2008-04-27 06:56
Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Ben Spies picked up his first AMA Superbike victory of the 2008 season in the weekend's first of two Superbike races at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California on Saturday afternoon.

Starting from pole position, defending AMA Superbike Champion Spies got a great start on his Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 but was passed by his team mate Mat Mladin midway through the race. Within a few laps, however, Spies regained the lead and six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mladin followed his team mate home in second place.

Third member of the Rockstar Makita Suzuki squad Tommy Hayden rounded out the all-Suzuki podium with an impressive ride and third-place finish.

This Rockstar Makita Suzuki AMA Superbike sweep is the second in a row for the threesome, who also swept last weekend's AMA Superbike podium at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.

Ben Spies:

"I got a good start on the Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 and put my head down for the first few laps. I tried to get a little bit of a gap on Mat, but then I knew he was closing in on me. I started making a few mistakes and he got around me. Then I just rode as hard as I could. The Suzuki felt good but we're going to have to make it faster for tomorrow because we need to win again. Even though we're only a few rounds in, I was getting a little frustrated because I was used to winning and coming off of winning the championship last year. It feels good to get my first win of the season and it's great to have the Rockstar Makita Suzuki team up on the box one-two-three."

Mat Mladin:

"We got beat today??? but we were doing a little bit of everything trying to keep up with Ben. He rode too good for us today and hopefully we'll come back tomorrow and put on a better show. We did pretty good for about the first half of the race but after that we just couldn't keep up. I gave it everything I had; we're out there pushing because that's what it takes. Congrats to Ben and Tommy and the whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team for taking the podium again."

Tommy Hayden:

"I definitely didn't get the start that I wanted. I was way back in eighth place or so. So I put my head down and tried to be patient. It was hot and slippery out there and it would have been easy to make a mistake. It was tough to be aggressive and make big passes, but my Suzuki felt good for the race distance and I just tried to not make any mistakes. When I was finally able to get into third position, I was able to get a little bit of a gap and it felt good to have a bit of a cushion. I'm just happy to start off the season strong, with the whole Rockstar Makita Suzuki team on the podium."

AMA Superbike Top 10 Finishers:

1. Ben Spies (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
2. Mat Mladin (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
3. Tommy Hayden (Rockstar Makita Suzuki)
4. Neil Hodgson (Honda)
5. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha)
6. Jamie Hacking (Kawasaki)
7. Jason DiSalvo (Yamaha)
8. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
9. Matt Lynn (Honda)
10. Jake Holden (Honda)

Source: Team Suzuki Press Office

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