With so many good riders contesting this year’s AMA Superbike championship, it is astounding that Mat Mladin and Nicky Hayden have won all of the races so far. With virtually every race turning into a personal battle between these two riders, do we conclude that they are head-and-shoulders above the remaining talent in the AMA Superbike class? No.
Mat has been riding the same bike for several years, and Yoshimura has that Suzuki dialed in quite well. Mat is an excellent rider, as well. His teammate’s results, however, indicate that the bike has a lot to do with it. Aaron Yates sits third in the points, and could break through with a victory any time now.
Nicky Hayden, on the other hand, has a good bike that isn’t fully sorted (at least suspension wise). Just ask Miguel Duhamel about this. Nicky simply rides the wheels off it, however, and finds a way to win (or contest for the win) every race. Nicky is that good, I am afraid.
It appears pretty clear that either Mat or Nicky will win the Superbike championship this year. They have outdistanced the field with seven victories between them (in seven rounds). We just might see some other riders emerge at the top of the victory podium before the end of the year, however. Aaron Yates is one of them, and Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom is another. We will have to wait and see, but my money is on Eric Bostrom winning at least one race before this season is over.