Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Mat Mladin picked up his 65th career AMA Superbike victory after leading every lap and winning Saturday's race at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama.
This race is the first of two in the double-header AMA Superbike weekend and also saw the second victory of the season for six-time AMA Superbike Champion Mladin, as well as his sixth win at Barber.
All of this comes on top of Mladin picking up his 54th career AMA Superbike pole position on Saturday morning.
Rockstar Makita Suzuki's Tommy Hayden joined Mladin on the podium, thanks to an impressive third-place finish. This result marks Hayden's second AMA Superbike podium with Suzuki.Defending AMA Superbike Champion Ben Spies crashed on lap two, but rejoined the race and worked his way up into 11th place to salvage as many championship points as possible.
Mat Mladin, "It was a pretty good race for us, though the guy I like to race with the most wasn't in it. We got a good start and I had my head down, so I didn't realise Ben had crashed. But he'll be back tomorrow and we'll put on a great show and hopefully we'll win another one. I'd like to keep it going as long as we can. I have to thank my guys for giving me a Rockstar Makita Suzuki GSX-R1000 that will hopefully give us another win tomorrow."
Tommy Hayden, "It's really good to get the weekend started with a podium finish, even though my start wasn't too good; I got a bit boxed in going in to Turn Two. But hats off to my Rockstar Makita Suzuki team for giving me a bike that was able to help me pick off the guys as the race went on. Thanks also to Dunlop tyres - I had really good grip and was able to make some good passes. I actually had more grip as the race went on and was able to get some good runs and get past some guys. I've got a few corners I'm struggling with, but that's me, not the bike. In the end, I tried to make a charge, but overall I'm happy to bring it home in third place and get on the podium. Hopefully, we can come back tomorrow and do a little bit better."
Ben Spies, "I got a pretty good start and I was right there with Mat. Then, I just rushed it because I got a little bit impatient. We have the speed and I'm satisfied with the Suzuki's performance, so we're looking good for tomorrow. I just need to be a little more patient."