Prime Time TV Coverage!
The American Thunder episode on Speed TV with awesome
2003 L.A. Calendar Show coverage premiered on Tuesday, September 9th. It will re-air on Tuesday, October 28th at 10:00pm ET.

First Look and Track Test!
New Aprilia RSV1000R

New 2004 Yamaha R1!
180 horsepower!

Pit Lane News Editorial
Jim Gianatsis • Gold & Goose
Kel Edge • Andy Rixon

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2003 SBK Superbike
March 09 - Valencia E
March 30 - Phillip Is AU
April 27 - Sugo JP
May 18 - Monza IT
June 01 - Oschersleben
June 15 - Silverstone GB
June 22 - Misano IT
July 13 - Laguna US
July 27 - Brands GB
Sep 7 - Assen NL
Sept 28 - Imola IT
Oct 19 - Magny Cours FR

2003 MotoGP
April 06 Suzuka JP
April 27 Welkom SA
May 11 Jerez SP
May 25 Le Mans FR
June 08 Mugello Italy
June 15 Catalunya SP
June 28 Assen NL
July 13 Donington UK
July 27 Sachsenring GR
Aug 17 Brno CZ
Sept 07 Estoril Portugal
Sept 20 Jacarepagua BR
Oct 05 Motegi JP
Oct 10 Sepang Malaysia
Oct 19 Phillip Island AU
Nov 02 Valencia

AMA Superbike
March 5-9 Daytona
April 4-6 CA Speedway
May 2-4 Infineon Sonoma,
May 16-18 Road Atlanta,
May 30/June1 Pikes Peak
June 6-8 Road America
June 27-29 Brainerd
July 10-13 Laguna Seca
July 25-27 Mid-Ohio
August 29-31 Virginia
September 20 Barber AL

New Sportbikes
Aprilia Index
Aprilia RSV1000R & RF

Ducati Index
Ducati 998R, 998S, 998

 Ducati 999, Multistrada
Ducati Multistrada Test
Ducati 999S Test
Ducati 999R 03 Review
Foggy Petronas
Honda CBRs Review
Kawasaki ZXR, MotoGP
Suzuki GSXRs Review
Yamaha YZF-R6, R1

Reviews, Tests,
News Features

Aprilia 2004 RSV1000R
   First USA test!
Ducati 2004 Multistrada

   First USA Test!
AMA Class Changes
   for 2004! Fiasco?
Ducati 999S First Test!
Valentino Rossi
  Biography of a Champ.
British Sportbike mags
  Taking over America!

Rebecca Romijn   Supermodel turns killer   on her Ducati Monster.
Joanna Krupa Beautiful   new Calendar girl,
  Star Search winner
  and Man Show "Juggy"
Troy Bayliss Superbike

Sportbike Pinup Calendars
2003 Calendar Review
2002 Calendar Review
Revealing Expose!

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British Superbike
Brands Hatch to Easton

Sept 14th: MonsterMob Ducati’s Stuart Easton emerged victorious in the Supersport race with his third win of the year while Superbike rider Shane Byrne added another pair of rostrum finishes to his impressive set of 2003 results.

In an incident-packed Supersport race around the Kent Indy circuit, Stuart Easton was racing in the leading trio and inherited the lead when Honda-mounted rivals Karl Harris and Michael Laverty crashed out. But still the young Scot had to work hard for the victory as he fended off a late challenge from Simon Andrews at the flag. “I’ll admit I got lucky but I’d like to think I had the situation under control. We’ve had some bad luck this season so I’ll take a slice of good luck now its come my way,” said Easton who claimed runner-up in the Championship as a result.

MonsterMob’s newly crowned BSB champ Shane Byrne made it 19 rostrum finishes out of 22 races at the penultimate round of the series but was disappointed not to add to his 10 victories so far this season. “I tried my best but had to settle for a pair of rostrums which under the circumstances wasn’t too bad. I’m a little bit disappointed as it means my aim of winning the most number of races in a season is now not possible. But the hard work has been done and I will settle for the results. My team have been fantastic this season and I’d like to think we can round off the year with a couple of victories at Donington Park.”

