MLADIN EARNS HIS SIXTH AMA PRO RACING SPEED CHANNEL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINATION PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 31, 2005) -- Mat Mladin has been nominated for a sixth time for the prestigious AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year award.
MLADIN EARNS HIS SIXTH AMA PRO RACING SPEED CHANNEL ATHLETE OF THE YEAR NOMINATION
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (Oct. 31, 2005) -- Mat Mladin has been nominated for a sixth time for the prestigious AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year award. Mladin is coming off a record-setting 2005 season, winning his sixth AMA Superbike Championship and setting a new single season win record in the series with 11 victories.
It was a season of comebacks from adversity for the 31-year-old Australian who rides for Yoshimura Suzuki.
Mladin kicked off the 2005 campaign with a victory in the Daytona Superbike race. He then opened up his series lead with a doubleheader sweep at Barber Motorsports Park. Mladin temporarily lost the championship lead after his bike broke in the first leg of the California Speedway doubleheader, but he responded by reeling off another three wins in a row to regain and build his points lead.
Mladin faced another major challenge after getting caught up in a crash in the second race at Mid-Ohio's doubleheader allowing teammate Ben Spies to close the gap and make the championship a race to the final rounds. Mladin showed the true spirit of a champion by shrugging off the Mid-Ohio incident and winning the next three rounds to secure his sixth title.
"The year was a good year for sure," said Mladin. "Suzuki delivered us a motorcycle this year that certainly made life quite a bit easier than last year. But in no way was it easy. We had a couple of problems that certainly kept the championship interesting until the last race. It was nice to get the single season win record, but I'm sure some young guy will come along in the future and do the same thing if not better."
Mladin raced all season with an injured ankle, which was surgically repaired after the racing season.
Mladin gave Suzuki its ninth AMA Superbike Championship, matching the nine titles owned by Kawasaki. In addition he extended his lead in the all-time AMA Superbike wins list to 43-career victories and pushed his record of AMA Superbike pole positions to 47. Off the track Mladin took on the added responsibility of team owner, forming the Mat Mladin Motorsports Superbike team.
Mladin could be named Athlete of the Year for the second time. He won the award in 2000.
The AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year Award is the highest honor an AMA racer can receive. Past recipients include such legendary names as Bob Hannah, Scott Parker and Kenny Roberts, among others. Generally speaking, the award goes to the rider judged to have had the most successful racing year. A "lifetime achievement" approach can also be considered if the season complements a remarkable career.
A selection panel made up of AMA and AMA Pro Racing staff, field staff and volunteer leadership is named by the AMA Pro Racing CEO and that panel evaluates nominations and determines the final winner.
The 2005 AMA Pro Racing SPEED Channel Athlete of the Year will be named at the AMA Pro Racing Championship Awards Banquet, on Sunday, Nov. 20, at Paris Las Vegas. The five nominees will be announced in the weeks leading up to that event.
About AMA Pro Racing
AMA Pro Racing is the leading sanctioning body for motorcycle sport in the United States. Its properties include the Amp'd Mobile AMA Supercross Series, the AMA Motocross Championship presented by FMF, the AMA Superbike Championship presented by Parts Unlimited, the AMA Ford Quality Checked Flat Track Championship and the AMA Supermoto Championship. For more information about AMA Pro Racing, visit www.amaproracing.com.