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Mat Mladin to Retire This Year

Friday, July 31, 2009
Mat Mladin.
With the 2009 season all but in the bag Mat Mladin has annouced that this will be his last season in the AMA. Can't think of a better way to go out then with another champtionship title.
Editor Note: After more than a decade of domination in the American Superbike championship. 6-time (soon to be 7-time) AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin has announced this will be his last year racing in the United States. With only three rounds remaining, claiming his seventh title is merely a formality at this stage. But let’s read between the lines here. Earlier this season he reported that he was having a great time racing and that he was doing it because he was having fun. Well, it appears he is not having fun any longer.

The Australian has just released the following message on the same day that he decided to sit-out the Topeka round of the series for safety reasons. Below, is the message that Mladin sent out to the US Media: 

"After so many great years of racing in the USA, I will retire from AMA racing at the end of the 2009 racing season in New Jersey.

My career has been long and above and beyond my wildest expectations. I won my first national championship on dirt bikes back in 1981 (28 years ago) and have had an amazing career ever since.

If I had my time again, I would not change a single decision I have made, in life or in racing.

I would like to thank my team for their constant hard work. Without these guys, the 80+ race wins and multiple championships would not have been possible.

I wish to thank my fans. I want you to know that you all have helped me achieve so much. I will miss you.

I want to thank my mum and dad for getting me involved in such a fantastic sport that turned into my profession. I love you both.

My brother and sister for all the miles you done cramped into the back of a little pick up / ute in the early days. These were great times and the ones in racing I will cherish the most. You mean the world to me.

My daughters are growing fast and it is time I put my efforts into their future.

My wife, what can I say? You have unselfishly given your time and efforts to this lifestyle of ours. Racing had its down days, but with you by my side it was easy to get up and smell the fresh air, and realize how lucky I am. You have been a rock for so long, and if I could live another 100 years I still would not have the time to repay you for your commitment. I love you babe."

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Jerry -Dmg killed the already drowning AMA  November 19, 2009 09:02 AM
I stopped watching AMA altogether this year. The rules are a bit odd compared to other venues around the world. How many different classes is the AMA running now? Rolling start? Man washes out, picks the bike up and gets back in the race, not so fast buddy, pull in and get that bike tech inspected first. Racer goes off the track, RESTART! Bike out of gas, up against the wall, RESTART!
Not to mention the race commentators. The only time I actually enjoyed the commentating was when Scott Russell and Freddy Spencer were in the co-pilot seat. The only problem was, the man doing all the talking seemed to enjoy watching his first MOTORCYCLE roadrace.
I wish Matt would move over to SBK. I hate to say it, but after many years watching AMA races, I'v watched my last one.
ron daniels -mat mladin retires  October 31, 2009 06:47 AM
i was hopeing he would have moved to world superbikes, ive watched all his rides at datona what a fantastic rider the best in his time thats for sure.
jerry -matt  October 7, 2009 08:36 PM
dont quit know,move up 2 a stiffer competion level and try yourself,be a better racer than u r know,unless?
george h from vancouver,b.c. -ama superbike and your retirement  October 6, 2009 05:04 PM