Team owner Paul Bird was pleased with his riders’ efforts in front of a 24,400 crowd. “Stuart did well and proved that when he puts the effort in he is capable of anything. I’m really pleased for him and also for Shakey who added to the silverware haul for this season. It would be great to round off the season in style at Donington and we’ll be gunning for that with another hat trick there.”

Race One
1. John Reynolds (Suzuki)
2. Sean Emmett (Ducati)
3. Shane Byrne (Ducati)
4. Michael Rutter (Ducati)
5. Glen Richards (Kawasaki)
6. Gary Mason (Yamaha)
7. Steve Plater (Honda)
8. Scott Smart (Kawasaki)
9. Leon Haslam (Ducati)
10. Chris Burns (Yamaha)
Race Two
1. Sean Emmett (Ducati)
2. John Reynolds (Suzuki)
3. Shane Byrne (Ducati)
4. Glen Richards (Kawasaki)
5. Leon Haslam (Ducati)
6. Steve Plater (Honda)
7. Gary Mason (Yamaha)
8. Scott Smart (Kawasaki)
9. Michael Rutter (Ducati)
10. Mark Heckles (Honda)

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Web @ September 2003
Page 1 • Racing & Calendar News
Superbike, MotoGP, Calendar Girls

Official Calendar of the SBK World Superbike Championship
Home of the official SBK Fast Dates & Team Ducati Corse Umbrella Girls

This Week's Starting Grid: SBK ImolaSuperbike to Ruben
Superbike Rules Gone Supid
in America
Janelle Perzina tests the new 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike!

New 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike First USA track test with Janelle
New 2004 Honda, Yamaha Kawasaki 1000cc Superbikes
SBK World Superbike Hodgson wins 2003 Championship at Assen

MotoGP The doctor is in! Rossi steamrolls another win in Brazil.
AMA Superbike Roberts wins Barber finale, Mladin takes 4th title.
Britsh Superbike Shane Shakey Byrne clinches the '03
 New SBK and AMA Superbike Rules for 2004! Formula for Fiasco?

2003 LA Calendar Motorcycle Show 2-Day Stre t Bike Extravaganza

Ducati Fast Dates Calendar Girls go wild at Laguna World Superbike
• SBK Fast Dates girl tests Ducati Multistrada Chandi likes it!

The Pit Board Editorial, Race Schedules, Fan Mail, Index, Feature Articles

Neil Hodgsen Interview
   New World Superbike Champ

The Graves Formula Extreame R1 Yamaha, was also eligible for AMA Superbike this season, but Yamaha wouldn't let them go up against the factory teams without a front line rider. Take a good look, it might be the last you'll see of a really modified 1000cc in-line four in a AMA roadracing for a while. You can also see why we like twins.

Is AMA Superbike dead in 2004? Will it be another Ducati playground, Suzie?
U.S. Suzuki throws hissy-fit,
threatens to pull out of AMA Racing!

9/25/03: Word was circulating around the pits at the final AMA Superbike round at Barber Raceway last week that U.S. Suzuki had drafted a letter to the AMA, threanening to pull out of AMA racing in 2004. This was later confirmed by Suzuki Vice president Mel Harris who said, "Suzuki feels that under the new proposed rules there is not parity, not an even playing field."

Harris was referring to the new Superbike rules for 2004 which will be in conformity with the rules also used in World Superbike, British and European Superbike, which will limit extensive bike modifications and turn Superbike into a more production oriented class like European SuperStock. In particular, the new Superbike Rules will require the 1000cc Japanese in-line fours to retain stock throttle bodies and airboxes. This restricts the huge horsepower gains the factory teams have been able to achieve in the past over privateer teams, including using exotic 'homoligated" race induction systems that really weren't available or affordable to privateer teams.

Meanwhile the V-twins like Ducati and Aprilia will be able homoligate one additional throttle body and airbox system should they choose. And with Ducati's World Championship winning factory team rider and bikes expected to come AMA racing in 2004, the U.S. Japanese distributor teams are shaking in their boots

"I think to go back to the stock throttle bodies, stock airboxes... so many of the things that reduce the potential horsepower -Superbike then becomes nothing more than a Superstock class. Already some manufacturers are not going to be in Superbike, but rather Superstock."

