Infineon '06 Super Seven
by evan williams
1. Ben Spies, Yoshimura Suzuki -- Spies won his fifth and sixth Superbike races in a row at Infineon, tying the existing AMA Superbike record. Ben led both races flag-to-flag and also won pole. Spies leads the championship by 30 points after seven races. What more can you say at this point? Spies also led the Supersport race when it was cancelled.
2. Jamie Hacking, Yamaha -- Hacking won Superstock at Infineon to break the tie in series points heading into the weekend. Even though Jamie would have benefited from the Supersport race not being rained out (challenger Rog Hayden was injured at Sears and second-place points man Danny Eslick had crashed before the red flag), The Hacker leads both Superstock and Supersport points heading into Road America.
3. Eric Bostrom, Yamaha -- E-Boz won his second straight FX race at Infineon, a remarkable rally for the Californian who still trails teammate Jason DiSalvo in the points but has closed the gap at the last two races. Bostrom seems to be gaining ground on the R6 and could be on one of his fabled hot streaks where he looks like a virtually unbeatable rider. Boz also finished third in Superstock, making it an all-podium weekend.
4. Danny Eslick, MPTRacing.com -- Eslick has emerged as the next young rider to watch in the US. The Oklahoman was on the box in Supersport at Fontana and in Xtreme at Sonoma. He's also currently second in Supersport points. If Danny can keep up the momentum as the silly season begins, the former dirt-tracker will be in demand.
5. Mat Mladin, Suzuki -- Yeah, Mat admittedly got his butt kicked at Infineon by Spies but his two second places were clear of the rest of the field, especially on Saturday when third was more than 16 seconds back. Mladin lost more points to Spies but he's still alive in the championship with less than half the season gone.
6. Miguel DuHamel, Honda -- Miguel finished on the box twice at Sonoma as he continued to solidify himself and Honda as #3 in the AMA Superbike pecking order. Miguel had a good duel with Aaron Yates on Saturday and took stayed in sight of Mladin on Sunday.
7. Roger Hayden, Kawasaki -- Rog essentially "won" at Sonoma because the Supersport race was rained out. Hayden, who won the first two Supersport races of the year before he broke his leg in a Superbike crash, was doing his best at Infineon in practice despite walking around on crutches. In fact Hayden qualified 10th. In the end, he lost just one point (for pole position) to rival Hacking on the weekend in 'Sport and still has seven races to make up 31 points.