Ben Spies (centre) celebrates at Laguna Seca with teammate Mat Mladin (right)
AMA: Ben Spies clinches Superbike title at Laguna Seca
18 September 2007 14:02
Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies clinched the 2007 AMA Superbike Championship from team mate Mat Mladin at Sunday's final round at Laguna Seca in California.
Suzuki GSX-R1000s continued to dominate the series, sweeping the first three places.
Texan Ben Spies, defending his first title, beat the six-time champion Mat Mladin after sitting behind the Australian for most of the 28-lap race, winning the title by just over two seconds after slowing on the final lap to celebrate to his fans.
Ben Spies, who went into the event three points behind Mat Mladin, took the title just one point ahead - 652 to 651.
Spies' victory also belongs to the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, which won all 19 AMA Superbike races this year - the first time a manufacturer has accomplished this feat.
Ben Spies said: "We came into 2007 looking to win two championships - Superstock and Superbike - and I told myself I wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than that.
“We got the Superstock title in Atlanta and now we won the Superbike Championship. I'd like to thank Yoshimura Suzuki and my crew for working hard all year and for giving me a great bike to race in the GSX-R1000.
“With this win, I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders. At the beginning of the race, I thought about the fact that we only had 45 minutes left in the season. I knew it was time to get it done."
Mat Mladin admitted Spies was too much for him at Laguna.
He said: "Ben was stronger all weekend and I knew it. He got a chance to get by me and I didn't so much as pass him back as get sucked in. I had a few problems with lappers and Ben had put his head down.
“I did everything I could but in the end we just weren't fast enough today. Now I'm looking forward to the off-season to try and pick up my pace a little more and see if we can give it another shot next year."
1. Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki)
2. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki)
3. Aaron Yates (Jordan Suzuki)
4. Jake Zemke (Honda)
5. Eric Bostrom (Yamaha)
6. Tommy Hayden (Yoshimura Suzuki)
7. Jason Disalvo, (Yamaha)
8. James Ellison (Honda)
9. Jake Holden (Jordan Suzuki)