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Team Suzuki's Mat Mladin extended his AMA Superbike title lead to ten points over arch rival Miguel Duhamel after taking second place in today's Laguna Seca 12th round in California as team mate Aaron Yates claimed fourth.

The Yoshimura rider looked set for the win with a comfortable lead when the race was halted following an accident, and in the re-start, worked his way up from fourth to second place, but ran out of time to catch race winner Ben Bostrom.

An early dogfight saw Mladin jump from third to first on lap two, diving under both Bostrom and Jake Zemke as they disputed the lead in the second corner. Zemke then worked his way past Bostrom on lap six to set after Mladin, closing in on the Aussie and eventually getting close enough to perform a stunning sideways pass on the four-time AMA Superbike Champion entering the corkscrew on lap 11.

His lead didn't last long as Mladin stuck his GSX-R1000 back ahead heading down the hill, but moments later things got even worse for Zemke as he encountered a mechanical problem which caused him to drop his pace, lose his position to Bostrom, and signal frantically to the pits as he went down the straight past the pits.

Mladin spent the next several laps building his advantage while Zemke faded. On lap 16, the Team Suzuki rider was 1.192 seconds in front of Bostrom, who was finding clinging on a most challenging task, but before lap 17 was completed, a red flag halted the rac! e, sending a frustrated Mladin and the rest of the pack back into the pits.

After a short stoppage, Bostrom grabbed the restart holeshot while Mladin was shuffled back behind team mate Aaron Yates and Miguel Duhamel. Bostrom threw down some blistering laps at the front to pull out a gap, while Mladin battled furiously to keep with him, first with Duhamel - who he traded third place with five times on lap 17 - and then the charging Georgian.

By the time Mladin had worked his way into the runner-up spot on lap 22, Bostrom had more than two seconds on his side. That lead shrank as the 28-lap affair counted down until finally Mladin had closed to just a half-second behind on the final lap.

Said Mladin: "In the first one before the red flag, we got to half-distance and my bike was feeling really good. I got a little bit of a gap on everybody and the bike just felt really, really good. With the fuel down a little bit, it started working well and then we got the red flag.

On the second one, we had to ! take it easy on the clutch, didn't get the best start and ended up in fourth. We fought hard to get around Miguel and then we got up behind Aaron and Aaron decided to hold me up for about three laps! By the time I passed him, Ben had about a two-and-a-half second lead with about six laps to go."

"I knew it was going to be hard work because Ben has been solid all week, but we put our head down and Ben made one fairly big mistake in Turn Five and that let us get to the point where we got a sniff. Coming over the start/ finish line with one lap to go, I thought "if I could get this lap right and Ben doesn't, I might be able to get him in 10 or 11." But he got it right and I got it right, but unfortunately the gap stayed pretty much the same. Congratulations to Ben. It was a great race and he's been solid all week."
Superbike Results:

1. Ben Bostrom (Honda)
2. Mat Mladin (Suzuki)
3. Miguel Duhamel (Honda)
4. Aaron Yates (Suz uki)
5. Eric Bostrom (Ducati)
6. Josh Hayes (Kawasaki)
7. Jake Zemke (Honda)
8. Jacob Holden (Suzuki)
9. Larry Pegram (Yamaha)
10. Geoff May (Suzuki)

From Team Suzuki

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