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Jul 23, 2002

Mladin Previews Mid-Ohio AMA Superbike Races

From a press release issued by Mat Mladin's publicist, Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>Rounds 13 & 14, 2002 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship<BR><BR>Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, Lexington, Ohio, USA<BR><BR>MLADIN CHASES REPEAT WINS AT MID-OHIO<BR> <BR>The Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course will play host to the penultimate meeting for 2002 season with a double header round (rounds 13 & 14) of the AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship scheduled for this weekend, July 27 - 28.<BR><BR>Australia's Mat Mladin will return to Ohio as the defending race winner, after taking victory in the first of the double header races at the corresponding meeting last year before finishing second in race two. The Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki rider is also the current AMA Superbike lap record holder at the 3.86km (2.40 miles) circuit with a lap time of 1-min 26.498-secs.<BR><BR>The three times American AMA Superbike champion is looking forward to the round, even though he is still in a certain amount of discomfort with his injured hands he suffered when he crashed heavily during the final qualifying session of the World Superbike event at Laguna Seca less than two weeks ago. Mladin severely bruised the backs of both hands in the fall.<BR><BR>"I'm still having a bit of trouble moving the ring finger on my left hand, plus there is still a lot of swelling between my thumb and index finger on my right hand," Mladin said. "There isn't much that I can do about it at the moment, so we will be heading to Mid-Ohio and trying our best there.<BR><BR>"Even though the results haven't shown it this year, I feel that I have been riding well," added Mladin. "A lot of people felt that I rode a lot better at Laguna, but I feel that I have been riding as hard as I possibly can all year. A lot has depended on how the bike has suited that particular track. This weekend we are hopeful that we will have some updated parts from our suspension supplier Showa and that will allow us to continue to make progress with development of the bike."<BR><BR>With four races remaining in this year's championship, Mladin is still fiercely determined to stand atop the winners podium at the end of each race. <BR><BR>"Hopefully I'm going to win four races. That's what I hope to do. If I can get a motorcycle that I can ride, it will make it a possibility. I don't mind the Mid-Ohio circuit. It has a couple of little problem areas, but apart from that it's fine. We had a win here last year, so hopefully we can go out there and repeat it again this weekend."<BR><BR>Mladin arrives at Mid-Ohio lying in an uncustomary ninth place overall on the points standings with a total of 207 points. American Honda's Nicky Hayden leads the points table with 381, with the title shaping up to be fought out between himself and Team Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom who lies second with 345 points.<BR><BR>Qualifying for this weekend's round gets underway on Friday, with final qualifying and the first Superbike race scheduled for Saturday, before Sunday's second Superbike national.<BR><BR>MID-OHIO SPORTS CAR COURSE, AMA FAST FACTS<BR><BR>Circuit Length: 3.86km / 2.40 miles<BR><BR>2001 Pole position: Mat Mladin (Team Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:26.498<BR><BR>2001 Race results:<BR><BR>Saturday (Race 1 / 26 Laps)<BR>1. Mat Mladin (Team Yoshimura Suzuki)<BR>2. Eric Bostrom (Team Kawasaki)<BR>3. Nicky Hayden (American Honda)<BR><BR>Sunday (Race 2 / 26 Laps)<BR>1. Nicky Hayden (American Honda)<BR>2. Mat Mladin (Team Yoshimura Suzuki)<BR>3. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda)<BR><BR>Superbike lap record: Mat Mladin (Team Yoshimura Suzuki) 1:26.498 (2001)<BR><BR>2002 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship (points after 12 of 16 rounds)<BR>1. N. Hayden 381; 2. E. Bostrom 345 3. M. DuHamel 298; 4. A. Yates 287; 5. P. Picotte 277; 6. B. Parriott 235, 7. D Chandler 209; 8. J. Hacking 208, 9. M. Mladin 207; 10. B. Livengood 201.