i truly doubt if i will see ama (american racing)like i did when watching you and ben dominate the series.i was down at laguna 2008 to catch the moto gp and the superbike race and ran into you at your garage/tent and you gave me a thrill of a life time taking your picture with me then autographing your poster for me.all the best in your retirement your a class act. george
Chuck -Hooray Mat!  September 11, 2009 05:07 AM
Wish I could have seen you race in WSB/MotoGP Mat! That would have been sweet. Now that you and Ben are gone I have no reason at all to watch AMA racing. Especially with this DMG sh*t. Great! Now AMA Roadracing will just be more REDNECK RACING. World class?...I think not. Ben Spies will probably be the last American WSB/ MotoGP contender for a LONG time. Shame.
clickitysplit -was boring, will probably be REAL boring now...  August 18, 2009 02:40 PM
Watching Mladin (and/or Spies) pull 10 second leads by lap 2 week over week and the Yosh team winning something like 70 races in a row was pretty damn boring, if we're being honest. After a while I became convinced it couldn't possibly be the riders -- they just couldn't be that much better than everyone else. Then Spies moved to WSBK and all that thinking has changed. Anyway, good on ya, Mat(e). Thanks for bringing it here, for turning so many on to sportbikes, and for being a good American. Real Americans appreciate those who speak up, and you get all our respect for that.
GSXR400RACER --Mladin the machine  August 18, 2009 12:16 PM
Really would have liked to see him in WSB where he belonged years ago he is the man. mentally and physically he has made others re-evaluate their training and commitment to the sport. "lead follow or get out of the way" Ive grown up watching greats. Best wishes on your Holiday
gia -matt retires  August 16, 2009 03:18 PM
i guess he threw all the fits he could. awww poor baby. see ya
STEVE -MAT TALK AND REAL ROAD RACING!!!  August 14, 2009 01:47 PM
The Isle of Man TT!!! The ultimate road race... there is always alot of talk about who the best is on Tracks the AMA pro riders could run blindfolded and asleep they run them so much...You know what I would like to see dominate The the Isle of Man TT...a race that has claimed the lives of 250 plus people including spectators a race thats takes balls of steel to even sign up for becuase tragedy could hit at anytime on the road in that event.NOW Thats a race a real road, real street, Mat talks about unsafe well hello we are talking motorcycle racing here people it is far from safe and we know it don't stop me from jumping on my bike and doing what i love to do..I'm not saying he is not a great rider but come on now.. AMA, DMG ,MOTO GP, WERA, CCS whatever , whoever everyone is gonna have rules thats don't matter at the end of the day rules and BS aside we are still riders nothing else matter just get on the bike and create magic...If your a Racer then Race...
Mashew Monshero -MAT is da man...WSBK!!!!  August 12, 2009 09:01 PM
Why not look at it from this angle. Mat raced and beat (destroyed) the following people, Ben Bostrom, Neil Hodgson, Jamie Hacking, Lucas Scassa, James Ellison. All this people I mentioned came or moved from WSBK. I might have missed a few more names, but you get my drift. Where do they stand when they race against Mat. It doesn't matter if he never tried world effort, but he is a proven product. Ben Spies got him three in a row, but between them two, he has more race wins during that three years, Remember the 07 series when he lost by a point, people, he has about 5 or 6 race wins over Ben that season. Many will not agree, but he is one of the best Superbike Rider out there. Maybe one of the best of all time. AMA without Mladin, FORGET it...not worth my time to watch that anymore and I sometime wonder if many feel the same way.
Steve -so long  August 5, 2009 06:00 AM
Bike development will not be affected by Mladin's retirement. You think Suzuki will only release a new GSXR1000 every 4-5 years instead of 2-3 because Mladin is not in AMA racing?

