AMA Superbike kicked off this weekend to substantially less fanfare than WSBK did last week. AMA Superbike has become the bastard-child of road-racing for a variety of reason. One, Mat Mladin has already been forecasted to win all the races this year now that Ben Spies has moved on to World Superbikes. Two, the bikes being raced aren’t really superbikes. Three, AMA Superbike has been boring for the past 5 years or so. While we do not attempt to make excuses, or even argue these valid criticisms of AMA Superbike, you’d be wrong if you thought the first race of the AMA season was boring. It’s true that Mladin took over on the 7th lap and won by over a second but the actual racing was a lot more entertaining than that.
Mladin, Corona Honda’s Neil Hodgson and Foremost Ducati’s Larry Pegram all led in the early stages of the race and Mladin’s teammate Tommy Hayden overcame a poor start that he attributed to an unfamiliar starting procedure to join a lead pack that saw numerous overtaking manuevers behind the leader.
Mladin’s grasp on the top step on the podium was in peril until he employed a backmarker to gain a bit of breathing room very late in the contest. Mat Mladin celebrated his 73rd AMA Superbike victory and also captured the coveted pole position in the new Superpole procedure, taking his 56th career pole.
Hodgson pipped Hayden at the line in a thrilling finish for second place by .001 second when Hayden lost speed after being balked in the chicane on the last lap. Tommy Hayden qualified right behind Mladin.
Pegram dropped back to a distant but comfortable fourth when an electrical problem forced him to switch off his 1098’s traction control. The team’s newest team member, Blake Young, started the season strong by carding an impressive fifth-place finish in his first AMA Superbike race with his new team.
Results from AMA Superbike at Daytona:
|1||7||Mathew Mladin||Suzuki GSX-R1000||15 Laps|
|2||100||Neil Hodgson||Honda CBR1000RR||+1.026|
|3||22||Tommy Hayden||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1.026|
|4||72||Larry Pegram||Ducati 1098R||+10.115|
|5||79||Blake Young||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+16.007|
|6||2||Benjamin Bostrom||Yamaha YZF-R1||+16.212|
|7||23||Aaron Yates||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+16.362|
|8||4||Joshua Hayes||Yamaha YZF-R1||+28.356|
|9||8||Michael Laverty||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+28.432|
|10||54||Geoff May||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+31.582|
|11||19||Jeff Wood||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+47.200|
|12||96||Aaron Gobert||Honda CBR1000RR||+57.269|
|13||121||Hawk Mazzotta||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+58.856|
|14||18||Chris Ulrich||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+58.949|
|15||91||Jeffrey Tigert||Honda CBR1000RR||+58.968|
|16||61||Scott Jensen||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1:07.584|
|17||29||Barrett Long||Ducati 1098R||+1:07.620|
|18||41||Scott Greenwood||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1:07.941|
|19||12||Shane Narbonne||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1:08.045|
|20||27||Mark Crozier||Yamaha YZF-R1||+1:11.554|
|21||6||Brett McCormick||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1:17.905|
|22||616||Brad Hendry||Ducati 1098R||+1:19.438|
|23||38||Dean Mizdal||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1:33.792|
|24||48||Reno Karimian||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+1:33.942|
|25||11||Shawn Higbee||Buell 1125CR||14 Laps|
|26||269||Johnny Rock Page||Yamaha YZF-R1||+17.135|
|27||58||Josh Graham||Yamaha YZF-R1||+27.725|
|28||55||David Loikits||Suzuki GSX-R1000||+41.848|
|29||270||Davie Stone||Honda CBR1000RR||13 Laps|
|30||25||David Anthony||Suzuki GSX-R1000||8 Laps|
|31||44||Taylor Knapp||Suzuki GSX-R1000||4 Laps|
|32||59||Jake Holden||Honda CBR1000RR||3 Laps|
|33||21||Ryan Elleby||Suzuki GSX-R1000||2 Laps|