<BR><BR><BR><BR>More, from a press release issued by AMA Pro Racing:<BR><BR>YATES LOOKS TO CLINCH AMA PRO HONDA OILS SUPERSPORT TITLE AT MID-OHIO<BR><BR>PICKERINGTON, Ohio – Sunday at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course 40-plus riders will take to the starting line for the Pro Honda Oils Supersport race. One of those riders will win Mid-Ohio's Supersport race for the first time. Leading the series coming into this weekend's race is Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates. The 30-year-old veteran racer from Milledgeville, Ga., has three AMA Superbike wins at Mid-Ohio, but has yet to earn a Supersport victory at the track in his nine years of racing the series. It may not be the best circumstances for Yates to get his first Mid-Ohio Supersport win since he'll certainly be focusing on wrapping up the championship. After winning four of the eight races leading up to Mid-Ohio, Yates needs only a 10th-place finish or better to nail down the 2002 title. <BR><BR>While Yates will be on championship-protection mode, Kawasaki's Tommy Hayden will be looking to finish the season on a high note. Like Yates, Hayden, who is second in the series standings, is vying for his first Mid-Ohio Supersport victory. He lost in an epic struggle with his brother Nicky in one of the most exciting Supersport races at Mid-Ohio in 1999. <BR><BR>Australian Damon Buckmaster is having his best season to date in Supersport racing. The Yamaha factory rider has scored five top-5 finishes in the championship and on Sunday would love nothing better than to win his first Supersport race. <BR><BR>Jimmy Moore's late-season surge has put him in an excellent position to defending his No. 1 plate in Genuine Suzuki Accessories Superstock. In the last four rounds Moore has won twice and finished second twice on his Corona Suzuki. That has help Moore pass early series leader Lee Acree. But the championship is far from over. While Moore is the defending Mid-Ohio winner, Acree is expected to be strong at the track as well. The series concludes at Acree's home track in Virginia, so Moore will be looking to get as much of a cushion as possible this weekend. Third ranked Tommy Hayden, who is racing a 600cc machine in the 750cc-dominated Superstock class, has an outside chance of catching the two leaders should they have bad luck. <BR><BR>Lockhart Phillips Formula Xtreme has turned out to be the most hotly contested championship in the AMA's national road racing series this season. Honda, which dominated Formula Xtreme in its first four years of existence but took a backseat to Suzuki last year, is back on top of the standings with Bruce Transportation Group Honda's Jake Zemke. Zemke, of Paso Robles, Calif., holds a slim eight-point lead over Attack Suzuki rider Jason Pridmore. Yamaha's Damon Buckmaster has more wins (three) than any other rider in Formula Xtreme, yet still finds himself third in the championship chase – nine points out of the lead. Tom Kipp, of Valvoline EMGO Suzuki, will be a fan favorite at Mid-Ohio. The veteran racer from nearby Chardon, Ohio, is the defending winner of the race. The Formula Xtreme Series will go down to the final round in Virginia in August, but the Mid-Ohio race will play a pivotal roll in the final outcome. <BR><BR>A total of eight riders still have at least a mathematical chance to win the MBNA 250 Grand Prix championship, but realistically frontrunner Chuck Sorensen is going to be hard to stop. The 29-year-old from Sunnyvale, Calif., is on track to give Italian maker Aprilia its first AMA national title. Sorensen himself is looking for his third championship in the 250GP series. Injury has kept five-time Mid-Ohio 250 winner Rich Oliver from serious contention in his bid to win a fifth AMA 250 Grand Prix title. However, losing parts of fingers and toes in separate accidents hasn't kept Oliver from winning races. He is seeking his third 250GP win in a row this weekend at Mid-Ohio. Oliver's teammate Perry Melneciuc runs second in the series standings, while young Jason DiSalvo is third. Both will be seeking their first career AMA 250GP victory. <BR><BR>Live coverage of the Pro Honda Oils Supersport final begins at 12 p.m. Eastern on Speed Channel, with repeats on Tuesday, July 30 at 10 p.m. and again at 3 a.m. Speed Channel's coverage of the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series from Lexington, Ohio, will air Tuesday, August 6 at 8 p.m. and again at 1 a.m. Eastern. <BR>