Did AMA tracks suddenly become so unsafe this year? Topeka is new, and there were some safety issues that needed to be addressed. Some were, and others will be in the future. No the tracks are not as safe as those in Europe that WSB and MotoGP use. But those tracks are at the upper end of national tracks in Europe. I bet if you looked at the tracks used for some of the national series (e.g. British Superbike) they are not all as safe as the top tracks (Brands Hatch, Donnington Park).

I'm not a big Mladin fan like many commenting here seem to be. While I agree he has a lot of talent, I've never liked his attitude. He acts like he's the best rider in the world, but has never tested himself against the best in the world (since he's come to AMA and gotten to the top).

So let him retire from AMA. Go ride in WSB or MotoGP if he thinks he can compete.

I agree that DMG is making some big mistakes with AMA racing. The want to get it more popular, so they're trying to apply the NASCAR or Rolex (Daytona Prototype cars) series models.

Anybody here the comments from Larry Pegram before the first Topeka Superbike race? How he lost any remaining respect he had for Matt after he cussed him out and said he wanted to punch him in the face for saying the track was safe. Yeah, what a great guy Matt is :(

SICKWITIT -MATT  August 3, 2009 02:01 PM
Way to be man, way to be. It takes a collected head to see past the companies and money that just keep saying "go faster", and look at the whole picture and speak up for yourself. No sense in taking undo risks. See you VIR Matt! Make sure you crush Pegram for all your fans.
Limey66 -Farewell Mat, RIP US Superbike racing  August 3, 2009 11:21 AM
I have to agree with everything said already by Rapid, Bill and Roadrocket. I wish Mat the very best in his business venture and hope he can look down from the comfort of his retirement lounge and LAUGH heartily at the mess AMA will be next year.. Mat, you are true champion and a hero for having los cajones for standing up when every other racer would not. Your presence will be greatly missed. US superbike racing, and bike sales inevitably will really suffer for many years to come for the mess that has been made of this series. The tracks are a joke. Except no one is laughing. How can the US expect to produce world class racers to go on and compete on the world stage if the state of domestic racing is stuck in hokey bumpkin land. The tracks dont take it seriously, the promoters dont take it seriously and the AMA sure doesnt take it seriously. How can a rider accustomed to riding a stock 600cc sport bike be expected to compete against the likes of Dovitsioso, Pedrosa, Lorenzo and the almighty Rossi. All of whom came up through the 250cc pure bred race rank. Where is the world championship development program. US superbike is not it thats for sure. Look at the quality of BSB, and the quality of the competition over there. I'm biased, but the British superbike racing scene towers over the US nonsense. NEVER in the world would a shithole track like Topeka make it on to the calendar in BSB. The tracks iin blighty; Cadwell, Donington, Mallory, Brands...etc, these are classic race tracks that are well taken care of and maintained and promoted to the highest standard.There is absolutely no reason why a country the size and the wealth of the US should not be able to produce quality racing in a world class series, and ultimately produce world caliber racers more often than once in decade. Good luck to Ben Spies, he must be so glad to be shot of the AMA and race on proper circuits. Does anyone think Larry F-ing Pegram is up to following in Bens footsteps and taking on Fabrizio, Rea and company. HAHAHA. Really.
Duc1 -Mat  August 3, 2009 04:47 AM
Mat A simple Thank YOU.
TheBrain -Dave  August 2, 2009 11:26 PM
You obviously don't need to do more research. You're racing info is novice at best.
TheBrain -Help  August 2, 2009 11:20 PM
Paging anyone that can Help AMA Pro road racing!!! Mat please go to WSBK for at lease several wild card rides!!!
Dave -Mat Mladin  August 2, 2009 04:17 PM
It sucks for him to not have any competition since Ben Spies left. Personally I have always thought that Mladin is only good here in the States. If he was so good how come no serious effort in WSBK or Moto GP, he had the offers why not see what he was really made of.
roadrocket7 -Matt Mladin, The End of an Era  August 2, 2009 10:20 AM
I agree wholeheartedly with Rapid and Bill Lustrick. They said it all. We shall never see the likes of Matt Mladin in a long time. I too, became resentful of Matt, seemingly winning all the time. Week after week, year after year. I guess sometimes it is human nature to find a reason to hate or criticize. Like so many of Matt's fans, I would sell my soul to have see him race in MotoGP and/or World Superbike. Can you imagine what that would have been like? Guess it's a pipe dream now. I still find myself asking why there are no Americans racing in the MotoGP 250 or even in the Isle of Man TT. I find myself cheering on the riders in the MotoGP 250 and 125 classes these days. Those guys are truly the future. Marco Simoncelli will be in MotoGP next year. I can't wait. Could you imagine Matt and Marco going side by side, trading plastic at Assen? Look at the tracks around the world compared to the ones in America. There is NO comparison. The track at Topeka, KS isn't much wider than some of my neighbors' driveways. No wonder Dave Despain left the broadcast booth at SPEED, as well as the much lamented departure of the great Larry Miers. SPEED Channel is, and HAS been the NASCAR CHANNEL. Period. Forget motorcycle racing. Anybody remember Two Wheel Tuesdays? And how they used to replay the races from Sunday? Now they show them at 2:00 in the morning, thinking that the motorcycle crowd would rather watch guys do stoppies and wheelies. The dumbing down of American motorcycle racing is why Matt quit. He is the epitome of fitness, strength, guts and class. And superior talent. God bless you and your family, Matt. Thanks for the thrills and chills. I became a believer when I saw you make a miraculous save at Virginia Int'l. Raceway a few years back when your rear tire disintegrated at 170 MPH! You will be missed.
Rapid -Mat Mladin Retired. It had to come but it came to quick and was caused soley by (R.E. & DMG YOU BASTARDS!! )  August 1, 2009 10:00 AM
