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Dec 13, 2001

Mladin Donates Championship Winning Helmet To Auction For Air Fence Fund

From a press release:<BR><BR>MAT MLADIN Racing - MEDIA INFORMATION<BR>For immediate release<BR>Wednesday, 12 December 2001<BR><BR>Dunlop Tyre Test<BR>Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Florida, USA<BR><BR>TESTING TIMES FOR MLADIN AT DAYTONA, and DONATES CHAMPIONSHIP WINNING HELMET TO AIR FENCE FUND<BR><BR>Daytona Beach, Florida, - The annual Dunlop tyre test at Daytona Speedway heralds the start of preparations for the upcoming AMA U.S. Superbike Championship with a number of the major teams in attendance including three times and defending champion, Australian Mat Mladin.<BR><BR>The three-day test which was held from Monday, Dec 10 to Wednesday, Dec 12, was the first time that Mladin had been back on his Suzuki GSX-R750 Superbike since the final round of this year's championship at Virginia in September.<BR><BR>Along with having to work through a vast quantity of tyres at the test, Mladin and his team sorted through a number of upgrades to their 2001 championship-winning machines such as front suspension, exhaust systems and engine components.<BR><BR>Mladin turned in a number of lap times in the 1-min 50-sec mark, which was down on his pole position winning time of 1:48.424. American Nicky Hayden (American Honda) set the fastest time of the test with a 1:48.141.<BR><BR>"The good thing for us is that the changes and updates made to the bike for the test worked well, so that is very satisfying," Mladin said. "It's always hard at a test like this. It was a typical test. With about half an hour to go they all stick soft tyres on and try and see who can be quickest so that they can head home for Christmas believing that they are the fastest, but for me they don't count as much right at this moment.<BR><BR>"As is always the case my team works through our test program and then will go away and work through the data. The main area for concern is that we appear to be down on speed around here. That will be an area where Suzuki will have to work on if we are to be a definite contender not only for the Daytona 200, but also for the championship. A couple of the other teams have already shown this week that they are upping the tempo for next year, so we have to ensure that we keep going forward with our program."<BR><BR><BR>Mladin's Helmet Up For Auction<BR><BR>Fans and supporters of Mat Mladin will have the opportunity to bid for the one-off all-black helmet that he wore at the final round of this year's AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship at Virginia International Raceway. The helmet was worn as respect and remembrance for those involved in the September 11 tragedy.<BR><BR>Mladin has donated the AGV helmet (also emblazoned with three American flags) to the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund which has been set up and conducted by John Ulrich from Roadracing World magazine and website. Ulrich has been campaigning vigorously for the purchase and implementation of safety air fence that would be used on road race circuits around America to enhance rider safety.<BR><BR>"The Air Fence Fund is one that I do support even though I believe that it should be an area that the AMA should show responsibility in obtaining and not having to leave it to individuals to pursue. I congratulate John (Ulrich) with his initiative to get the fund going and hope that the money raised from the auction of my helmet will help the cause."<BR><BR>Mladin's helmet is expected to be placed on line for auction through the www.ebay.com site on Monday, Dec 17 (American time). Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the Roadracing World Air Fence Fund. Further information may be sourced through www.roadracingworld.com