Holden Wins the “Larry”

Henny Ray Abrams | May 31, 2009

Corona Extra Honda’s Jake Holden earned more money by winning the 14-lap Larry H. Miller Superbike Challenge than Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin won for taking both legs of the AMA Pro Road Racing double-headers at either Fontana, Barber, or Road Atlanta. And he needs it more.”I needed that $8000 to help my budget for this year,” Holden said after dominating the support race for the World Superbike Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah. The jackpot was $500 more than the $7500 a double AMA win pays.Holden was the clear favorite coming into Sunday’s race after qualifying a second faster than anyone else. But he bogged off the start and had a bit of catching up to do.”Our gearing’s really tall,” Holden said. “We’re only running fifth gear on the straightaway. First gear’s really tall; I got a Superbike tranny in it. And I just bogged off the start and I knew we had 14 laps so I just played it comfortable.”I knew those guys were going to ride good, but maybe wait for their tires to start heating up and just pick ‘em off. I knew I had a good pace and we were kind of the favorite coming in here with the Honda guys.” Holden said he could see by his pit board that he was pulling away, “but I wanted to have a good pace. I didn’t want to let off really too much.”Holden won the race by 8.008 secs., with a best lap time of 1:52.343 mins. David Anthony (Suz) was second and Robert Jensen (Suz) third.The Corona Extra Honda team was the only major American road race team to take part in the weekend. The team was contractually obligated by Corona Extra to participate. They considered entering the World Superbike races as a wild card, and even got an entry, but later rejected it because of the short time constraints to source parts, and the costs. Between the entry and tires the bill was around $9000.Instead, they turned the event into a test. Holden was running the American Honda R&D bike, though in trim that would be legal at an AMA road race.”I think we got some good data for them. If we come back next year they’re going to have a really good set-up for the race.”

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.