Aug 16, 2001
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From a press release issued by Mat Mladin's publicist, Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>Alton, Virginia, USA - With the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship in the midst of a four-week break, Mat Mladin's Team Yoshimura<BR>Suzuki and a number of leading teams took the opportunity to test at the new Virginia International Raceway where they will race at for the first time on September 30 this year.<BR><BR>The opening day of the scheduled three-day test (Monday, August 13) was interrupted by rain, before the skies cleared to provide the teams with two days of clean track time.<BR><BR>Mladin came away from the test with the fastest time, recording a 1:26.00 lap time around the 17-turn, 2.25-mile Virginia circuit and was happy with the information gained from the test.<BR><BR>"We only did about five or six laps on Monday, but were able to do a lot in the following two days and come away some good information that will help us when we get there for the final round of the Championship," Mladin said. "We just went through our normal testing routine for when we go to a new circuit. A lot of guys were out there trying to set fast single lap times, but we were more intent on getting a package that would allow us to do a lot of consistently fast laps and I think we got pretty close to that. I was able to reel off a lot of laps in the mid-26s, so I was happy with that. My teammates Aaron (Yates) and Jamie (Hacking) are still there today, but I was able to get through what I wanted to, so we packed it up.<BR><BR>"I've been disappointed with the mechanical problems that we have had with the bike since the Laguna Seca round, with the clutch being our main worry. The amount of Championship points that we have been able to score in this period of time has been good considering and we've made the best of a bad situation. It's a critical stage of the Championship, so hopefully Suzuki will have some answers for us."<BR><BR>As for the new VIR circuit, Mladin was happy with his first visit there. "It's actually a nice little circuit. I had heard a few things about it before we got here, but I'm happy with it. The safety aspects and the infrastructure around the circuit are good. It should all make for a good race meeting when we come back here in September."<BR><BR>Mladin headed to Denver, Colorado after the test, where he will acclimatise himself with the higher altitude in preparation for next week's (August 26) Pikes Peak round of the Championship.<BR><BR>With three rounds of the 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship remaining, Mladin holds a 20-point lead in the Championship over Team Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom. Bostrom was the victor at Pikes Peak last season, so the scene will be set for a continuation of the battle that the pair has been involved in all season.