Wednesday, July 27, 2005
Methinks the aussie doth talk too much
The longer Mat Mladin associates himself with AMA racing, the more he reminds me of Scott Russell. Not in the same ways personalitywise, mind you, but certainly via the amount of fan frustration he's capable of causing. There were days when you wanted to hug Russell's neck for being such an incredible racer. By the same token, there were days when you simply wanted to kick him square in the nuts for being such a jackass. Mladin often evokes the same love-hate emotions, and the umpteen-time AMA Superbike champ's latest article on SuperbikePlanet.com is just the kind of ridiculous waste of electrons that truly deserves him a full-force ball busting. Get a load of these quotes:
"Now, I don't want to start comparing this and that..."
But he will.
"...but I found it amusing that the top few Superstock bikes would have made the grid in front of some of the GP bikes. A twenty thousand dollar street/race bike is faster than twenty-percent of the GP field. That has to be a kick in the teeth for the team owners/managers of those teams. We've read all year how they are multi- million dollar efforts and they have this and they are GP and they do that and that little Jimmy is so clever and has been working on the design of that motor and little Johnny came up with the chassis that is so great and this guy has been in GP for a million years, etc etc. It must be humbling when any guy on the street can build a bike out of a dealership and go faster. I guess they can say that they are part of the Moto GP circus though."
Wow. That paragraph is as nonsensical as it is poorly written. Until Mladin can climb onto one of those bottom percentile GP bikes and run it faster on a similarly unfamiliar track, he should shut up. MotoGP is as much a venue for testing new and experimental bike technology as anything else. Kawasaki, for example, has never been competitive in MotoGP, yet the R&D they've accomplished in the premier class has led to bikes such as the incredible ZX10R -- one of the very superstock bikes Mladin lauds with praise.
And calling MotoGP a circus is flat-out laughable coming from Mat. Those of you who have followed GP racing for more than just a few years will remember that Mladin himself once raced in the very class he now disrespects, and was a complete and utter disaster there. If GP is a circus and its riders clowns, what does that make the mouthy Australian who couldn't make more than a few laps on a GP bike without falling off?
"Sunday's race [at Mid-Ohio] certainly didn't go quite as planned. My start was amateurish...Another thing about Mid Ohio is that it is hard to pass guys who are two seconds slower than you...I gambled on my gearing...what I decided on meant there was no chance of passing anyone at the end of the back straight...My line in that turn, compared to Aaron's, is very different as they are in most turns...If I rode like Aaron I wouldn't have got caught up in his crash...The unfortunate thing for me was that when you crash, your momentum carries you to the outside of the track...I chose to stand it up to avoid Aaron and try and get it pulled up before the wall...I lost...It happens in racing, you know the old saying: "That's racing". Actually it is character building when you have set backs."
Sheesh. For a guy who always makes a point of insulting and dismissing the excuses of other racers, he sure seems to have a gabfull of his own this week. I find it interesting that Eric Bostrom's struggles over the last season where cause for little more than outright ridicule by the champ, yet Mladin's own struggles are character builders. Talk about double-standards.
Mat Mladin may not go for Russellesque activities such as bar fights or insulting his employer, but he's no less a nimrod at times. And like Scott Russell, we'll undoubtedly be forced to endure Mladin's childish, self-centered BS until the day he retires. Lord help us.
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