Spies wins first leg of Superbike doubleheader

Updated: April 22, 2006, 7:31 PM ET
Associated Press

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. -- Ben Spies won the first leg of the Honda Superbike Classic AMA Superbike Championship doubleheader Saturday at Barber Motorsports Park to tie teammate Mat Mladin for the series lead after two rounds.

Spies and Mladin, both riding Suzuki GSX-R1000s, battled for the lead throughout the race until Mladin ran off the track on lap 24 of the 28-lap final while attempting to pass a slower rider. Spies finished 10.723 seconds ahead of Mladin.

"It's an awesome feeling to get a victory," said Spies, who earned his second career AMA Superbike win. "Just like when I won last year, Mat had problems, so we didn't get to battle to the last lap. I didn't know he ran off the track, so I was sort of shocked when I saw my pit board and realized the lead I had."

The second race of the doubleheader is Sunday on the 2.3-mile, 16-turn circuit.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press