Motorcycle racers reaching straight away speeds of 180 mph and the ones who drag their knees as they lean their 300-pound rockets into road race course corners will hit the 3.1 mile Colonel's Brainerd International Raceway beginning next Friday.
The American Motorcyclist Association Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship Series returns for its eighth round. The seventh round ends today in Lexington, Ohio, this weekend.
Mat Mladin, Aaron Yates, Eric Bostrom, Anthony Gobert and Jamie Hacking have been the strongest racers so far this season in the 11-round series.
Of the 24 possible first through third (podium) finishes in the first eight races this season, these five have nabbed 19. Mladin on a Suzuki has six, including three wins; Yates also on a Suzuki has four; Bostrom on a Kawasaki has three, including two back-to-back wins; Anthony Gobert on a Yamaha also has three, including two wins; and Jamie Hacking on Suzuki has three, including one win.
In the first round of qualifying in Ohio, Mladin took the top spot, followed by Bostrom and Nicky Hayden on a Honda.
Mladin, who finished .067 seconds behind race winner Miguel Duhamel on his Honda in the final at CBIR last summer, also is the current points leader with 260 points. He is trailed by Bostrom at 236, three-time Superbike points champion and veteran Kawasaki racer Doug Chandler at 189, Tommy Hayden at 184 and Duhamel at 168.
But Mladin only finished third in the round at Monterey, Calif., after his bike's third gear broke. Bostrom also finished fifth in both of the World Superbike Championship Series races at Monterey earlier this month. His brother and the 1999 Superbike winner at CBIR, Ben, won both of these races.
Yates, whose highest finish so far this season is second, will probably not race at CBIR. He is recovering from a July 10 surgery on his broken wrist and arm he injured in the race at Monterey.
Duhamel, a three-time winner at CBIR in the Superbike Series, grabbed his second, second-place finish this season at Monterey.
This is Gobert's first season back with the series. Last year he raced in the World Championship Superbike circuit. In 1999, he finished third in the Superbike final at CBIR.
-- Five other classes also will be racing at CBIR during the event -- Supersport 600, Formula Extreme, 750 Supersport, 250 Grand Prix and Buell Pro Thunder.
-- Bostrom, the current points leader, won in 600 Supersport last year, Roberts won in Formula Extreme, A. Grant Lopez on a Suzuki won in 750 Supersport, Richard Oliver on a Yamaha won the 250 Grand Prix and Craig Connell won the Buell Pro Thunder on his Ducati.
-- Fox Sports Net will televise the Supersport 600 final live at noon on July 29 and Speedvision will air the Superbike final live at 2 p.m. on the same day.
-- Speedvision will air the Supersport 600 final again on July 31 at 8 p.m., Fox Sports Net will air the Superbike final at noon on Aug. 4 and Speedvision will air the Formula Extreme final at 9 p.m. on Aug. 7.
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