May 18, 2009 - Chino, Calif. - It was an up and down weekend for the Rockstar/Makita Suzuki team at the Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California. While the incredible Suzuki winning streak took a brief pause on Saturday, six-time champion Mat Mladin (#7) was still able to add another win in his race for the Championship. The weekend also saw excellent finishes by Tommy Hayden (#22). Blake Young (#79), recovering from an injury sustained at Barber, did not race.
After a close qualifying session that saw Mladin take Superpole, it was time for Saturday’s race. Mladin got a strong start, as well as his teammate Hayden, but an unfortunate problem with the set-up brought Mladin down to fifth spot. Hayden, however, pressed forward and collected second place.
"It feels good to get second place at Infineon,” said Hayden. “The last few races haven't gone as well as the first few. Now I'm starting to feel like I'm getting back where I started the season at, and that feels good. The Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working great out there, it was hot and greasy for everyone but I felt like we had a good set-up. I'm happy with the result. I think we'll have to improve and go faster on Sunday if we want to get this kind of result, so we'll make a plan and try to go a little bit faster."
Sunday’s race saw Mladin take command again. After a flawless start, Mladin pushed forward on his Yoshimura powered GSX-R1000 and took a convincing win - his 80th in the series. Tommy Hayden, meanwhile, secured his sixth podium finish of the season with a consistent third-place.
“I've been doing this a while and won't go away that quick,” said Mladin after his impressive return to the top step of the podium. "We don't have enough time to talk about how many changes we made. That was a completely different motorcycle today."
Mladin now holds a 79-point lead over his teammate Tommy Hayden in the AMA Superbike Championship points. The next race takes place at the Road America circuit in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, June 5-7.
1. Josh Hayes - Yamaha
2. Tommy Hayden - Rockstar/Makita Suzuki
3. Larry Pegram - Ducati
4. Aaron Yates - Jordan Suzuki
5. Mat Mladin - Rockstar/Makita Suzuki
1. Mat Mladin - Rockstar/Makita Suzuki
2. Ben Bostrom - Yamaha
3. Tommy Hayden - Rockstar/Makita Suzuki
4. Josh Hayes - Yamaha
5. Larry Pegram - Ducati
Word Document Download