Mladin considering WSBK offers

Twitter post fuels speculation

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Dec. 10, 2009
A recent Twitter post from retired AMA Champion Mat Mladin has fueled speculation of him returning to World Superbike racing.

A frequent Twitter-user, Mladin posted a message Dec. 9 saying: “a couple of world superbike offers have come my way in the past month. 1 of them very good in regards to machinery. decisions decisions ;-)”.

Mladin retired after winning his seventh AMA Superbike championship. Though he showed disdain for AMA Pro Racing organizers, Mladin said at the time he had no intention of racing in any other series. Mladin’s recent Twitter posting suggests he may be changing that stance.

Ben Spies’ championship season may have led some teams to consider approaching Mladin with offers. Spies’ immediate success in his first season surprised many onlookers, making his former rival and teammate Mladin an intriguing option. Mladin has 18 career WSBK races including a fourth-place finish in the 2003 Laguna Seca round.

Decisions, decisions...

All of the WSBK factory teams are set with their 2010 rider lineups including Suzuki, the manufacturer most closely associated with Mladin. Suzuki Alstare is entering Sylvain Guintoli and Leon Haslam in 2010. Both riders are currently taking part in the off-season WSBK test in Valencia, Spain. Haslam had the fastest time among the eight WSBK riders participating in the first day of testing.

A more likely option is the Yoshimura Suzuki racing team which will enter select WSBK races as a wildcard entrant. The Suzuka 8 Hour World Endurance Championship-winning Yoshimura team recently announced its intent to race in some WSBK rounds but did not name a rider. Mladin’s close association with the Yoshimura’s American arm and the Suzuki GSX-R1000 would appear to be the best fit.