates (Suzuki)

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.