Jan 16, 2002
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Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>According to Australian pro motocrosser Justin Girotto, AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin dropped in on a small motocross race in Australia in early December and beat everyone handily. <BR><BR>Girotto, 17, accompanied friend Alex Gobert to America on Monday, January 14 to spend a couple of weeks riding motocross tracks in Southern California. "Back in Australia, Alex and myself are some of the quickest guys where we ride motocross," said Girotto on Tuesday, January 15 at California Speedway while watching Gobert test with the Bruce Transportation Group team. "Alex has been telling me that over here, he is probably one of the slower guys they ride with. He also said that the tracks here were really good."<BR><BR>Girotto then said that his neighbor Mat Mladin rides motocross with him in Australia. "Mat came out to a little club race we had at Oakdale Motocross Park in New South Wales December 2. He just keeps to himself mainly in between rides. In the race, he smoked everyone on his Suzuki RM250. He came jumping by me on the third lap and won the race."<BR><BR>Mladin was a professional motocrosser before switching to road racing in his late teens.<BR><BR>Girotto added that his father, a flooring contractor, and Mladin's father, a house painter, often work together building homes and that Mladin's home is a five-minute ride away by motocross bike.<BR><BR>Girotto also said that his next-door neighbor in Theresa Park, New South Wales is Red Bull Yamaha Grand Prix rider Garry McCoy. According to Girotto, McCoy has his own motocross track on his property plus a scaled-down, dirt-replica of Eastern Creek Raceway that he rides a 500cc motocross bike around.<BR>