Sunday, April 5, 2009

Mat Mladin Doubles at Road Atlanta AMA American Superbike W/E and wins his 77th Superbike race!





As we view some shots of Mat Mladin in various forms of racing
and smiling for our camera at Road America in 2004, we celebrate
and congratulate the 6-time Champion for his 77th win in AMA
Pro Road Racing's Superbike class. Having won yesterday by over
15 seconds, he still managed to pull today's event win off by over
5 seconds. And the 51st win in a row for the Yoshimura Suzuki
Rockstar Makita Team. That in itself is a way to celebrate greatness,
but without Sir 'Mad' Mat, almost 60% of those wins would not have
been possible. The man is not only ON a mission, he IS the mission!
Go get 'em Mat and even the championships up with the new #7 plate
you are wearing this year. I hope everyone else is listening as closely as
I am.
The shots above were all taken at Road America in Elkhart Lake, WI., in
June of '04. In no particular order we have Mat running his familiar lines of
using the berms as a strengthening tool coming out of turn 14 as he gives chase
to Jake Zemke on the #98 Erion Racing Honda CBR-1000RR, who in turn is giving
chase to ultimate Sunday race winner Miguel Duhamel, himself a former series champ,
on his Team Honda #17 CBR-1000RR.
In another shot we also see Sir 'Mat' coming out of the carousel at R.A. during
Friday practice. And finally, after all of the work he put in and was about to put in
for the w/e, he was gracious enough to sign a couple of my pics and give us a nod and
smile for the camera. A very gracious, but very intense man. This wasn't the first time
he took to sign some shots for me over the years--and I hope not the last!--and has always
been as approachable as ever and always having the time to shake my hand and sign and
comment on the shot(s) at hand.
And, just in case you are interested, YOU can buy the very bike that Mat Mladin has won
the first 5 races in the first 3 events this year. And if you can still make it to Road Atlanta, in
beautiful Gainesville, you can still pick it up...for $59K no less:
Now, the bike MAY look just a BIT different after what happened to it, let alone Mat, after
this happened this morning:
But, then again, he DID win after this happened, and did I mention by over 4 seconds?!
For 59 thou, not a bad deal at that, even taking into effect it is based on a 2008 model that
was pulled off of a dealer floor 3 weeks before Daytona. And also considering that this new
American Superbike class isn't the old Superbike class of old, now more like Stock-class
bikes. But, over 5 or 6 years ago Erion Honda won the old Extreme class on a liter-based
bike that they at the time valued at $85K. So considering......a pretty killer deal by anyone's
current economy. But don't think you can or will beat or even run with Mat. He'll be on
the '09 model at the next round at Barber in good ole Sweet Alabama the first w/e in May.
So good luck with that part of that thought.
Thanks again, Mat, and thanks for all the great memories and for those about to be formed!!
And thanks to John Ulrich and his crew for the link from http://www.roadracingworld.com/ and to
Dean Adams and his bunch from http://www.superbikeplanet.com/ for their links of the crash incident.

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