Mat Mladin - Wrist Twisters
 
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post #1 of 16 Old 09-07-2009, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Mat Mladin

So here's my thoughts...

Over the years I have disliked Mat, partly for his attitude....but probably mostly because for years the AMA was the Mat Mladin show, i.e. he ruined the show with his consistent dominant performances. I rooted hard for Nicky in '02 and many of his rivals like Miggy, Bozbros etc. in other years. I thought Neil Hodgson would come over and show him a thing or 2 and we all know how that worked out.

Then when Ben started to battle in '06 (I saw it and called it @ Daytona that year) I rooted hard for him to knock Mat off, which he did, but not without one hell of an effort and a little bit of luck.

This year I found myself rooting for him, especially in light of his recently announced retirement.

And the truth is I am bummed that he is leaving the series, as I think he brought it prestige and increased its relevance.

At the end of the day I see it this way, Mat Maldin rode hard for ten years in this country....as hard as he could. He also voiced his opinions on the rules, his competitors, safety, and the state of the AMA when asked. He did both with no apologies. You might not like him but you cannot indict him for his excellence in the saddle. And you can't deny that he spawned some of our best talent abroad, Nicky and Ben among the top names. They both had to beat him to get the big contracts.

He was also a draw for the AMA........controversy breeds interest and Mat has helped fill the stands as much if not more than any competitor the series has ever seen.

I had the honor to meet him briefly this past weekend at the AMA round at NJMP. He assured me that he was in fact done and there would be no wildcards, one-offs or comebacks. Unfortunately I believe him.

This series will miss him and so will I.

Good luck Mat!

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post #2 of 16 Old 09-07-2009, 06:15 PM
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Good post!
I was always in awe over his consistency - and while I was in awe.... I always wanted to see someone step up. Not to see him fail, but to see him challenged.

I think he is disliked because he is more honest than most.

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post #3 of 16 Old 09-07-2009, 06:20 PM
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I wish he had pushed harder for a WSBK or MotoGP ride. I know he tried a few times, but I'm talking about putting it up against that class for a season or more. I know he did some good things for AMA, but man what an arrogant attitude. His condescending handling of the press got a little crude at times. You can be the best and still be curtious. Others have.

No doubt he made some of the american competition step it up though. They had to go thru him to get to another series.

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post #4 of 16 Old 09-07-2009, 06:32 PM
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Those of you who know me understand I am a big fam of Mladin. he rode his ass off every weekend. he was a bit brief or gruff at times but he saw that as his job.

I was fortunate to get and talk to lots of riders over the years, including Mladin in some relaxed settings. I once heard him say that when he is walking to his bike in his leathers for a race or qualifying understand he is on his way to his job and please do not stop him. Any other time fee free.

Some say anytime he is at the track he should be courteous to fans but trust me...some fans push it. I saw him many times stand around for hours late on Sunday talking with fans.

He was a great racer and rider. He spanked in a few WSBK wild cards and tried GP too early in his career. Even he admits it. He pushed Spies and Nicky and Hayes this year. Good to see some guys be able to say they raced and beat one of the best.

He will be missed a the track next year by fans and rivals I am sure.
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post #5 of 16 Old 09-07-2009, 06:38 PM
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I think the 'job' part is hard to figure out....

Miguel and Zemke were with honda cause they smile a lot. Not because of wins.

Mat was there because of wins and not because he smiles.

Same job, different job... in the end, make the product look good.

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post #6 of 16 Old 09-08-2009, 12:28 AM
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Nice writeup GD, freakin' name dropper <g>

I felt about Mat much the way I felt about Jeff Gordon, freakin' annoyed he won so much and very pleased when anyone could give him trouble up front.

Gotta respect the record, effort, day in day out performance.

As a person, eh, most any time I heard him, I'd think, what a pr!#k...but who cares. I've met a bunch of tools at the track and some great people too.

I will say, that I did respect his safety concerns, all about the safety (love TPM's airfence btw), and his writeups on Soup explained his thinking better than some soundbites that had helped form my negative impression of him.

In the end, I lightened up on him, really respected his team's efforts and his riding and yes, the sport will miss him.

And like everyone else, I wish he had moved on to some of the other options the racing world could have offered him but it just wasn't meant to be. Ashame really, would've liked to see him up against some stiffer competition on some different circuits.

Wonder what the future holds for him now.
Wonder if others will be as vocal about safety concerns and if they are, will people listen.

Helluva record he left behind.

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post #7 of 16 Old 09-08-2009, 08:33 AM
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A guy like that would be great in a managment position in the series...

I never liked him... but he did have skill.. and who cant respect that!

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post #8 of 16 Old 09-13-2009, 09:19 AM Thread Starter
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Chino, Calif. - Yoshimura would like to take this opportunity to thank Mat Mladin for his outstanding efforts during the course of his career with Yoshimura and Suzuki.

When Mat came to our team he brought with him an incredible work ethic and the heart of a true champion. From the beginning, Mat's intensity raised the level of all around him and he has been a key "spark plug" in the development of everyone he has come in contact with here at Yoshimura.

At Yoshimura, it's been a great ride. Trying to build equipment to the standards of a rider like Mat is what makes a team improve. Mat hand picked his crew from the best of the best and then pushed all of them to even higher levels. As a company, being associated with Mat has helped drive not only the team forward, but also has helped Yoshimura as a company focus on what Pop's original intent was... to be the best.

