Spies, Mladin in yawnfest


And farther back … Hodgson, DiSalvo, Bostrom fight for third

The suspense was, um, non-existent at California’s Fontana Speedway for the third round of the AMA Superbike series (the second under the direct control of Canada’s Colin Fraser who also directs the Parts Canada superbike and Moto ST endurance series).

Race 1, Yoshimura Suzuki 1-2-3, Ben Spies followed by Mat Mladin and Tommy Hayden. Race 2, Yoshimura Suzuki 1-2-3, Ben Spies followed by Mat Mladin and Tommy Hayden.

You have to admire the Yosh squad for their amazing success, but really … when the only drama is whether it will be Spies or Mladin first across the line, it gets hard to stay awake. At least it was fun to watch Spies hunt down Mladin in the second race, just edging him at the line. "It was one of the toughest races I have been in. The last 10 laps, I was pretty much out of control," said Spies.

Nobody else is even close to the Suzuki team’s level, although Yamaha’s Jason DiSalvo and Honda’s Neil Hodgson are doing their damndest to put up a fight, DiSalvo even taking pole at the Fontana event.

As usual, the 600 Supersport race provided the best action; why else would the new AMA directors decide to dump the class starting next season? You have to wonder where these guys are coming from sometimes … In any event, Yamaha’s Ben Bostrom edged Erion Honda’s Jake Zemke in a thriller, with Bostrom’s teenage team-mate Josh Herrin a tick back.

The Superstock race (big bikes modified closely to Canadian "superbike" standards) went to Jake Holden, a great victory for him and Honda over Aaron Yates on one of the Jordan Suzuki bikes. The event was also notable for the "unretirement" of Jason Pridmore, who came fifth on a private bike (which most assumed was another unlabled Jordan bike; Pridmore and Jordan are great friends and golfing buddies), while Canadian Chris Peris came in an excellent sixth on his Team ESP Suzuki.

It’s worth noting that other than Holden, every bike in the top 10 was a GSX-R1000.

Unfortunately, the race was marred by a bad accident involving Tommy Hayden and Martin Cardenas, the latter appearing to lose either his brakes or his mind and torpedoing Hayden; both were transported to hospital. Hayden’s been diagnosed with a badly displace ankle that needed surgery; no word on Cardena’s condition yet. 

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