Sunday, September 6, 2009
Two Milestones Reached in WSBK and AMA Superbike Racing Today....
....and it's just your luck that you are going to find out about them here, that is, if you
should choose to keep reading.
Ben Spies, the former 3-Time AMA Superbike Champion from '06-'08, took a 1-2 tally
at the German Nurburgring round of the World Superbike Championship to take the
points lead over from Nori Haga. In doing so, he has positioned himself for the final 3
rounds and 6 races to put himself as the odds-on guy to win the WSBK World Championship
for 2009. It could get interesting in 3 weeks at the next round in Imola, as Spies has
shown that his 'rookie' status across the pond is just a mere formality. He is no rookie.
You can read more about his accomplishments this w/e on SuperbikePlanet.com
and WorldSbk.com by following the links on the left side column.
And by now you are asking yourself, okay, so that's 1, what the he.. is the other milestone?
Mat Mladin, the reigning '09 AMA Superbike Champion, and NOW 7-time AMA Superbike
Champion, rode his last race today and his last event this weekend at New Jersey, carding
a 2nd this afternoon and 24th---yes, 24th!---yesterday afternoon. After crashing out in
defense of the lead from eventual double event winner Josh Hayes on Saturday afternoon,
Mladin still had sealed the deal on the #1 spot at the last event at VIR three weeks ago, but
still managing to win the championhip by a 47 point margin. He retires from U.S. Superbike
Racing after 82-official wins, some 62 pole positions, and again that little thing of 7 premier
class championships since 1999. Can you say burn the record books........
You can read the updates of this season ending event off of the links on the left column to
SuperBikePlanet.com and RoadRacingWorld.com. Those fine folks did a super job of supplying
us with updates over the w/e and we should bow to their feet for their efforts and
professionalism that they put out such fine material and journalism to keep us informed and
up to date. Bravo to you folks for sure and thank you for your wonderful work!
And to close since by now you are going 'so what is the photo now he's got to tell us.........'
At Mid Ohio in July '08 during race #2 for the w/e, Ben Spies #1 is leading Mat Mladin #6 and
Jamie Hacking--#2 hidden--as well as #100 Neil Hodgson, #17 Miguel Duhamel, and #20
Aaron Yates, coming into, and out of the carousel at the end of the first lap. Mat eventually passed Ben and took the win over Ben, Jamie and Neil.
As we go into the 'labor' part of the Labor Day W/E tomorrow, give thanks to these two--
not too mention all of the other racers--for doing what they do and laboring on the race
track for us to get our adrenaline going.
Thanks to Mat Mladin for giving us 14 years of great competition, of always being on the
forefront of safety, and for never leaving anyone questioning how you feel about something.
It has been your standing up for the right thing, whether it be safety, rules, racing competition,
or event promotion that has raised the level of those things in U.S. racing. And this in spite
of what some of the bumbling types who have taken turns in running this series have tried
or aimed to do.
And thanks to Ben for giving the race fans in the United States who have followed him and his
career for some time now, a hope of a World Championship again. It has been since '02 when
Colin Edwards won his 2nd WSBK title that an American has won the title. We now have hope
again, and it may come in a BIG way. Keep your fingers crossed....