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Rider: Mathew Mladin
Machine: Suzuki GSX-R1000 (#7)
Born: March 10, 1972 in Camden, Australia
Mat Mladin was the most dominant rider in modern AMA Superbike racing. In total the Aussie captured seven AMA Superbike Championships, the most recent of which took place in 2009. Additionally, Mladin has also won a title in Australian Superbike and currently holds the record for the largest number of AMA Superbike wins at 75, smashing Miguel Duhamel’s previous record of 27. The Australian not only brought personal success to the AMA paddock, he elevated the Yoshimura Suzuki program to powerhouse status during his decade of dominance.
After success in the Australian Superbike series, Mladin had a brief run in Grand Prix in 1993 aboard the Cagiva in the premier 500 class. Afterward Mladin returned to Australia for a season, then set his sites on America. After seasons with Suzuki and Ducati, Mladin would settle in with the Yoshimura squad and claim his first of seven titles in 1999.
Always a demon on the brakes, Mladin was unable to use his old tricks to hold off Spies for the ’08 AMA Superbike crown.
During the 2001 season Mladin wrapped up his third consecutive AMA Superbike title on the GSX-R and showed no signs of slowing down. But the 2002 season proved an anomaly as Nicky Hayden snatched the crown from Mladin. It was a brief interuption to Mladin’s reign, however, as the Aussie was back at it the following seasons to take another three consecutive titles between 2003 to 2005.
In 2006 it was Mladin’s teammate, Ben Spies, who stole the crown and ended Mladin’s hope of winning his fourth straight Superbike title. Spies managed to eek out championship victories over Mladin for the next two years. The Yoshimura duo completely dominated the AMA Superbike class, the two riders routinely finishing races 20-30 seconds ahead of the third-place competitor. In the process the front-running duo delivered some of the best title fights in the series’ history.
Mladin retired on top from AMA Pro Racing with a record 82 race wins and an unprecedented seven championship titles.
As Spies, like Hayden before him, moved on to higher-level competition, Mladin remained in AMA Superbike. In 2009 the Aussie earned his seventh and final title in the U.S. series, but the season was controversial with Mladin at public odds with the new AMA series promoters, Daytona Motorsports Group. Mladin announced his retirement at the age of 37 after the 2009 season.
Mladin’s refusal to test his abilities in World Superbike or MotoGP remains a point of criticism for the winningest Superbike rider in AMA history. The Australian’s influence on the series during his career can’t be overstated, with Mladin recognized as one of the highest paid riders in the world behind Valentino Rossi. The Aussie’s racing success also fueled the sales of Suzuki’s popular GSX-R sportbike line.
2009 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2008 – 2nd AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2007 – 2nd AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2006 – 2nd AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2005 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2004 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2003 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2002 – 7th AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2001 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
2000 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
1999 – 1st AMA Superbike – Suzuki
1998 – 3rd AMA Superbike – Suzuki
1997 – 3rd AMA Superbike – Ducati
1996 – 4th AMA Superbike – Suzuki
1995 – 2nd, Australian Superbike
1993 – 13th 500cc MotoGP – Cagiva
1992 – 1st Australian Superbike
1991 – 1st Australian 250 Production