Having made numerous posts in the past on this site and having been involved in this the greatest motorcycle sport in the US IMHO it was inevitable. We all knew that Mat was fed up and disgusted with R.E. and his personal attack at Suzuki, Yoshimura and Mat for standing up and saying what needed to be said. MAT HAD THE BALLS like KR Sr. back in the day. Mat leaves the sport at the right time. Its no longer a sport or a place where the factories can flex their muscle and works parts that would have eventually trickled down to the street bikes. Development will now come slower, longer and with less newer more developed models. Bikes were being revamped almost yearly. Now expect it to be 2 or 3 years. Mat was more then the winning-est rider in AMA Superbike he was THE DEVELOPMENT guy for Suzuki in regards to their flagship GSX-R1000. Riders like Mat don't come along to often. To wring the neck of a bike to make it do things it wasn't designed to do so that data can be sent back to the factory to make improvements is above 99.9% of the riders out there. If they were are good as Mat then they would have beaten him more often. Instead what Mat had to endure was year after year of whining from his competitors because they couldn't beat him. They claimed foul, cheater or what ever. THe bottom line is all the factories before these worthless F _ _Kers DMG took over had years to develop a hire talent to beat Mat but in the end they just couldn't. Mat was the best and he goes out the best. He kicked every ones ass and in the process brought out the best in one rider who "HAD" the talent and bike "ALL" the others lacked to hang with him, Ben Spies. I've been involved in US roadracing since the early 70's. It was my true passion. I was around when there was so much talent in the series here in the AMA it was just jaw dropping. To watch the riders of the caliber that raced those TZ750's and the dawn of the Superbike era was something words can't describe. And the thing I can say is that the men who raced back then had one thing in common and that is passion for what they were doing like Mat has. They raced for the fun and the passion of a sport that was like nothing else. And when Kenny was whining everything no one whined or cried foul! Not even the claiming rule made a difference. What it did show is that Kenny was racing on a almost standard issue TZ750 with not much in the way of unobtainium. Kenny was winning not just because he was on the best bike at the time but because he had the talent. Then Freddie came along and the two went out it hand over fist and their respective factories threw everything they had at each other as well and the other factories also stepped up their respective game. I hope the Moto GP doesn't succumb to what the DMG has done to US racing. Fortunately I don't think they will. They don't have a dumb ass like R.E. running their series. Fortunately GP is about the last bastion where the factories can dream the dreams and let all of us marvel and share in their dreams. In closing I just want to say I read something posted on another site that said the following from R.E. in regards to paying riders what they are worth. The truth is the riders still get paid piss for winning a national, period. What sponsors are going to want to sponsor a series where there are only club racers and no major stars that pull the crowds or bikes that make people drewl when they see them and the immortals who had the talent to wring the necks of these beasts? Mat is in a class that Ben will soon be graduating into. Mat joins the likes of Kenny, Freddie, Kevin, Polen, Russell, Nixon, Romero and the like. These were racers that allowed all of us to see them ride bikes like non of us will ever be able to do in our wildest dreams. He leaves the sport dead and buried as far as I'm concerned. The factories are done, fed up with the rules and are leaving at the end of 09. Some may continue on via support teams but its never ever going to be the same, ever. What it is going to be is one big club race. And for me I'm done with this "JOKE" of a series. I can travel a short distance pay a few bucks and see the same talent at a club race as I can in 2010. Mat, you "WILL" be missed and the sport you leave in your wake as you jet back to AU will never ever have the talent you brought to the series. You made Superbike racing what it is and all the haters finally saw it and apologize to you and only wish you the best!!! Have a wonderful retirement, enjoy your family, stay healthy and may your new business ventures be great. You deserve it!!! All the best, Rapid
Bill Lustrick -Track Safety  August 1, 2009 09:29 AM
Mat, Your comments about Topeka and track safety are right on. I've seen AMA riders die and be seriously injured for years due to sanctioning of unsafe tracks. The AMA has always had it's own agenda and they don't care about the riders. I Think the only way this could ever be fixed is if the racing end of the AMA was made up of former racers who have felt the pain and delt with the recovery. Wishing you the best on your retirement. You are a man or courage and conviction.
AvengingKnight -Mladin my hero  July 31, 2009 10:22 PM
Mat thanks for the all of those years of great racing. Your professionalism and work ethic contributed in making the AMA Super bike series my favorite. You were the standard that American riders were measured. Spies and Hayden were made better because of your fierce competition. Both of these guys have the utmost respect for you as do I. Thanks for having to courage to speak out for the safety of those who feel they can't. You provide a great example to the next generation of riders.
TheBrain -Mladin  July 31, 2009 09:15 PM
#66, #1, #6, #7, and by the end of this season #1 yet again. Bravo to you sir, bravo!
irk.some -specifics  July 31, 2009 08:59 PM
"... from AMA racing..."
jimbolaya -what a man  July 31, 2009 07:33 PM
All of us blessed w/ such wonderful wives as Matt apparently is, should find similar words of praise to describe our beautiful life partners.

Matt will be sorely missed. He is my all time favorite motorcycle racer; his words about his wife only elevate his humanity that much more.

Blessings to him & his.
Bruno -Mat Mladin retires..  July 31, 2009 06:13 PM
Its about time!..i think he is steping away at the right time with thr DMG debacle..good to get out with your health and his records won't be matched..