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Apr 8, 2002

Mladin's Version Of What Happened At Fontana

From a press release issued by Mat Mladin's publicist, Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>MAT MLADIN Racing - MEDIA INFORMATION<BR>For immediate release<BR>Sunday, 7 April 2002<BR><BR>Rounds 2 & 3, 2002 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship<BR>California Speedway, Fontana, California, USA<BR>Round 3, Race Report<BR><BR>PODIUM FINISH FOR MLADIN AT CALIFORNIA SPEEDWAY<BR><BR>Fontana, California, USA - A strong fight back by three times American AMA Superbike champion Mat Mladin has seen the Australian take third place in today's third round of the 2002 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship at California Speedway, Fontana.<BR><BR>Today's podium finish backed up a sixth place finish in yesterday's first race in the double-header Superbike races held at the Californian circuit over the weekend.<BR><BR>American Honda's Nicky Hayden took today's race win, his second of the three races held so far this season, leading the battling duo of Eric Bostrom (Team Kawasaki) and Mladin (Blimpie Yoshimura Suzuki) across the line by 6.366 seconds. The race was red-flagged after 24 of the scheduled 28-laps after debris left after a crash forced race officials to call a premature end.<BR><BR>"That was the best we could do at the moment," Mladin said. "My injured left elbow did cause me a few problems, more so than in yesterday's race. I guess that was because I was battling harder against Eric (Bostrom). We also had another problem with a tyre chunking. This time it was on about lap 15, but at least I was able to keep the pace and it wasn't as bad as the problem we had yesterday. In the end I suppose we were lucky in a way that the race was stopped because Doug (Chandler) was closing on us fast and I don't think we could have stopped him getting through."<BR><BR>Mladin had been dicing for the race lead in the early laps with Hayden and teammate Aaron Yates, before Yates was forced out with mechanical problems. That left Hayden out front and Mladin dicing with Bostrom through to the flag.<BR><BR>After grabbing pole position and winning yesterday's Superbike race, Australian Anthony Gobert struggled with a front tyre problem on his Team Yamaha R7 and finished eighth overall, one lap down on the leader Hayden.<BR><BR>With three rounds of sixteen completed, Hayden leads the points chase with 104, ahead of Gobert 91 and Suzuki privateer rider Andrew Deatherage third with 66. Mladin is currently in eighth position with 54 points.<BR><BR>"Before the next race at Sears Point, we'll do a bit of testing, plus I'll be back at the physio getting treatment on my arm, but I'm sure that I'll be close to 100% fit by the next round," Mladin added.