Two other U.S. distributors besides U.S. Suzuki contemplating not returning to AMA Superbike in 2004 with their new all 1000cc machines, but expected to be competing in 1000cc Superstock are Yamaha and Kawasaki. But the reasons are two fold: Without a factory World Superbike effort to develop the new bikes there just won't be any hot tuning parts like cams and pistons available for the new engines. The U.S. distributor teams certainly don't have the staff or the budget to develop the trick parts needed for AMA Superbike like new cam profiles, higher compression pistons, new computer maping programs and the like.

It is ironic that the change of Superbike to an across the board 1000cc engine limit this season, and with all the Japanese manufacturers creating all new 1000cc machines for the class, manufacturers now don't want to race them in either world or national championships. Much of the blame can be placed at the success of the new MotoGP 4-stroke Championship which pulled away the manufacturers from World Superbike, and in an attempt to survive, FG Sports was forced to modify the rules to support the privateer teams running production equipment. If the earlier proposed WSB intake restrictor rules allowing highly modified engines had stayed in place, the privateers would have had even less of a chance against any factory teams their might be. At least now with the tighter rules and no restrictors, there is parity for everyone.

But in America, the AMA has compounded the rules and class problem even more. They have changed the highly popular 1000cc Formula Extreame Class (because it essentially is now the new 1000cc Superbike class), and require it to run detunde the 1000cc bikes to Superstock specs so they aren't a fast as the Superbikes Then this new Extreame class gets mixed with the discontinued 750cc Superstock and 250cc GP Classes into one super mess. Then replacing the popular old 750cc Supersport Class is a 1000cc Supersport class, effectively creating 3 different classes for 1000cc sportbikes. How stupid is that! See 2004 AMA Rules Fiasco.

This new 1000cc Superstock class is probably where all the U.S. distributor teams will be going to race their new 1000cc inline fours with their Superstock engines. Meanwhile U.S. Suzuki is mad as hell because they no longer have a specific 750cc class to race and showcase their most popular selling sportbike the GSXR750.

"We have to race our 750 somewhere,'" explained Harris. "We have a Suzuki 750 Cup in the United States, and we also have a World GSXR-750 Suzuki Cup. We have to have a place for these riders to run other events the rest of the year. With all the money I put into AMA with all the events and things like that, jeez, I could run my own Suzuki National Championship and put in on TV and do just as well (as the AMA)."

Pirelli appointed exclusive tyre supplier for the 2004 World Superbike, Supersport and European Superstock Championships
A level playing field, production standards guarantee quality, reliability and performance continuity, and prize fund of $300,000 euros and equal opportunities for young up-and-coming riders

Imola, 26th September 2003 – From the 2004 season Pirelli will be the exclusive tyre supplier for the World Superbike and Supersport and European Superstock Championships. The agreement reached with the FGSport Group on the 31st of July will continue through to 2005 and commits Pirelli to supplying tyres for all the teams competing in the 45 races in 10 different countries for the World and European Championship titles.

This programme will allow all participants to compete on equal terms with regards to tyres, making the efforts of the bike constructors, the teams and the riders all-important. In accordance with the wishes of the FIM (International Motorcycling Federation), the World Superbike Championship thus returns to its origins as a category for bikes with features and characteristics as close as possible to those of production machines.
For Pirelli, the agreement with FGSport has the immediate significance of valorising the investment programme initiated in 2000 with the company’s participation in the Supersport Championship and continued the following year with the debut of a development team in the World Superbike Championship.

With its long-term commitment to production motorcycle racing throughout the world, Pirelli is now in a position to confirm the continuity of its know-how in the technological development of racing tyres, offering a product with uniform high performance characteristics. The agreement for the exclusive supply of tyres for the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock championships represents the logical development of Pirelli Moto’s competition strategy.

