– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Mladin’s Elbow Problems Should Hinder Performance in Fontana

With the Yamaha Superbike Challenge coming up this Saturday and Sunday in Fontana, California, and including a double-header (superbike races on both Saturday and Sunday), Yoshimura Suzuki’s defending champion Mat Mladin is in trouble. He is a full 38 points behind Honda’s Nicky Hayden after failing to start the Daytona 200 a few weeks ago, and he is still suffering from the effects of an elbow injury resulting from a pre-race crash at Daytona.

According to statements made by Mladin during a conference call with several moto journalists earlier this week, his elbow is still not 100% and, Mladin has also indicated previously, he has muscle strength problems in the same arm. Having ridden the same track the superbike racers will circulate on Saturday and Sunday (albeit, at a fraction of their speed), I can attest to the need for arm strength. Several chicanes require rapid, high-speed direction changes, and hard braking for relatively tight turns at the end of high-speed sections abound on this track. Mladin is a very tough customer, but he will definitely be at a significant disadvantage on the California Speedway track this weekend.

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