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AMA SBK: Spies and Mladin Top Infineon Test Times
Written by: John Cardinale Sonoma, CA – 4/7/2007

From: http://www.speedtv.com/articles/moto/amasuperbike/36518/

Yoshimura Suzuki’s Mat Mladin and Ben Spies posted the top time on Friday as top AMA riders completed a two-day test session at Infineon Raceway.

More than 500 race fans attended Friday’s test session, billed as Two-Wheel Thunder, and they weren’t disappointed as Mladin and Spies clocked identical times of 1:35.70 over the 12-turn, 2.2-mile road course. The time bettered the actual track qualifying record for Superbikes, which Spies owns at 1:35.893 (set in 2006).

The teams were testing in advance of the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown, presented by Supercuts, May 18-20, in the Sonoma Valley.

Spies is the defending AMA Superbike champion, and he also won both rounds of the Superbike doubleheader at Infineon Raceway in 2006. Mladin, meanwhile, is a six-time AMA Superbike champion and holds the record for career Superbike wins in Sonoma with six. The identical times on Friday set the stage for a pretty good showdown in May.

“If someone were to ask me to rate my motivation on a scale of 1-to-10, I’d say their scale isn’t big enough,” Mladin said when asked about winning back the Superbike crown he lost to Spies last year.

“Mat (Mladin) is the guy to beat, that’s for sure. The good thing is that everyone has stepped up this year and they’re really closing the gap on us, which is what the fans want to see,” Spies said.

Spies and Mladin were followed by Yamaha’s Jason DiSalvo (1:36.60) and Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden (1:36.70). Kawasaki, Honda, Yamaha, Erion Honda and Corona Honda participated in both days of testing, while Suzuki tested only on Friday. The test was sponsored by Yamaha.

In addition to the AMA testing, race fans were treated to Supermoto USA racing, SB Freaks Freestyle demonstrations and Track Talk with riders Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki), Jake Zemke (Honda), Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) and Spies in the Wine Country Winner’s Circle.

It was also announced that Mladin will be inducted into the Infineon Raceway Wall of Fame when the series returns to the Sonoma Valley in May. Mladin holds the record for career Superbike wins at Infineon Raceway (six) and will join AMA riders Miguel Duhamel and Rich Oliver in the prestigious Wall of Fame.

The Supermoto USA event, which was held behind the main grandstand in the paddock on Friday, was a benefit for local resident Allen Yarrow of Fairfield, who has been diagnosed with cancer. Yarrow is the father of well-known rider and former District One Flatrack champion Casey Yarrow. The event raised nearly $8,000 for the elder Yarrow.

For ticket information to the Kawasaki AMA Superbike Showdown, presented by Supercuts, in May visit www.infineonraceway.com or call 800-870-RACE.

Yamaha Test Session -- Infineon Raceway, Sonoma

The top times from Friday’s test session over the 12-turn, 2.22-mile road course at Infineon Raceway. All times were reported by individual race teams:

SUPERBIKE

Mat Mladin (Suzuki) 1:35.70
Ben Spies (Suzuki) 1:35.70
Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha) 1:36.60
Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:36.70
Jake Zemke (Honda) 1:36.90
Miguel Duhamel (Honda) 1:36.91
Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki) 1:37.20
Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:37.40
Roger Hayden (Kawasaki) 1:37.90
James Ellison (Corona Honda) 1:38.40

SUPERSTOCK

Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:37.20

SUPERSPORT

Josh Herrin (Yamaha) 1:40.60

FORMULA XTREME

Aaron Gobert (Erion Honda) 1:38.80
Josh Hayes (Erion Honda) 1:38.99
 
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