– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Uh Oh . . . Mladin Likes His Bike!

I know this is the Internet age, and short attention spans are the rule, but you must remember back to the days when Mat Mladin dominated AMA Superbike racing. In 2001, Mladin won his third straight AMA Superbike championship aboard his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750. In 2002, despite some amazing riding by Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom, it became painfully clear that the 750cc bikes were less than competitive with the 1000cc v-twins.

Mladin had a miserable 2002 series, and Honda’s Nicky Hayden (aboard a v-twin) walked away with the championship.

For 2003, the AMA belatedly produced new rules for the superbike class allowing 1000cc four-cylinder machines, such as Suzuki’s GSX-R1000. In our interview with Don Sakakuru of Yoshimura, MD was the first to report that Suzuki would run the 1000cc superbike this year.

Recently, Mladin has posted some very fast laps in testing, both in the United States and in Malaysia, aboard the GSX-R1000 he will campaign in the AMA Superbike championship beginning at Daytona on March 9.

I guess we knew the modified GSX-R1000 would be plenty fast, but Mladin is already raving about its handling, as well. Anthony Gobert, aboard a Ducati superbike, commented that Mladin had phenomenal acceleration coming out of corners while they both tested at California speedway recently. If the GSX-R1000 also gets through corners as well as Mladin indicates, the competition is in big trouble.

The bottom line is this. Imagine the v-twins with a big horsepower disadvantage, and imagine Mat Mladin on one of the bikes that puts them there. With Nicky Hayden gone and Eric Bostrom struggling to find a big-bore Kawasaki 750 that is as quick as his standard-bore 750 from last year, you have to pick Mladin as the favorite going into the 2003 championship series.

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