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AMA: Pikes Peak crucial in Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championships

7 August 2000

     PICKERINGTON, Ohio -- The penultimate round of the American Motorcyclist

Association (AMA) Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championships takes place on

August 11-13 at Pikes Peak International Raceway in Fountain, Colo. Four riders,

Mat Mladin, Nicky Hayden, Aaron Yates and Eric Bostrom, have a chance of winning

the title. The results at this weekend's race on the tight 1.3-mile Pikes Peak

road course will go a long way in determining the outcome of the championship.

     Defending AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin is control of his own destiny.

The savvy 28-year-old rider from Australia is in top form and his

nimble-handling Suzuki GSXR750 Superbike is well suited for the twisty Pikes

Peak circuit, where Mladin wrapped up last year's title. He rode to a  big early

lead then backed off late in the race when Ben Bostrom, Mladin's only

challenger for the title, had tire problems on his Superbike. Mladin's first

Superbike title was assured; he slowed and cruised home fourth. This year Mladin

won't be able to play it so conservatively. The main reason is young Nicky


     Hayden, 19, of Owensboro, Ky., has been outstanding in his first full

season riding for the factory Honda Superbike team. Last year Hayden very nearly

won the Superbike final at Pikes Peak in one of his "try-out" rides for Honda.

     This Sunday's Superbike national, like last year, has the potential of

being one of the best races of the season. Mladin proved last year that he could

make a break from the field; Hayden should be improved after a  full season on

the Honda RC51; Picotte will be keen to give the Harley-Davidson VR1000 its

first AMA Superbike win; and Chandler is a proven winner on the  challenging

circuit. Throw in two other former Pikes Peak winners - Miguel  Duhamel, the

all-time AMA Superbike win leader, and Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom, who won at PPIR

in his rookie Superbike season ? and you have the ingredients of a  classic


     Kurtis Roberts needs only to finish 14th or better on his Erion Racing

Honda CBR929 at Pikes Peak to wrap up his second Formula Xtreme

championship. So far this year Roberts is undefeated in the class. He would like

to complete a perfect season with a win at Pikes and the season finale in

Rosamond, Calif., but it's unlikely that he will take too many risks to win this

weekend since the championship is nearly in  hand.

     Another reason Roberts will probably not push too hard in Saturday's Xtreme

final is that he's in an intense fight with Eric Bostrom for the Pro Honda Oils

600 SuperSport title. The two are tied in points coming into this race and the

top six riders in the series still have at least a mathematical chance to win

the title.

     Valvoline EMGO Suzuki teammates Grant Lopez and John Hopkins are locked in

a tight race over the Lockhart Phillips USA 750 SuperSport title.  The trio of

Jimmy Moore, Damon Buckmaster and Roger Lee Hayden are all close enough in the

points to take advantage should Lopez or Hopkins falter.

     In the MBNA 250 Grand Prix Series Chuck Sorensen must be looking over his

shoulder at his old mentor Rich Oliver. Sorensen, the defending 250GP champ and

former rider for a team owned by Oliver, holds a 15-point lead over his old boss

in the series, but Oliver has been a dominant winner except on the two occasions

when his bike let him down. Sorensen will need to either beat or at least finish

second to Oliver to keep the veteran rider at bay in the series standings.

     Jeffery Nash, a New Zealander turned Texan, has a solid 30-point lead in

the Buell Pro Thunder Series. Remarkably the top seven riders still have a

mathematical chance, but realistically they would need for Nash to have some

major problems for any of them to be able to catch up to the Advance Motorsports

Ducati rider.

     For tickets to the AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship races at

Pikes Peak International Raceway, call (888) 306-7223. Sunday's Chevy Trucks

U.S. Superbike races will be broadcast live on Speedvision, at 4pm EST. Check

local listings, as broadcast times may vary.

Event                              Network         Air Date  Time
AMA Pro Honda Oils 600 Supersport  Fox Sports Net  08/13/00  9:00p EST
AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike    Speedvision     08/13/00  4pm ET (Live)
AMA Pro Honda Oils 600 Supersport  Speedvision     08/15/00  9:00p EST
AMA Formula Xtreme  Speedvision     08/15/00  8:00p EST
AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike    Fox Sports Net  08/20/00  12:00p EST