Mat Mladin’s last motorcycle road race?
Mat Mladin, the most successful rider in the 34-year history of AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike presented by Parts Unlimited competition, clinched an unprecedented seventh title last weekend and will close out the season’s remaining doubleheader aboard his familiar Rockstar/Makita Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 with the No. 1 plate symbolic of his 2009 championship during the AMA Pro Superbike Championship Weekend, to be held September 4 – 6 at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
"The request came in from Yoshimura Suzuki that Mladin be allowed to renumber his Suzuki GSX-R1000 with No. 1 for the final round of the 2009 season," said Roger Edmondson, President of AMA Pro Racing. "We consider it a fitting tribute to the most prolific champion that American Superbike has ever seen."
The 37-year old Australian has raced motorcycles for the past 28 years, earning championships in amateur Flat Track and Motocross before being picked up by a factory team and claiming his first Australian Superbike Championship in 1992. The road racing standout arrived in America in 1996, leading portions of several races during his rookie season in American Superbike competition.
Mladin signed with Ferracci Ducati for 1997 and earned his first four AMA Pro wins that year. His most successful years began when he signed with Yoshimura Suzuki in 1998, taking seven poles and winning the Las Vegas finale in his first season with the team. From 1999 to 2009, Mladin amassed seven championships and an additional 77 official victories for Yoshimura Suzuki and will have the opportunity to score two more race wins in New Jersey.
Matt Mladin Speaks…
"In the end we’re looking forward to getting home, both of us, and getting home to our family," said Mladin, who will return to New South Wales with wife Janine and their two young children after the New Jersey event. "As much as a lot of people don’t realize, we both have mothers and fathers and you don’t see them that often. It’s going to be nice. In a couple of weeks in New Jersey, my mom is going to come over, and my sister. They were obviously a big part of my career in my early days and it’s going to be nice to get home, for the kids to have their grandparents around and for Janine and I to dump the kids with the grandparents every now and then and go catch a movie."
The AMA Pro Superbike Championship Weekend will be featured in a pair of same-day telecasts on SPEED. Saturday’s American Superbike and Daytona SportBike finals will be shown that night in a two-hour show at 7:30 p.m. ET (4:30 p.m. PT) while Sunday’s premier class races and other highlights will air in a two-hour show that evening at Midnight ET (9 p.m. PT).