Dear Mat Mladin,
I'm a huge AMA Superbike fan and have been searching the internet on topics about you going to MotoGP or FIM WSBK, which I had no luck finding. I’m sure you’ve been asked this many times and you’re probably sick of answering the question. I did hear a few comments you made about you being too old for MotoGP, which I disagree with because you’re down right fast. But today’s new GP recruits are getting younger and smaller so probably a long shoot for you. However, I don’t see any reason for you to go over to WSBK, other than the fact that you’re probably getting paid more here in the US.
I did learn that the WSBK and AMA have the same budget and that the AMA riders get paid very well. It certainly cannot be because of your age because there are several top riders in WSBK that are older than you. After six AMA championships and nearly a 7th in 2008, it is clear to all AMA fans that you dominate here in the US. So my main question is; why don’t you test your talent on a bigger stage?
I can speak for many fans that we would like to see you race on tracks like Assen, Qatar, Valencia, and so on, against riders like Bayliss (fellow Australian), Haga, Biaggi, Corser, and so on. We are all curious to see how you match up against the UK riders.
If Ben Spies finds success in the UK, there is no doubt that you can to. Not to be bias but the WSBK series is far more recognized through out the world than AMA; that includes here in the US... If you truly love racing on the AMA series and prefer to stay, then perhaps it would be a challenge for you to try riding another bike. It is clear to all AMA fans that Suzuki is the top bike with the best crew. V. Rossi won a hand full of championships on the Honda and he clearly admitted that the Honda is a very good bike. So he moved over to Yamaha to test his talent which was considered a slower bike. Sure enough, he won several championships on the (considered) slower bike which only added to his greatness.
Seriously, I’d like to see you rip around on a Kawi or Yamaha at Laguna Seca (my home track) and compare your lap time with the Suzuki. We AMA fans have watched you dominate the field for the past decade and with all honesty, the lack of competitiveness is very boring which explains the decrease in popularity in AMA Superbike Racing.
Your fans are always look forward to watching someone else (other than Spies) give you a battle to make things exciting. I count out Spies because he’s on the same bike. There’s nothing better than to see 3 or 4 factory bikes change leads and battle to the finish. It would be nice to see another factory battle with the Suzuki’s to make things more interesting.
I own a GSX1K myself so I’m a big Suzuki fan but again, I would be far more interesting if the AMA races we not so predictable.
Ted (San Francisco, CA)