Matt Mladin: One Straight-Talkin' Racer!
Mladin's philosophy on race testing
Our buddies at OnTheThrottle.com bring us another video, this one an interesting interview with Mat Mladin. During the U.S. press launch of the 2008 GSX-R600 at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA, (Motorcycle.com had already ridden the 600 in Italy; thanks for that, Suzuki!) Mat gets pulled aside for a moment to answer a few questions.
This quick one-on-one gives us some great insight into what makes Mat such a great racer. We particularly love his straight-shooter style of answering. His attitude toward the testing process for racing is rather revelatory and seems like an open window into his incredible success in AMA Superbike.
Something else worth noting is the very brief discussion, if you can call it that, about the upcoming changes to Superbike in 2009 in light of Daytona Motorsports Group holding the reigns to AMA pro racing. Though Mladin tactfully avoids getting into what would only be a bunch of unnecessary speculation on his part – he claims he only has time to think about 2008 – it still got us thinking about what you, our loyal readers, might think about how next season will be different.
Enough has been said already this year by DMG that we can safely assume 600cc-based sportbikes will become the premier class next season. This “Daytona Superbike” category will also include various non-four-cylinder bikes similar to the current rules for Formula Xtreme, and it will use spec tires and spec fuel.
Moving away from the current 1000cc Superbikes has angered some of the OEMs, as it doesn’t give them a venue to market their flagship sportbikes. Plus, many in the industry believe it’s a bad idea to stray from the existing World Championship formula. In reaction, DMG has proposed a “Literbikes” class for ’09, but it will likely have many more restrictions to modification compared to WSB.
So, do you think this forthcoming change will end Suzuki's dominance of Superbike? We're not hating on Suzuki or getting down on Mat and Ben (Spies), but you have to admit that AMA Superbike has been rather boring and very predictable since last year, and '08 is shaping up to be a carbon-copy.
We'd love to hear all your speculation, so get in the forum and let's hear it!