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."