This is Phoenix International Raceway,
somewhat like Daytona, in that you can
SEE nearly the entire track from a single
location. This pic was taken from the
Turn 1 grandstand, where YWR, Lynn,
Axel and I watched Sunday's 'main event'.
We do not know where Phil was at this
600 SuperSport. The most important class
for the manufacturers, since the 600cc bikes
are the most popular among buyers. Although
the Yamaha R6 (Hacking) has been the subject
of rave reviews, it was the Honda CBR/F4 in
the hands of the brilliant young Nicky Hayden
that won the day at PIR. Nicky, by the way, is
one heckuva nice kid. He also happens to be
the best racer in this class - or he certainly
was on this day.
This here is Miguel duHamel on the Honda
RC45 superbike. Miguel just won the Day-
tona 200 on this bike, but he doesn't like
the PIR track, and it isn't well suited to
the RC45's capabilities. Miguel is also in
'recovery mode' from his leg-breaking ac-
cident at Louden last year. It was tough
for us SabMaggots to watch the V4 circulating
mid-pack, but that's racing.
This was lap 1 of the Superbike race.
Quite a crowd of motorcycles, it is.
The real leaders are near the front al-
ready. Bostrom (3rd), Gobert (1st),
and Mladin (2nd) particularly. The green
one is Doug Chandler's Kawasaki, which
did not figure in the results. This is an
impressive sight, with all those fast
guys ryding HARD into that first turn.
The race ended up a two-way affair (see
below), with Gobert (#95 Ducati) and
Mat Mladin (#66 Suzuki) showing every-
one else the way.
Anthony Gobert and Mat Mladin were
the class of the field at Phoenix.
Once they got to the front (lap 2)
they were never challenged - except
by each other. Gobert held the lead
for virtually the entire race, with
arch-rival Mladin never more than a
few bike-lengths behind. Mladin did
manage a pass during the race, but
was quickly dispatched by Gobert, and
never did really challenge again.
'Twas a GREAT race, with both guys
showing exactly why they're the best.