Mladin Chasing Third Victory At Daytona

Mladin Looks For Third Daytona 200 Win

From a press release issued by Mat Mladin's Publicist, Steve Reeves:

The 2003 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship gets underway this weekend (March 9) with the traditional season opening Daytona 200 mile classic on the fast banked curves of the Daytona International Speedway in Florida, USA.

One rider who is looking forward to this weekend’s opening race is three-times American Superbike champion and two-times Daytona 200 champion, Mat Mladin.

The Australian Team Yoshimura Suzuki rider was forced to miss last year’s event after injuring his left elbow during practice for the event that required surgery and an overnight stay in a nearby hospital. The injury hampered his quest for a fourth national title last year, but he now arrives at Daytona 100% fit and looking forward to the challenges of the week and season ahead.

Spurring Mladin’s motivation will be the all-new Suzuki GSX-R1000 that he will ride in this year’s championship. Rule changes made to the AMA Superbike category now allows for 1000cc 4-cylinder machines to compete and with that brings the challenges of developing a new machine to become a championship winner. Early testing with the machine has provided Mladin and his team with a lot of confidence heading into the first of 18 races that will make up this years championship.

“Daytona is a very special place and I’m really looking forward to racing there, especially aboard our new GSX-R1000,” said Mladin as he prepared for the cross-country trip to Florida. “The bike has proven to be very good during pre-season testing, but like anything, we’ll just have to wait and see how good it is in race conditions.

“The bike is producing a lot more horsepower than the previous GSX-R750 that we have ridden for the past few years and that presents itself with a new list of things that we have to prepare for. With the GSX-R1000 producing over 200hp we will have to carefully plan our strategy. For the race, it will become a juggle with how hard we can press on the backing and the infield, while trying to conserve tyre wear. After having to chase our opponents there, it might be nice to turn up with a bike that has similar horsepower to our rivals. If we are on an equal footing with that, then we will give the race a good shake.

“The Daytona 200 is the single most important race on the calendar and it is very important to win there for a number of reasons. But on the other side it is still only one race in the championship that we have to consider. I want to win there as much as the next guy, but we will still be looking at it as part of the championship as well.”

Mladin heads a strong list of nine Australian riders who are competing in various classes of the 2003 AMA Superbike Championship. He is the only Australian to have won the Daytona 200 and along with Troy Corser is the only other Australian to have won an AMA Superbike championship.

Daytona 200 by Arai, Schedule (American East Coast time)

Wednesday, March 5
Superbike practice (10:20am – 11:50am)
Superbike practice (3:20pm – 4:50pm)

Thursday, March 6
Superbike practice (10:40am – 11:40am)
Superbike Qualifying/Even (2:20pm – 3:20pm)
Superbike Qualifying/Odd (3:30pm – 4:30pm)

Friday, March 7
Superbike practice (10:40am – 11:20am)
Superbike Qualifying/Even (12:20pm – 1:10pm)
Superbike Qualifying/Odd (1:20pm – 2:10pm)

Sunday, March 9
Daytona 200 by Arai/57 laps (1:00pm)
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George Obradovich
George Obradovich

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