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Running on Fumes

Mladin Will Be Missed… By Some

Friday, August 7, 2009
Mat Mladin is a figure that elicits strong opinions from racing fans. And now that the most prolific Superbike racer in AMA history has announced his retirement – effective at the conclusion of this season – it makes a fan wonder what Mladin’s legacy will be.

Mat Mladin - American Superbike  Laguna Seca
Mat Mladin will finish his AMA Superbike career with his seventh championship, this time in American Superbike.
Surely, he will be remembered as the dominator of American Superbike racing during the ’00s, double ohs, oughts… or whatever we end up calling the decade between 2000 and 2010. Mladin, the man who sold so many GSX-R1000s (not to mention GSX-R600s) that Suzuki will remember the millions he was paid as one of its wisest investments. On the other side of the coin, Mladin critics will argue – why never step up and challenge in World Superbike or MotoGP (like the young bucks who actually beat him – Ben Spies and Nicky Hayden)?

And then there is the question about his leaving the sport, in obvious disgust over the way Superbike racing in America has been changed by the Daytona Motorsports Group’s takeover of AMA racing. The funny thing about the DMG takeover is that it was brought about, in large part, because of the absolute domination of Mladin and the Yoshimura Suzukis. Over two years without a rider besides Mladin or Spies even close to sniffing for a victory! The sport grew tedious, even though Mladin and Spies put on incredible championship battles.

Hopefully Mladin sticks around the sport in some capacity, as even his critics have always respected his talent and experience. His outspoken candor (especially after his discovery of blogging and Twitter) is refreshing in an industry where canned quotes thanking sponsors and praising the bike and team are der rigueur.

Mladin will be missed by many fans, though we doubt the DMG will be counted in those ranks…
Post Tags: Mat Mladin, Mladin Retires
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Comments
Phil -Mladin retiring... August 18, 2009 10:55 AM
Reading some of the posts here make me laugh. You guys are hating on Mladin because he is good at what he does..jeez. Even the riders in the current AMA paddock admit that Mladin is the measure of what they go by as far as winning races. You haters think you know more then them...???
yellowgix -mat August 11, 2009 06:39 AM
to lmi get a life superbike racing is no place for warm and fuzzy, if u want warm and fuzzy go to build a bear where u probably work.
Matt -What if Rossi... August 10, 2009 02:16 PM
Imagine Rossi staying in 250GP his whole career, never to move up to 500/MotoGP. Racking up 100 250 wins and 10 250 Championships. Would anyone ever though he was the world's best? No.


"What if I never tried?" is the story of Rossi's life. The answer to this question is just look at Mladin! THAT'S what happens if you don't try to move up to the next challenge.
Derrick -Mladin the Cherry picker. August 10, 2009 02:09 PM
Eh, good ridence. He camped out on the National level for far too long. It's like watching an amatuer never turn Pro for his entire career, after 7 amatuer championships, even as the occassional young buck beats him and moves up.

I won't look at him as one of the world's best because he shoulda moved up to WSB almost a decade ago. He's just a cherry picker. Like the guy who rides in the Novice group for 20 years at track days just to pass people. Big deal, who cares.


NorCalFilth -Sick and Tired - Mladin August 10, 2009 01:21 PM
I love how this has turned into a DMG vs Mladin extravaganza. You guys have all lost sight of what this guys job is and i will spell it out for you. He rides motorcycles on a race track. Thats it. So quit your bitching and race or shut up. It is easy for Mladin to sit in his ivory tower and call the other racers in the paddock "spineless", he is a multi millionaire, all the spineless ones on the track are not. Yeah he was fast, yeah he was great to root against, but at the end of the day it is nothing more than a changing of the guard. So get it out of your system. First everyone complained about the AMA, then it was suzuki and Mladin, then it was the DMG, whats next? American Road Racing needs the DMG, you know why? To quote Gordon Gekko "It's all about bucks, kid. The rest is conversation"
MV Man -Mladin August 10, 2009 01:18 PM
Nor-Cal Filth, throwin down a hot lap!!
SBKJew -mladin August 10, 2009 09:22 AM
Screw Mladan, Danny Eslick is way cooler! lol
Sick and Tired -Mladin August 9, 2009 04:40 PM
I have to call LMI for being another idiot posting stupid comments but then again this is the US. Mat was always polite and courteous when I saw him doing autograph sessions at any event but he's also at work!!! Heeeeeeeellllllllllllllllooooooooooooooooooooo!!! He's RISKING HIS LIFE during that weekend!!! He gets paid to win not chitchat!!! He has more on his mind then hanging with fans because he's BUSY!!! Again, I always saw Mat being polite and taking pics with fans or signing this or that time permitting so this crap about I hate Mat because of this or that makes me wanna vomit every time I read it. Roberts was similar to Mat. He was there to do what he is paid for, win. So when all you DA's who hatr MM are at work I'm safe in saying you just are all warm and fuzzy doing nothing at your job except screw off and get paid for doing nothing! And if someone tries to talk to you while YOU ARE working you snap at them and then you're known at work as the ass with the tude!! Mat and Yosh/Suzuki won be cause there IS NO ONE WHO HAS A BETTER BIKE OR RIDER who can beat them, PERIOD!!! Sept Ben and so for that you DA's just bash and bash and bash. Oh the series sucks its boring zzzzz Do you want some cheese with your whine???? So, now that the only talent left sept Blake Young is leaving now what? They'll be riding street bikes again next year whop the friggin dooooo!! And then once Blake improves should he stay here next year and starts winning then what? More cheese for you whiners??? I'm soooooooooooooooo glad I am no longer going to AMA events because its DA's like you people and MJ oh and lets not forget RE and DMG that have killed US Road racing. Next weekend I'm going back to a local club race for 10 bucks and I'll see bikes that have more unobtanium on them that at a FRIGGIN NATIONAL and NO ONE IS GOING TO BE WHINING because so and so wins all the time!! GET A LIFE! PS: I agree with Joe, a right smart man he is!
LMI -Mladin August 9, 2009 07:37 AM
I stopped watching AMA Superbike years ago but, of course I would see who won when I would go on any motorcycle site. It was always Mladin until Spies developed into the dominant rider that he is today. But the whole series became a snoozer when it was Suzuki winning all the time. Not much talent in the series to compete with these two guys. I watch WSBK now where the field is more even.
Mladin was good but, I will make no excuses, I never liked him and he never gave me that warm fuzzy feeling, that was just him though.
Joe -Well... August 8, 2009 11:35 AM
I can’t really think of a single sport, either stick and ball sport or motor sport, where someone or some team for that matter didn’t dominate at one time or another: F1- Michael Schumacher, bicycle racing- Lance Armstrong, Drag racing- John Force, Golf- Tiger Woods, Boxing- M. Ali, Moto Gp- V. Rossi, the list goes on.

