No. 1 plate for Mladin in final race

Mladin bids goodbye at New Jersey

By Motorcycle.Com Staff, Aug. 21, 2009
Mat Mladin will race his final AMA Superbike round of his career with the No. 1 plate Sept. 4-6 at New Jersey Motorsports Park in Millville, N.J.

The honor is reserved for the reigning champion from the previous season. The 2008 champion, Ben Spies, has moved on to the World Superbike Championship, so no rider has worn the No. 1 plate thus far in the 2009 AMA American Superbike season.

Mladin, who had announced he will retire at the end of the season, raced with the number 7 and clinched the 2009 championship at the previous round, Aug. 14-16 at Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Va. To celebrate Mladins title and his illustrious career, AMA Pro Racing will allow the Rockstar Makita Suzuki racer to race with the No. 1 plate.

The request came in from Yoshimura Suzuki that Mladin be allowed to renumber his Suzuki GSX-R1000 with No. 1 for the final round of the 2009 season, says Roger Edmondson, [resident of AMA Pro Racing. We consider it a fitting tribute to the most prolific champion that American Superbike has ever seen.

Mladin has been racing motorcycles for 28 years, winning amateur flat track and motocross titles in his native Australia. Mladin later earned a ride with Kawasaki Australia and won the Australian Superbike Championship in 1992. Four years later, Mladin arrived in America and entered the AMA Superbike series with Yoshimura Suzuki.

Mat Mladin will retire on top with his seventh AMA Superbike Championship.

In 1997, Mladin signed to race for Ferracci Ducati and earned his first four AMA Pro Racing victories. Mladin returned to Yoshimura Suzuki in 1998, winning his first AMA Superbike the following season. The 1999 title started a period of dominance with championships in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004 and 2005. With an insurmountable lead heading into the finale in New Jersey, Mladin will officially be crowned the 2009 champion following the second race.

Mladin will retire as the all-time leader in AMA Superbike wins (82 heading into New Jersey double-header) and championships (7).

In the end were looking forward to getting home, both of us, and getting home to our family, says Mladin, who will return to New South Wales with wife Janine and their two young children after the New Jersey finale. As much as a lot of people dont realize, we both have mothers and fathers and you dont see them that often. Its going to be nice. In a couple of weeks in New Jersey, my mom is going to come over, and my sister. They were obviously a big part of my career in my early days and its going to be nice to get home, for the kids to have their grandparents around and for Janine and I to dump the kids with the grandparents every now and then and go catch a movie.