Top American Superbike Rider Mladin To Race For Final Time at New Jersey Motorsports Park Millville, N.J. (August 20, 2009) - Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Mat Mladin's final race will come at New Jersey Motorsports Park during the AMA...
Top American Superbike Rider Mladin To Race For Final Time at New Jersey Motorsports Park
Millville, N.J. (August 20, 2009) - Rockstar/Makita Suzuki rider Mat Mladin's final race will come at New Jersey Motorsports Park during the AMA Superbike Championships, September 4-6, after the Australian rider announced his retirement effective at the end of this season.
The 37-year-old Mladin will, along with the rest of the AMA Pro National Guard American Superbike and Daytona SportBike riders, end his season at the South Jersey facility. Mladin has already clinched his record seventh American Superbike title, earning the crown with one round to go. With two races during the Labor Day weekend event, Mladin also has a chance to expand his record 82 career wins.
To put that in perspective, Miguel Duhamel has 32 Superbike wins to fall into second place.
"My career has been long and above and beyond my wildest expectations," Mladin said in a statement announcing his retirement. "I won my first national championship on dirt bikes back in 1981 (28 years ago) and have had an amazing career ever since. I would like to thank my team for their constant hard work. Without these guys, the 80-plus race wins and multiple championships would not have been possible."
Naturally, the most decorated rider in the AMA Pro paddock was a hit with many race fans, who he also acknowledged in his retirement announcement.
"I wish to thank my fans," Mladin said. "I want you to know that you all have helped me achieve so much. I will miss you."
Mladin clinched his championship with a second-place and a ninth-place finish at the doubleheader weekend at Virginia International Raceway, leaving only the opportunity to build on a 10-win season at New Jersey Motorsports Park.
"It's nice to get it done and tie it up," Mladin said after clinching with two races to spare. "It's been a pretty amazing run. We've obviously won a lot of championships as a team (with Suzuki) over the last ten years. It's been pretty amazing from the first one in 1999 all the way through to this year."
Mladin's absence in the paddock is going to be noticed by his fellow competitors in the paddock. While it may open up more chances for wins, it also means missed opportunities to test themselves against one of the world's fastest motorcycle riders.
"Congratulations to Mat, he's a deserving champion," said Yamaha's Josh Hayes, a five-time winner this season in American Superbike. "He's won all of these races and I hate that he's going away because he's definitely someone that we learn from on the racetrack. Congratulations to him."
Ben Bostrom, the 1998 American Superbike Champion and defending Supersport (now Daytona SportBike) titlist on Yamaha's 600cc motorcycle, will also miss racing Mladin.
"The worst thing about it is losing Mat Mladin, he's the greatest champion we've had in this sport and the benchmark for every one of us," Bostrom said. "It's the reason I'm riding (the Superbike) class this year, and not the 600. I came to race him. That's the biggest loss to the sport. Everything else is great and I look forward to a good race with Mat in New Jersey."
Mladin and the rest of the American Superbike competitors race twice during the AMA Superbike Championship weekend, with one full race on Saturday and one on Sunday. The Daytona SportBike, AMA Pro SuperSport and SunTrust Moto-GT classes are also a part of the weekend schedule.
For more information on tickets, including the all-inclusive Superbike Club and Sportbike Club ticket packages for the AMA Superbike Championships, visit www.njmp.com or call New Jersey Motorsports Park at (856) 327-7217.
Children 12 and under are admitted free to all events at New Jersey Motorsports Park.