The standardisation of the industrial process will allow Pirelli to make highly specialised and reliable tyres with absolutely consistent performance available to every team and manufacturer. In this sense, the application of Pirelli’s “Zero Degree” metal belt production technology to all the covers is a guarantee of quality and neutral performance with respects to the diverse characteristics of the racing machinery.
However, standardization does not mean “a single tyre for all”.
The development of the Pirelli range for the 2004 World and European championships will, as ever, be guided by the adaptation of the product to the meteorological conditions and the varying track characteristics: this fine-tuning will be conducted in partnership with the development teams to be defined by FGSport together with bike manufacturers.

Pirelli will provide the teams with a range of tyres with different specifications, designed and tested to be capable of tackling the various World Championship circuits and the foreseeable temperature, wear and stress conditions, while maintaining the highest levels of safety. In particular, three dry covers will be developed for each circuit. This programme will fully respect the “fair conditions” guideline guaranteed by FIM supervision of the use of the tyres assigned to the teams at every race.

Pirelli’s participation as exclusive supplier of tyres for the Superbike, Supersport and Superstock Championships also involves a significant commitment in industrial, logistical and organizational terms: over 50,000 tyres will be manufactured and distributed during the course of the season, requiring considerable physical and human resources.

With the objective of guaranteeing optimum service from the points of view of quality and rapidity, Pirelli plans to create two specialist working areas for each race: one exclusively for the Superbike Championship with slick tyres and 16.5” rims, the other dedicated to the Supersport and Superstock categories for the fitting of DOT tread tyres on 17” rims.

“We race the tyres we sell, we sell the tyres we race”; for Pirelli there is more than technology to the agreement with FGSport; the exclusive tyre supplier is, in fact, committed to promoting the Championships during the course of the season using all the available media, from TV to the press and Internet in order to widen awareness of the Superbike Championship.

Pirelli’s decision to provide a prize fund of 300,000 euros to be dedicated to the riders through the association of racing teams is also of great significance. The company has taken on this new challenge with the aim of making an important contribution to the emergence of numerous young riders in conditions of equal opportunities among the various teams.

Xaus leads new world champ and team mate Hodgson through the chicane.

SBK World Superbike Championship, Round 11 of 12, 2nd Italian Round

Xaus Flawless In Imola Double
Imola 28 September 2003
: Neil Hodgson (Ducati Fila 999 F03) may have shared wins with his team-mate Ruben Xaus at the previous Assen round but this weekend the continuing growth of Xaus as a global force was demonstrated perfectly with two convincing race wins. The tall Catalan rider rode hard from green light to flag and forced Hodgson into two errors, which gave him a narrower win in race one and a clear margin of victory in race two.

Hodgson may have been held back by the presence of two backmarkers in race one but outbraked himself in race two, running off the track. Saving the situation with aplomb Hodgson did not crash, but rejoined in fifth, finishing his race in fourth after the chequered flag was shown.

Regis Laconi (Ducati NCR Nortel 998RS) did his championship challenge a world of good with a third and second place finish in the races at Imola, especially as his big championship rival James Toseland (HM Plant Ducati 998F02), retired in race one with a broken gear linkage and crashed in race two.

Gregorio Lavilla (Alstare Suzuki GSX-R1000) was the first four-cylinder rider home in race two, in a fine third place after an early four-way fight between Laconi, Toseland, Lavilla and Chris Walker (HM Plant Ducati 998 F03). He took fourth in race one, during a lonely ride to the first non-podium placing. Walker finished his weekend with a race one crash and a race two fifth place, the sensation of race one being Pierfrancesco Chili (PSG-1 Ducati) who stalled on the line and then rode though to fifth. He ended race two with a technical retirement.

The best private rider on show was different in each race, Steve Martin (DFX Ducati Pirelli) following in the tracks of Chili in race one, and Lucio Pedercini (Pedercini Ducati 998 RS) scoring a great sixth place. The Foggy Petronas triple of Troy Corser was in good form in comparison to the early season races, delivering Corser a pair of seventh places. James Haydon, his team-mate, ran off the track and then had a technical failure in race one, and followed that up with another technical failure in race two.

Mauro Sanchini (Kawasaki Bertocchi ZX-7RR), Ivan Clementi (Kawasaki Bertocchi ZX-7RR) and Marco Borciani (DFX Ducati 998RS) took the last places in the top ten in race one, Sanchini, Juan Borja (DFX Ducati 998RS) and David Garcia scoring those finishes in the second 21-lapper.

