Author: site admin
Category: AMA Superbikes
With all the excitement from the MotoGP and WSBK races over the past two weeks, I haven’t talked about the AMA events which ran as support races over the USGP weekend.
The biggest news there was Eric Bostrom. After a convincing win at the historically EBoz friendly PPIR, it remained to be seen whether Bostrom had really found some competitiveness or whether its just a flike that he just knows how to win at the Colorado track no matter what he’s riding. Laguna Seca offered up an answer to that question by offering up another flag-to-flag victory for the Ducati rider. It is perhaps true that Mladin didn’t have any reason to hang it all out at Laguna, after all Eric isn’t in the championship points battle, but it appeared that Eric was just the fastest guy on the track for that race no matter what the other riders were or weren’t doing. With two wins under his belt this season on vastly different types of tracks, perhaps this is a sign that Eric has finally come to terms with the 999’s set up.
As for Mladin, he again had a race weekend where he didn’t win but still triumphed. In this case, he gained more points over teammate Ben Spies, his nearest rival for the ‘05 Superbike title, and how holds a 31 point lead. Superbike title #6 is nearly in his grasp. With just three more rounds, all being double headers, there are still 228 points available. However, with only six points between first and second, it is rapidly nearing the point where Mladin could finish directly behind Spies at every event and still win the #1 plate. Expect Mladin to ride hard at Mid-Ohio, then ride strategically for the last four rounds to sew up the title.
The two AMA support class races were the most exciting races of the weekend at Laguna. In Superstock, Tommy Hayden put in an incredible performance only to be thwarted in the closing laps by a backmarker. Hayden, trying to pull a gap over pursuing Aaron Yates and Jason Disalvo, attempted to go around the outside of a slower rider in Turn 4 but instead made contact and crashed. He ended up with a broken right hand, as well as virtually losing any chance he had of winning the Superstock title this year. The race boiled down to a last lap dual between Yates and Disalvo in which Yates baited a trap for the young Yamaha rider and snapped is down hard. In this case, Yates braked late into Turn 11 on the last lap but then swung wide to leave an opening up the inside. Jason dove for the hole but then ran wide on the exit to the corner. Yates had already turned in early setting him up for a killer drive onto the front straight. Aaron, the part-time drag racer, won the acceleration contest and the race. This win extends his gap in the title fight to 10 points over Disalvo.
The Supersport race, the final race of the weekend, was a barn-burner with Roger Lee Hayden and Jason Disalvo fighting until the finish line. Even the start of the race was exciting as Attack Kawasaki’s Ben Attard ran at the front for a lap before tossing the bike in turn 9. Hayden and Disalvo went at for the last two laps with Jason again making his bid for the win in Turn 11. However, having learned from Yates in the Superstock race, Jason used an aggressive pass to block Roger Lee from turning in underneath him and thus held on for the victory. Tommy Hayden rode, despite the broken hand, and earned a sixth place. He holds a 41 point lead over teammate Roger Lee for the Supersport championship.
I suspect that, like last year, the Supersport and Superstock races will continue to be the ones to watch for the last three rounds of the series. Despite all the talk about why Yamaha and Kawasaki should be racing in Superbike and Formula Xtreme, its hard to argue that the racing in the support classes is exciting and that part of that excitement is there because some very talented factory riders are going for the title. Does anyone remember how exciting the 600 Supersport classs was when Honda and Suzuki were duking it out with Yamaha and Kawasaki?
You can bet I’ll be watching the Mid-Ohio races. Tommy Hayden already has one Supersport title and is close to a second…was last year a fluke or a sign?
[image from the official AMA Superbike web site.]