Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing's Mat Mladin celebrated his fifth AMA Superbike win of the year and his 68th such career victory at Monterey, California's Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca on Sunday afternoon.
The six-time AMA Superbike Champion put in an impressive ride on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000, finishing 10 seconds in front of his team mate Ben Spies.
Defending, two-time AMA Superbike Champion Spies started from pole position - his fifth of the year and 21st of his career - and got the holeshot in the 28-lap race, but - having just finished a remarkable eighth place in the day's earlier MotoGP race - was passed by his team mate and finished in second place.
Jordan Suzuki's Aaron Yates, meanwhile, put in a great ride, moving through the pack to capture the final spot on the podium and Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Tommy Hayden returned to racing after having been out due to injury for more than two months: The former AMA Supersport Champion raced his GSX-R1000 to a more-than-respectable fifth-place finish.
"It was a good race for us. We felt pretty comfortable with the limited time we've had on the race track. We felt like we had a good bike in the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-1000 and this morning we just needed to sort out exactly what tyre we wanted to use. I think everybody went with something pretty similar. I think we had a good pace and then just got in front of Ben and put my head down and tried to make a break, and that's what happened."
"It was a good race. We got a decent start, but Mat came by and we tried to get behind him and get into a rhythm. But he kept stretching and stretching the gap and we just didn't have the pace today - we didn't have the speed at all. Once we got a good gap on third place, we just hit the cruise control and brought home second place. There was no way we could run with Mat today; there was no need to do anything silly, and so it was a pretty uneventful race, really."
"The race was pretty good. We didn't have the best starting position but we got off the line pretty well on the Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 and got past a few guys. I just tried to pick people off with every lap, tried to keep chopping away, and take it up to a podium position."Tommy Hayden:
"It felt good to get out there racing again. It was all right for my first race back. I guess I have to accept that I'm a little bit rusty on my racing. I wasn't quite aggressive enough with making the passes when I needed to. But overall, it's good to be back and come back with a solid result."
1. Mat Mladin (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 2. Ben Spies (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 3. Aaron Yates (Jordan Suzuki) 4. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 5. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki) 6. Roger Lee Hayden (Kawasaki) 7. Neil Hodgson (Honda) 8. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha) 9. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) 10. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)