It has always been inspirational to observe Mat in action. Not only has he been one of the absolutely fastest riders of all time, but he has also been one of the toughest. Not only physically tough - but mentally tough. Ask any Superbike racer from the last dozen years here in America what their worst nightmare was and they'd answer to a man: "Having Mladin behind you!" Of course it was a rare day when Mat was behind anyone. His speed has always been amazing, his race crafting skills unparalleled, and his braking skills simply mind numbing to ponder.

In essence, Mat is the complete racer. He has no weakness.

Yoshimura President Don Sakakura reflects on the relationship: "Over the course of the past (13) years, Mat Mladin has demonstrated brilliant motorcycle racing skills. His clever aggressiveness and competitive tenacity will never be duplicated. Mental and physical preparation has always been paramount, as is very apparent with Mat's consistent level of performance throughout his racing career. Equally valuable is his endless passion for success, on race tracks, in business and daily life. It's been a fantastic ride! Thanks, Mat, so much for all the wonderful memories..."

"Mat has been simply incredible," Yoshimura's Vice President of Marketing Brant Russell explains. "His passion to win and incredible work ethic has been nothing short of inspirational. We at Yoshimura wish Mat and his family all the best in the future."

Mat was philosophical on reflecting on his career racing in America, "I've raced since the day I got here in 1996 and came to this team, and my link has been with Yoshimura guys and the race team guys. It is the one thing in retirement that I'm going to miss - the people I've had to chance to work with and deal with. I'm not going to miss the racing, but I'm going to miss a number of people here greatly. It's definitely going to be one of the things that's going to be different, that's for sure."

Mat continues on: "In the end, I've always worked hard and always looked at my racing as someone who has been trying to win. As most people know, I take my job very seriously. But on the flip side there are a lot of people who make it happen away from the race track and all those people who have made it happen are all very close and very good friends."

"It's pretty easy to work hard for a guy like Mat who leaves absolutely nothing on the table," Russell concludes. "No excuses, just performance. This struggle, the 'war' that is racing, makes companies and individuals rise to the occasion... or not. With Mat, not winning was never an option. With Yoshimura it's the same."

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post #9 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 06:58 AM
 
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Good Riddance to him and to the AMA... pair of wankers, I can honestly say I won't miss him or the AMA, more so now that DMG has it. I can say that I blame him for leaving either.

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post #10 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 03:18 PM Thread Starter
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You wouldn't understand it.

It's an "American" thing.

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post #11 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 03:41 PM
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but Mat is not American either.....

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post #12 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 04:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC90 View Post
Good Riddance to him and to the AMA... pair of wankers, I can honestly say I won't miss him or the AMA, more so now that DMG has it. I can say that I blame him for leaving either.
Are you kidding?! AMA daytona sportbike had the best action of any motorcycle racing this year. In any given race there were 10 guys who had a very good shot at winning it. What other racing circuit can say that?

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post #13 of 16 Old 09-14-2009, 04:40 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hondaf4iguy View Post
but Mat is not American either.....
Moreso than our friend from San Salvador

You're right sid, the AMA had the most mixed up podiums it's had in quite some time..........lotsa fast new kids on the 600's and resurgent veterans on the 1000's. It didn't suck. The problem for me and others this year was the delayed TV coverage which can be blamed on DMG and SPEED. They started out the year like that and it snuffed my interest.

I jumped on late and now I regret it because I wish I'd seen more of Maldins swansong.

Like him or not....like the AMA or not....Mat's departure will weaken the series. Most reasonable racing fans (RC90 not withstanding) want racing to be successful in this country because what's good for the AMA is good for racing all over. It is my opinion that the AMA/DMG Suberbike series has just realized an additional set-back with Mat's retirement

They have just moved further away. Not closer.

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post #14 of 16 Old 09-15-2009, 07:14 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sidlives View Post
Are you kidding?! AMA daytona sportbike had the best action of any motorcycle racing this year. In any given race there were 10 guys who had a very good shot at winning it. What other racing circuit can say that?
What good is it when you CAN"T see it on TV because they air it 3 weeks after the fact, if they even air it?

Now, if the Daytona Sportbike is the old AMA AMA Supersports where only 600cc bike would compete, then, that is nothing new, they have always had that and I usually went to Daytona to watch them race, not so much for the 200 Superbike since that one was always kinda boring.

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Moreso than our friend from San Salvador
That's "El Salvador" you bozo, San Salvador is the Capital. Oh and by the way, I am an American, I am not a North American though

Quote:
Originally Posted by GDJAM View Post
Like him or not....like the AMA or not....Mat's departure will weaken the series. Most reasonable racing fans (RC90 not withstanding) want racing to be successful in this country because what's good for the AMA is good for racing all over. It is my opinion that the AMA/DMG Suberbike series has just realized an additional set-back with Mat's retirement

They have just moved further away. Not closer.
I can agree with you on that one, they went from bad to worse in a hurry.

I have heard rumors that by next year they will introduce Lawn Mower racing to the spectacle along with Buells against Piaggio Scooter... it should be interesting to see.

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post #15 of 16 Old 09-15-2009, 10:13 AM
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Man it sounds like you didn't see any of it this year I feel for ya. Just set your DVR to record all the ama races then watch them whenever. Seriously best racing this year!

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post #16 of 16 Old 09-15-2009, 02:52 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC90 View Post

That's "El Salvador" you bozo, San Salvador is the Capital. Oh and by the way, I am an American, I am not a North American though
What I meant to say was he is in America legalmente.

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