Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin overcame cold, damp conditions to take his ninth (out of a possible 10) AMA Superbike win of the season in the first race of the double-header weekend on Saturday afternoon at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. The six-time AMA Superbike Champion started from pole position and got off to a conservative start in the wet. Even so, he took the lead within several laps and led all the way to the race’s end.
This season, Mladin has captured all six pole positions in AMA Superbike, which means he has a career total of 61. Additionally, this victory is Mladin’s 81st career AMA Superbike victory. Rockstar Makita Suzuki teammate Blake Young returned to racing after injuring his hand two rounds previous. Despite the nasty conditions, the rookie AMA Superbike rider brought home an impressive fifth-place finish. Rounding out the threeman Rockstar Makita Suzuki team was Tommy Hayden, who struggled a bit before picking up a ninth-place result.
Mat Mladin Speaks…
"We had a bit of a problem in the warm-up so we didn’t get to do any laps. So the first lap, lap and a half, of the race I was trying to get the feel of the racetrack because I didn’t know how it was going to be. It worked out good for us, though. After that first lap, I got a bit of a feel for it and the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 felt good and I decided to have a go at it…. I just kept trying to go."
Tommy Hayden Speaks…
"I got a terrible start. I think on the first lap, I was about 18th. From there, I kind of worked my way through the field. I managed to put in a few good laps but I realized I need to get a better start tomorrow if I want to run up front."
Blake Young Speaks…
"The start wasn’t so good for us today. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 got off the line pretty good initially, but then I spun the tire, when we crossed over the paint I think, and I just spun it all the way down the straightaway. I got passed and was back around seventh and then I just got a feel for the bike and started clicking off some pretty good laps. I started to catch up, and ended up fifth."
Rockstar Makita Suzuki Factory Racing will race again tomorrow at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, on Sunday, June 7, 2009.