In the championship Hodgson and Xaus are safe in first and second places, with 464 and 341 points respectively, while Laconi has leapfrogged his way to third place in the classification, with 257 points to Toseland’s 240. Lavilla is the top four-cylinder rider, in fifth with 230.

In the World Supersport Championship Chris Vermeulen (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) and Honda took the Riders’ and Manufacturers’ crowns respectively after Karl Muggeridge (Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR) won the race and Vermeulen finished second.

It was Muggeridge’s second straight win, following up on his devastating pole time, although another Aussie, wildcard rider Kevin Curtain (Yamaha Motor Germany R6) took the new race lap record of 1:53.122 before retiring with a worn out gear linkage.

Vermeulen is now the youngest ever rider to win the championship, at the tender age of 21.
Jurgen van den Goorbergh (Yamaha Belgarda R6) returned to third in the championship after scoring third in the Imola race but for the Alstare Suzuki pairing of Stephane Chambon (fourth) and Katsuaki Fujiwara (a retiree through crashing) Imola marked the end of their championship aspirations. Chambon now sits second overall, on 126, with van den Goorbergh third on 120 and Fujiwara static on 119.

FINAL ROUND: The final round of the 2003 World Superbike Championship will take place on October 19th at the Magny-Cours Formula 1 circuit in France, which last hosted an Superbike race in 1991. Hodgson and Xaus’s Ducati 999 bikes have been running Magny-Cours WSBK promotion stickers on their swing-arms since the Assen round.

RACE 1: 1. Xaus (Ducati Fila); 2. Hodgson (Ducati Fila); 3. Laconi (NCR Ducati); 4. Lavilla (Suzuki); 5. Chili (PSG-1 Ducati); 6. Martin (DFX Ducati); 7. Corser (Petronas); 8. Sanchini (Kawasaki); etc.
RACE 2: 1. Xaus ; 2. Laconi; 3. Lavilla; 4. Hodgson; 5. Walker (HM Plant Ducati); 6. Pedercini (Ducati); 7. Corser; 8. Sanchini; etc.
POINTS: Riders - 1. Hodgson 464; 2. Xaus 341; 3. Laconi 257; 4. Toseland 240; 5. Lavilla 230; 6. Walker 202; etc. Constructors – 1. Ducati 550 ; 2. Suzuki 280; 3. Kawasaki 117; 4. Petronas 110; 5. Yamaha 63; 6. Honda 25.

Will Rossi get bored of winning on the Honda and move to Ducat next year?

Rio Moto Grand Prix at Jacarepagua, Round 12

Rossi's Rio Win Secures
Manufacturers' Crown for Honda

Nelson Piquet Circuit, Jacarepagua, Brazil, September 19th :Valentino Rossi (Repsol Honda RC211V) scored a controlled and cool race win at the Rio GP and in the process delivered himself his sixth victory of the year, his third in succession and the MotoGP Manufacturers Title to Honda. Honda has now won 15 such honours in the premier class of GP racing. Complete Race Coverage HERE.

The man we love to hate (or hate to love?), Australian Matt Mladin wins his 4th consecutive Number One.

Mat Mladin clinches his 4th consecutive AMA Superbike Title at Barber Season Finale

Aaron Yates Tates Home the Bacon at Barber on Saturday
Burmingham, AL, Sept 20-21st: Despite facing the fiercest race action of the season, Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates had no choice but to impress in Race One todayon Saturday if he wanted to keep his slim title hopes afloat for tomorrow's Race two final in The AMA Superbike National Championship. The Georgian did come through in a major way, surviving an epic multi-rider battle at Barber Motorsports Park to take his eighth career Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike victory.
Complete Race Coverage HERE.

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Our official SBK World Superbike Fast Dates calendar girls Chandi Mason (above) and Janelle Perzona will be attending our big Iron & Lace Calendar Party at Barfly on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood. You're invited to join us for the festivities and meet them in person.Complete details HERE. Meanwhile, you can read Chandi's test of the Ducati Multistrada HERE, Janelle's test of the Ducati 999S HERE, and pick up some cool screensavers of our girls.

