AMA: Who will challenge Mladin at Sears Point Superbike Race?
28 April 2000
PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- Australian Mat Mladin and his Yoshimura Suzuki team are looking to follow up their March Daytona victory with another win at the May 5-7, American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited race during the Progressive Insurance Superbike Challenge at Sears Point Raceway, in Sonoma, Calif. If team momentum and recent history have anything to do with it, Mladin is well on his way to victory circle before even putting a wheel on the track. Mladin -- the 1999 AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Champion -- won the March 12 Daytona 200 after dicing with Honda ace Nicky Hayden throughout the grueling 200 miler. With that epic win, and the memory of his dominant, four-second margin of victory at last year's AMA Superbike race at Sears Point, Mladin is poised to enter this year's event with abounding confidence and a strong run at the 2000 Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship title. While Mladin has an apparent leg-up on the field, he'll still face some daunting competition. American Honda teammates Miguel Duhamel and Nicky Hayden are also hungry for victory on their new Honda RC51 Superbikes. Duhamel, the 1995 AMA Superbike champ, has proven his mastery of the winding, 12-turn, 2.32 mile Sears Point road course, winning the 1995, '97 and '98 AMA Superbike races there. Hayden has also shown a degree of proficiency of Sears Point, winning the highly competitive AMA Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport race there last year. And Hayden is out to avenge his second-place finish at Daytona -- where Mladin denied him victory by a mere 11 thousandths of a second. Other AMA Superbike pilots are also gunning for the podium at Sears Point. The 1999 race there marked the season's first podium finish for three-time champ Doug Chandler, of Salinas, Calif., who took second-place for Kawasaki. Canadian Pascal Picotte took third-place last year aboard his Harley-Davidson, placing the VR1000 Superbike on the podium for the first time since 1996. Chandler's Kawasaki teammate Eric Bostrom is also looking forward to the Sears Point round of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship. Bostrom won the 1998 AMA Esportbike.com Formula Xtreme race at Sears Point -- the same year he won that series championship with eight victories -- and he and Chandler have had extensive testing opportunities at Sears Point this year. Five additional race series of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited will run at the Progressive Insurance Superbike Challenge at Sears Point Raceway. The Lockhart Phillips USA 750 SuperSport Series, Pro Honda Oils 600 SuperSport Series, MBNA 250 Grand Prix Series, Buell Pro Thunder Series and Esportbike.com Formula Xtreme Series will provide non-stop race action over the course of the weekend. Eric Bostrom, Doug Chandler and Mat Mladin are the featured riders for the Sears Point pre-race AMA Media Tours. Chandler and Mladin will meet with San Francisco Bay Area reporters on May 3, and Bostrom will appear at Sacramento Valley media outlets on May 5. For tickets to the Sears Point round of the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, call (800) 870-RACE. The Sears Point AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike race will broadcast live on Speedvision, Sunday, May 7, at 2 p.m. local time, with repeat and additional AMA support class broadcasts on Fox Sports Net. Check local listings, as broadcast times may vary. A live audio webcast of the Sears Point races will also be featured on Speedvision.com -30-