Ben Spies (1) got the jump on the field in the first of two AMA Superbike races at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2007. Eric Bostrom (32), Miguel Duhamel (17), Aaron Yates (20), Tommy Hayden (22), Mat Mladin (66), Roger Hayden (95) and the rest give chase. The win would ultimately go to Mladin. Photo by Brian J. Nelson

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.

Mat Mladin needed to come away from Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in 2007 with two wins if he had any hope of keeping his teammate Ben Spies from earning the AMA Superbike Championship. Despite a weekend that teetered on the brink of rider boycott and culminated with Sunday’s Superbike race not starting until 7:15 p.m., Mladin was able to do what he needed to do to keep his hopes alive.

When all was said and done, Mladin had his 58th and 59th AMA Superbike wins in his pocket and left Mid-Ohio trailing Spies by 17 points as those two continued their domination of AMA Superbike racing.

“Honestly, I’m not thinking about the points and that’s it,” Mladin said. “If I win this championship, then we’ve done a really good job. We’ve given a lot of points away this year. At Daytona and Utah, I made a silly mistake and crashed out of the lead. So, we’ve given up a few this year. So to be in the position we’re in is very good, anyway. To win the next five races would honestly mean a lot more to me than winning a championship. To win 13 races in a year – that’d be pretty cool.”

Saturday’s race began with Mladin botching the start and dropping to seventh. By the time he got to second place, Spies had 4.6 seconds in hand. Then came a red flag. So, what did Spies think of that?

Mat Mladin (center) celebrates one of his two Superbike wins at Mid-Ohio in 2007 with Jamie Hacking (left) and Ben Spies (right).

“Oh, man, obviously not great things,” Spies said post-race. “It happens. It goes for you and against you sometimes. That’s just how it is. Just try to regroup and go out in the second one.”

Mladin didn’t mess up the second start, and he also had a new Dunlop NT rear tire that he’d saved from his allocation. Spies didn’t have an extra.

Mladin used the new tire to perfection, setting a new outright lap record on the first flying lap and then lowering it on the next lap and again later on the 17th lap. He ended up winning by 4.8 seconds.

“We didn’t have enough (NT tires) to run a set for tomorrow and, obviously after the first race we thought we had a little bit of leeway and could maybe give a tenth or two on tires, and obviously we couldn’t…. hopefully, we’ll put on those tires, and I’ll be Superman tomorrow, but I don’t see it happening,” Spies said.

With rain hammering the racetrack all day long on Sunday and no on-track action as Mid-Ohio was, at the time, a track you couldn’t race on in the rain, delays went all the way to darkness.

Somehow, the second Superbike race was run to completion with Mladin topping Spies again to gain valuable points in their two-rider battle for the title.

American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel was third in Saturday’s race with Jamie Hacking earning his first Superbike podium for Monster Energy Kawasaki. Neither of those two could get within 15 seconds of the lead duo.