Mat Mladin has announced this weekend that he will retire from motorcycle racing at the end of this season. Originally thought to be only reitiring from the AMA, and presumably looking to World Superbike or MotoGP for his next-step, Mladin has confirmed that his absense from Superbike racing here in the US is in fact a complete departure from the sport.
Mladin has always been one to voice his opinion, and clearly he has not been happy with the performance of the Daytona Motorcycle Group in managing AMA racing. While certainly the recent events of the AMA play a factor in Mladin’s decision to retire, one also has to keep in mind that Mat is 37 years old now, and has been a dominating force in AMA Superbike racing for the past 10 years.
Mladin has also been a loud advocate for rider safety in motorcycle racing. For this reason, Mladin is also sitting out this weekend’s AMA stop at Topeka. Speaking on Twitter, Mladin sandblasted the AMA, fellow racers, and bike rags for their failure to stand-up and hold track officials accountable for what he believes to be unsafe conditions.
“So Topeka today! 170mph turn 1 and you can hit the concrete with your shoulder, which leads to turn 2 head on into concrete which leads to turn 3 where a wall has removed and if you run off the track you go into a 10ft deep ditch. The track seem willing to do work but the wrong people are advising what to do and unfortunately I do not wish to die or be busted up waiting for that work to be done. Some riders are saying that the work will happen in stages. It’s the reason why some places we go now are still bad. Because riders wont stand up and be counted. Amazing how great they can ride a bike but be the most gutless people I have ever known. Spineless!”
Whether its politics or a logical conclusion to years of motorcycle racing, Mladin has left his mark on AMA racing. Some will be happy to see the Australian go, but others will feel the void left behind by his personality, and racing style.
Official Press Release from Mat Mladin Below:
After so many great years of racing in the USA, I will retire from AMA racing at the end of the 2009 racing season in New Jersey.
My career has been long and above and beyond my wildest expectations. I won my first national championship on dirt bikes back in 1981 (28 years ago) and have had an amazing career ever since.
If I had my time again, I would not change a single decision I have made, in life or in racing.
I would like to thank my team for their constant hard work. Without these guys, the 80+ race wins and multiple championships would not have been possible.
I wish to thank my fans. I want you to know that you all have helped me achieve so much. I will miss you.
I want to thank my mum and dad for getting me involved in such a fantastic sport that turned into my profession. I love you both.
My brother and sister for all the miles you done cramped into the back of a little pick up / ute in the early days. These were great times and the ones in racing I will cherish the most. You mean the world to me.
My daughters are growing fast and it is time I put my efforts into their future.
My wife, what can I say? You have unselfishly given your time and efforts to this lifestyle of ours. Racing had its down days, but with you by my side it was easy to get up and smell the fresh air, and realize how lucky I am. You have been a rock for so long, and if I could live another 100 years I still would not have the time to repay you for your commitment. I love you, babe.
Source: Superbike Planet