March 10, 2007 One of the great things about production racing is that you get to see exactly how well a pretty standard motorcycle can perform. With the advent of the Superstock class, we can now see something very close to showroom stock motorcycles – a far more realistic appraisal of how well they perform on the road. The European Superstock Championships are now eight years old and Suzuki’s Gixxer won it last year, and has taken the title five of the eight times it has been contested. The AMA equivalent class kicked off yesterday at Daytona and it looks like Suzuki will be keeping its crown already. Team Yoshimura Suzuki's Ben Spies took pole on his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000, then led home Ben Bostrum’s Yamaha R1 to take the first win of the season. With the defending champ scoring a victory first up, Suzuki’s stocks are again strong, but a look down the field indicates that the contest may well come from within. Suzuki Gixxers filled third through to tenth place.
“At the beginning of the race I had a little issue but it was all me and the bike came through,” said Spies. “I can't say enough about the power of the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000.”
In qualifying, Spies picked up the first Superstock pole position of the year after posting a 1:38.355 fast lap time on the production-class.
“It was a really good qualifying session though we struggled a bit at the end,” said Spies. “We went out on race tyres and went good and were consistent. I used the first 'Q' and that didn't work too well. I used another one and I had a good lap going but I came up on another rider and that cost us a little bit.”
Although Spies would have preferred to have posted a quicker lap time, he was extremely pleased with the overall performance of his bike.
“The GSX-R1000 is working good, the team is doing a great job and I'm happy with my riding,” said Spies. “We know what everybody else is doing on race tyres and I'd like to say we're going to go out there and win the race. Our lap times are right there with the Superbike's and this GSX-R is right off the showroom floor. It's definitely the best bike in the class. Now we just have to go out there and win the race.”
In the 13-lap race itself, Spies got a great start and took the lead immediately. A few laps in, however, he was passed and settled into second for most of the race. But with just a few laps to go, the defending AMA Superbike Champion retook the lead and captured the victory.
“We've always been so close here,” said Spies. “Today's race played out like I hoped it would at first and then I rode like a provisional novice and made a bunch of mistakes. Geoff May was riding good and got by me… eventually I was able to get to the front and tried to get a gap. When I realised that I had about a second on the field, I put my head down and tried to check out. I'm just glad we were able to bring home the win.”
Round two of the AMA Superstock Series will be held at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama on April 20 - 22.
AMA Superstock Top 10 Finishers:
1 Ben Spies (Yoshimura Suzuki) 2 Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 3 Geoff May (M4 EMGO Suzuki) 4 Aaron Yates (Jordan Suzuki) 5 Danny Eslick (Suzuki) 6 Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 7 Blake Young (Suzuki) 8 Scott Jensen (Suzuki) 9 Tristan Palmer (Suzuki) 10 John Haner (Suzuki)