Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin and team mate Ben Spies dominated the second leg of the AMA Superbike Championship double-header at California Speedway in Fontana, with Mladin taking the victory by just 0.035 seconds.
The six-time AMA Champion reversed the places on his team-mate as the two GSX-R1000s finished 21 seconds ahead of third-placed Eric Bostrom (Yamaha) in the 28 lapper.
Third Yoshimura rider Tommy Hayden finished in fourth place after an equally-close and exciting battle with Honda's Jake Zemke, who finished 0.0334 seconds behind.
The previous day, Spies had picked up his third AMA Superbike pole position of the season with a qualifying lap of 1:23.117.
Mladin was second with a best time of 1:23.711, while Hayden rounded out the front row of the grid with a 1:24.475 lap time.
At the start of the 28-lap race, Mladin took the lead almost immediately. Spies slotted in behind and they battled together for the entire race.
“I have no illusions that the season is going to be anything but tough,” maintained Mladin.
“It's going to be hard racing and I'm looking forward to it. I've won several championships already and it's tough racing that motivates me. Today, I was 100 per cent the whole way. There wasn't anything left on the table.”
Although Spies showed his teammate a wheel a few times, in the end the defending AMA Superbike Champion brought home a very close second place. Spies maintains the lead in the overall championship points standings.
“I would be happier if we could have gotten the win today,” said Spies.
“But Mat set a blistering pace. The Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 was working great and I tried to get it done today but we fell a little short. We just need to see what we can do to come back strong for the race at Infineon next month.”
Going into Sunday’s race, teammate Hayden was still recovering from Saturday afternoon’s crash in AMA Supersport qualifying.
Even so, the new Yoshimura Suzuki rider rode hard and finished just shy of the podium.
It was a Suzuki sweep in the AMA Superstock race though with Spies winning the race and Jordan Suzuki’s Jake Holden and Aaron Yates bringing home second and third place, respectively.
With this second Superstock victory of the year, Spies took over the overall championship points lead.
The fourth round of the AMA Superbike Series at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, California on Friday, May 18 to Sunday, May 20, 2007.