Mladin Wins AMA Debacle

Paul Carruthers | July 5, 2009

It’s a shame when off-the-track chaos overshadows what happens on the racetrack, but that’s exactly what happened today at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca when, once again, the AMA Superbike Series embarrassed itself in front of the world.With jumped starts, red flags and yet another pace-car debacle that could have proven deadly more on the mind of spectators and participants than Mat Mladin’s 82nd career AMA Superbike victory, racing came to a close today as the sideshow to the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix just about blew up in the faces of all involved.When things cool down, the race will be remembered as another Mladin victory, the Australian shadowing his teammate Blake Young for several laps before taking the lead and sprinting away to a 1.64-second victory. Young held on for second place, well clear of the third-place duel between Michael Jordan Motorsports’ Aaron Yates and Yamaha’s Josh Hayes.That battle went to Yates, the Georgian beating Hayes to the line by just .099 of a second after 18 laps of racing that was interrupted first by a jumped start that led to an aborted start, then a waving yellow flag in which the pace car was brought out and almost caused havoc, then a red-flag to make up for the fact that the pace car had completely missed the boat.Simply put, it was ugly all around.Ben Bostrom, who was one of the riders to hit the deck in the turn two crash that brought out the yellow and ultimately the red flag, finished fifth after barely holding back Corona Honda’s Neil Hodgson – another of the turn-two crashers. Then came Hodgson’s teammate Jake Holden and the third of the Yoshimura Suzukis ridden by Tommy Hayden. Hayden had jumped the original start and was forced to incur a ride-through penalty. National Guard Suzuki’s Blake Young was ninth with 10th going to Larry Pegram on the Foremost Insurance Ducati, with Pegram also involved in the turn-two crash.

Superbike Final

1.                  Mat Mladin (Suzuki)

2.                  Blake Young (Suzuki)

3.                  Aaron Yates (Suzuki)

4.                  Josh Hayes (Yamaha)

5.                  Ben Bostrom (Yamaha)

6.                  Neil Hodgson (Honda)

7.                  Jake Holden (Honda)

8.                  Tommy Hayden (Suzuki)

9.                  Geoff May (Suzuki)

10.                  Larry Pegram (Ducati)

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.