Mladin takes Daytona 200

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Mat Mladin has won the first round of the American superbike championship, taking the honours by more than seven seconds at the end of the 200-mile race at the Daytona International Speeday in Florida.

It was Mladin’s decision to go for a three stop strategy on his Suzuki GSX-R1000 that gave him the advantage over the other riders. The shorter distance between stops allowed him to ride harder and faster without worrying too much about tyres or fuel not lasting.

Daytona 200 rookie Jake Zemke managed to come back form a poor start to take an amazing second place ahead of 11-time Daytona race winner and fellow Honda CBR1000RR rider Miguel DuHammel.

DuHammel tried his best to pass Zemke but his tyres were loosing grip near the end of the race and he just didn’t have enough traction to pull off a last minute manoeuvre on the final straight, loosing out on second place by just 0.014 seconds.

Pre-race favourites Ben and Eric Bostrom both failed to make it to the finish line. Ben was the first out, falling foul of mechanical problems. He was leading the race until straight after his first pit-stop his CBR1000RR developed a problem. He re-entered the pits on the next lap and gave it another go but the problem persisted and he was forced to retire a lap later.

Eric Bostrom lasted a little longer and was threatening to take the lead from Mladin, but he was forced to retire on lap 42 after a pebble bounced up of the track and put a hole in his oil cooler.

Mladin’s team-mate Aaron Yates crashed out of a comfortable second place when he was hit by a back marker. Yates tried to go round the outside of the rider but the two came together mid turn causing both of them to crash out. Yates was so angry that the situation ended up in post race fisticuffs.

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MCN Staff

By MCN Staff