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Ruben Xaus on his
Imola Double
9/28/03: “I wanted to win today. My plan was to start from pole, be first into the first corner and win, win because I know I had a good set-up and good pace” declared Ruben. “In the second race Neil was braking really hard and then I was second. He was fast in some places and I was faster in others, so it was not easy to be behind him. I wanted to pass but couldn’t so I said OK and wait. Then I was past but I didn’t see that Neil had gone off. The tyres were fine, Michelin wanted to show to everyone that they can win with a street tyre design and they did today. We did even better lap times than the slick tyres in race 1. These race wins today are dedicated to my crew, because we have become a fantastic team together in the second part of the season”.

Neil Hodgson gave 100% today but was not too disappointed with his results. “I always want to win and was frustrated not to. The back-markers were the same for everyone and it was really difficult to pass two side-by-side. No excuses, I rode well and Rubens won the race” declared Neil after race 1. “That’s racing” he added about his trip into the gravel in the second race, “I just backed in really aggressive, the bike gripped and almost high-sided me. It was good racing today and in that second race the tyre gave a lot of feeling and grip. I know I could have got Ruben because I was riding well and I always go for the win but I’m not complaining about the result”.

FILA: With one round left in the championship, Ducati and Fila can consider 2003 to have been a remarkably successful year, the all-Italian partnership picking up the Riders’ and Constructors’ titles in its first season. “The agreement signed in December 2002 appointing Fila as Title Sponsor for the official Ducati Superbike team, has been successfully carried out this year" said Jon Epstein, President and CEO of Sport Brands International, the new holding company that recently completed the purchase of Fila and all of its subsidiaries. We are proud to be associated with the winning team of the 2003 World Superbike Championship and we look forward to another fantastic year in 2004".

GSE Racing Calls in Quits in World Superbike
With the demise of factory support in World Superbike next season, GSE Racing, the most successful semi-factory team is calling it quits in 2004.
It was GSE Racing's HM Plant (a British construction company) sponsored ex-ducati works biukes which dominated the Bristish Superbike Championship a few years back with Neil Hodgson. The team then made the move to World Superbike in 2002 where Hodgson finished runner-up to Ducati factory riders Troy Bayliss and Ruben Xaus, and eaqrned himself a spot on thre Corse team when Bayliss made the move to MotoGP this season. The rest is history as Hodgson went on to clinch the 2003 World Superbike title just 2 weeks ago. The two GSE team riders this season, Brits James Toseland and Chris walker, are curently sitting in 4th and 6th respectively in the series points.

It is expected that Toseland will move to the Ducati factory Corse superbike team in 2004 along with Regis Laconi. Hodgsen will be moving to MotoGP next season and Xaus comes to America to race AMA superbike.

Meanwhile, GSE Racing is exploring its possibilities for the future and will sit out the 2004 race season, hoping to return in 2005, possibly in MotoGP or back to the British Superbike Championship.

Matt Mladin's 4th AMA Superbike Title
(Sunday, 21 September) – Australian Mat Mladin became the first rider in the history of the AMA Superbike Championship to have won four national titles after a brilliant third place in the final race held in treacherous wet conditions at the new Barber Motorsports Park, near Birmingham, Alabama.

Thirty-one-year-old Mladin, who hails from Camden, south east of Sydney, wrote himself into the AMA history books after a sensational season of racing that saw him equal the most number of Superbike race wins in a season (10) and further extend his own All-time AMA Superbike pole position record to 31, after securing seven more poles on his way to clinching his fourth title.

In a season that saw Mladin’s Yoshimura Suzuki team debut an all-new GSX-R1000 Superbike at the start of the year, he and his dedicated crew have worked tirelessly in making it the best possible machine on the track.

Today’s eighteenth and final race of the season almost became an anti-climax as rain struck the 3.70km (2.3 miles) circuit. Race officials were forced to red flag the race on two separate occasions before it was finally run.

Heading into today’s final, Mladin held a 29-point advantage over teammate and championship challenger Aaron Yates and needed only to finish in the top 23 if Yates was to take the win. Mladin finished fourth in yesterday’s opening race of the double-header weekend, after claiming his seventh pole position of the season earlier in the day.