Mladin did and does what he does best…win. Some will say …well he didn’t race in WSBK. No he didn’t but many WSBK racers and champions did not race in the AMA and some that did and do, are not winning races let alone multiple championships. I’m sure nobody would argue, after seeing Spies literally showing the WSBK paddock how to get around THEIR tracks faster, that the AMA paddock had some talent. Mladin is the only person who could beat spies on a regular basis and do it with the same bike and team so you know it was his talent and not equipment that got the job done. With the new owners, DMG, we may never see talent like this ever again.


Eric -Mladin August 8, 2009 06:57 AM
Of course he will be missed. He was and still is the yard stick by which all others are measured in AMA.(including those that beat him-Hayden,Spies) How many people in any sport are regarded in that way? Like him or not, you have to appreciate the effort he has put into his racing and how well he does it. At the same time, Mladin being gone will make it interesting to see who actually wins.
TheBrain -Miss August 8, 2009 06:31 AM
I will miss him... come back and win another crown just to mess with DMG.
MV Man -Mladin August 7, 2009 05:57 PM
"Evolved personality wise"....you either have one, or you don't. Pretty simple really. I won't critique Mat about his off track behavior, just like I din't care how poorly Roberts(Curtiss), Kosinski, Foggy, Rainey, Biaggi, Yates, Gobert, and others acted at times. I'm only concerned with the racing. Funny thing is, I think if I'm being honest, I'll miss rooting for someone to beat Mat most. Every story worth telling has a villain. Mat was a fantastic villain who I will miss next year. I'm probably the only one who feels this way about the Mladin thing, but it ain't gonna be the same without him.
willparker -CENSORSHIP.. August 7, 2009 04:42 PM
AW, do u guys have a gentleman's agreemant to shield Mat's eyes from internet criticism? nice to see CENSORSHIP in effect...
MV Man -Mladin August 7, 2009 03:53 PM
Make no mistake, Mladin ain't gonna win a paddock popularity contest anytime soon, but the thing is, he ain't trying to.
willparker -Mladin'd legacy.. August 7, 2009 03:32 PM
sure he was great but Mat would be missed more if he had evolved personality wise..even three straight title losses to Spies didn't humble the dude, its still him against the world, thats how he seems to motivate himself..hey Mat, there is a rider who is competitive, great as you, and actually LIKED,his name? Valentino Rossi..maybe you heard of him?
MV Man -Mladin August 7, 2009 03:32 PM
For the record, Mladin rode for FBF Ducati only one year, not years. In "97" Mat finished 3rd in the series riding the Ducati that Polen should have.
MV Man -Mladin August 7, 2009 03:14 PM
Six championships, going on seven, I'd say is a pretty dominant career, wouldn't you agree irk.some? (Stint on the FBF Duck not withstanding.)
what what?? -DMG? Now what... August 7, 2009 02:52 PM
Mladin leaving?!? Crap! Mladin leaving just makes me think of the 2010 season for Daytona Sportbike, whoever podiums...just know, there is someone in "retirement" that can easily make the next champion look silly. It will be interesting on who Suzuki chooses to take ownership of Mladin's ride next season...almost comical.
irk.some -Mladin August 7, 2009 02:32 PM
I recall his actual quote as saying he'd be retiring from AMA racing. As for domination, I remember his years on a Ferraci Ducati as anything BUT dominant.
Sirius -DMG August 7, 2009 12:11 PM
You don't think the year after year domination of the Yoshimura team had anything at all to do with DMG. Wasn't everybody screaming at how predictable and boring the racing was becoming? Thus DMG coming in and "promoting" the sport with these crazy new racing classes.
Sirius -eh? August 7, 2009 11:59 AM
"The funny thing about the DMG takeover is that it was brought about, in large part, because of the absolute domination of Mladin and the Yoshimura Suzukis." That is the most ignorant comment I have ever read reagarding motorcycle racing.
MV Man -Mladin August 7, 2009 11:52 AM
Bart, bullseye! I think as time passes, I hope Mladin will be remembered for his complete domination of the AMA roadrace scene, rather than his lack of humility. Lets face it, these guys aren't curing cancer, they are atheletes/entertainers. I don't view them as hero's or idols. That being said, you would be hard pressed to find a more passionate roadrace fan than I....anywhere. Mladin kicked the AMA series in the ass for years and became a millionaire in the process. He was very wise to remain the big fish in this little pond. The same is true for Duhamel and others. I'm sure if Scott russell had it to do over again.....As for me, count me in the group that will miss Mladin....the racer.