Same as it ever was. Despite the major changes in the series wrought by the sale by AMA to Daytona Motorsports Group (DMG), Matt Mladin breezed to easy wins in both American Superbike races at Road Atlanta on April 4 and 5, with a 15-second margin on Saturday and “only” a four-second gap in Sunday’s race. The Rockstar/Makita Suzuki GSXR1000 rider has won all five Superbike races this year, and looks like a sucker bet to win his seventh title. His teammate Tommy Hayden, from Owensboro, Ky. took second on Saturday, followed by Geoff May in third. May took third again on Sunday, and Blake Young, also on a Rockstar/Makita Suzuki GSXR1000, took second.
In the Daytona Sportbike series, the racing was closer. Martin Cardenas won Saturday’s race on his M4 Suzuki GSXR 600, followed by Roger Lee Hayden on his Monster Energy Kawasaki ZX6R. Third place was taken by Danny Eslick on the Bruce Rossmeyers Buell 1125R. Eslick won Sunday’s Race 2, followed by Josh Herrin on a Graves Yamaha R6, and Chris Peris on his Erion Racing Honda CBR600RR. The margins of victory were 0.5 seconds and 0.483 seconds, respectively. Eslick leads the points chase with 109 points, followed by Kawasaki rider Jamie Hacking with 99 and Josh Herrin with 96. The Daytona Sportbike series has been controversial in that it pits 1125cc Buell and 1000cc Aprilia twins against 600cc sportbikes manufactured by the big four Japanese factories and the 675cc Triumph Daytona triples.
In Saturday’s two-hour Moto-GT race, Greenville, S.C. dealer Touring Sport Ducati took GT1 honors with its Sport Classic 1000, ridden by Frank Shockley and Ryan Elleby. Second spot went to Cycle Dynamics’ Kawasaki EX650, ridden by Dustin Dominguez and Ted Cobb, and third went to another EX650, raced by Jay Springsteen and Nick Cummings for Pair-A-Nines Racing. The Pair-A-Nines effort was formed by Springsteen and former champion Gary Nixon.
The GT2 class (and Moto-GT overall) winner was the GSXR600 of HurtByAccident Racing, ridden by Armando Ferrer and Rodolfo Ramirez, followed by team of Eric Pinson and Eric Haugo aboard the Liberty Waves Buell 1125R. Third place was nailed down by Ryan Elleby (racing two bikes in two classes at the same event) and Hawk Mazzotta with the Scooter Superstore Aprilia RSV.
In the SuperSport race on Sunday, Leandro Mercado (Attack Kawasaki) took the win after crashing out of the lead on lap three, prompting a red flag. Several other rides went down in the same turn 6 incident, prompted by rain on that section of the track. Chattanooga’s Kris Turner, who qualified third, was chasing Mercado when the accident caused the red flag. Turner re-mounted and made the re-start, but could only manage a fifth place. The SuperSport series is for riders aged 16 – 21, riding production-based 600cc bikes.