Using his wealth of experience, Mladin rode wisely in the wet conditions and slipped comfortably to the rear of the lead group, allowing others to race for the lead and make their own mistakes in the wet conditions. This worked in favour of Mladin as the American Honda pair of Ben Bostrom and Miguel DuHamel found them selves out of the race after battling with eventual race winner Kurtis Roberts (Erion Honda) with four laps of the 28-lap journey remaining. Their demise saw Italian Giovanni Bussei (Ducati Austin) elevated to second, with Mladin claiming the final podium position and finishing one place ahead of Yates.

Mladin claimed his fourth title, with a 31-point break over Yates (550 to 519), with today’s race winner Roberts moving up to third overall in the series with a total of 474 points.

“Everything panned out well for us today and we did what we came here to do and that was to win a championship,” said a very satisfied Mladin afterwards. “That’s all that has mattered for us this year, so it’s great to have achieved another win for the team and for Suzuki.”

“My strategy for the final race was to just keep out of Aaron’s way and let him concentrate on winning the race for Suzuki. In the end he had a problem and that didn’t happen. After I saw him have the initial problem I felt that I was a chance of picking up the leaders and go for the win. When I realised that Aaron was not out of the race and that he was closing in again, I changed my focus on the race and decided then that it would be best to finish and do things properly. In the end we grabbed another podium and the title.”

“It has been a good year for us for sure,” said Mladin in reflection of his season. “We had a few tyre problems and other things that handed a couple of wins away for us and then towards the end of the season we had to consolidate our position and that meant not going for the win each time, but it all worked out well for us.”

“Ten wins were good this year, but next year I hope not to have the tyre problems that we have had and win a few more than that next year. Suzuki and Yoshimura have worked very hard for all of their championships and I am disappointed in the fact that the AMA are trying to take away from Suzuki (with proposed rule changes for 2004) because of how hard they work to win. They appear to be trying to punish teams for working so hard in the way that they are setting up the rules for next year. That just seems to be the way that the AMA deals with things, rather than the other teams getting better. So for those reasons the win has been extra satisfying for us.”

“As I always say, if it wasn’t for my team, I wouldn’t be in a position to win these races. Pete, Reg, John and Henry are the guys who have put in such a huge amount of work this year.”

“I have to thank the fans over here for the support they have shown for me this year, it’s been awesome. They give me a great cheer each time that I’ve been on the podium, so I look forward to coming back next year and doing it again.”

Mladin will now head back home to Australia where he will reunite with his wife Janine, who missed the final round of the championship, as they await the arrival of their first child in October.

Matt's Racing Achievements
1990 - Began racing in the Australian 250cc Production championship (Suzuki RGV 250)
1991 - Australian 250cc Production Champion (Suzuki RGV 250)
1992 - Australian Superbike Champion (Kawasaki ZX-R750)
1993 - World 500cc Grand Prix Championship (Cagiva 500)
1994 - 3rd Australian Superbike Championship (Kawasaki ZX-R750)
1995 - 2nd, Australian Superbike Championship (Kawasaki ZX-R750)
1996 - 4th, AMA US Superbike Championship (Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750)
1997 - 3rd, AMA US Superbike Championship (Fast By Ferracci Ducati 955)
1998 - 3rd, AMA US Superbike Championship (Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750)
1999 - AMA US Superbike Champion (Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750)
2000 - AMA US Superbike Champion (Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750)
Won Daytona 200 by Arai (First Australian to do so)
Voted 2000 AMA Pro Racing Athlete of the Year, by his peers
2001 - AMA US Superbike Champion (Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750)
Won four races (Daytona 200 by Arai, Road Atlanta, Road America, Mid-Ohio)
Set new pole position records; 8 consecutive and a total of 9 for the season
2002 7th AMA US Superbike Championship (Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R750)
2003 AMA US Superbike Champion (Team Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000)
First rider to win four AMA Superbike Championships
Equalled All-time AMA Superbike race wins for a season with 10 wins (24 career victories)
Extended his All-time AMA Superbike pole positions to 31, with 7 this season