Standing in the enclosed podium area at Infineon Sunday afternoon, two things became clear. Mat Mladin and his crew (within the Yoshimura Suzuki team) are confident and on a roll. At the same time, Ben Spies had a look of resignation. Mladin was able to up the pace near the end of the race, and send Spies a message that the gap between first and second place could have been even bigger if Mladin had chosen to make it so.
The six-time champ looks like he is really enjoying this battle with his younger teammate (and defending champion). Mladin rode all weekend at Infineon without placing a foot wrong, while Spies looked a bit ragged at times trying (unsuccessfully) to keep pace.
While this should continue to be a dog fight, Mladin has just upped the ante, and Spies needs to respond.