Miguel Duhamel (17) leads Mat Mladin (66), Doug Chandler (1), Thomas Stevens (7) and Pascal Picotte (21) in the 1997 AMA Superbike race at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Photo by Henny Ray Abrams

With MotoAmerica set to bring AMA Superbike racing back to Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, August 16-18, we’re taking a closer look at past Superbike races at the iconic racetrack in Lexington, Ohio.

Smokin’ Joe’s Honda’s Miguel Duhamel and Muzzy Kawasaki’s Doug Chandler engaged in a Superbike battle royale at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 1997 with Duhamel winning a mad dash to the finish line by just .120 of a second.

Initially, the battle involved more than just the two rivals as Fast By Ferracci Ducati’s Mat Mladin and Yoshimura Suzuki’s Aaron Yates were also in the fight early on. Mladin’s Ducati would start to misfire, dropping the Australian to an eventual fourth and pole-sitter Yates just didn’t have the pace in the closing stages as he dropped to third after fighting through from a poor start.

The win was the 15th of Duhamel’s career, which moved him into a tie with Freddie Spencer for third on the all-time AMA Superbike win list.

(From left to right) Doug Chandler, Miguel Duhamel and Aaron Yates celebrate on the Mid-Ohio podium. Photo by Henny Ray Abrams

Both riders ended the day happy to have kept the large crowd on its feet.

“Those were two of the most gratifying wins I’ve had in a long, long time,” said Duhamel, who earlier had won the 600cc Supersport race. “It didn’t look so good here. We were a second off in the 600 and a bit off in Superbike – what, a full 10th or something? I was just really riding hard. My bike was chattering bad, and I think I fell once or twice. I just forgot to fall all the way down. Everyone was really going hard and to come out on top in one of these feels really great.”

Chandler, the championship leader, had more to lose than Duhamel and after nearly running off track at one point, he opted for the sensible route.

“I thought, ‘Boy, if I would have put it off on the grass, that would be really stupid,’ “ Chandler said. “I just told myself, ‘You can’t do that.’ I proceeded to go ahead and keep racing, but I wasn’t going to go over my head anymore like that.”

Chandler left Mid-Ohio with a 20-point lead over Mladin with three races remaining in the 1997 title chase.

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