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Aug 24, 2001

Now Mladin's Climbing Rocks, Too

AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin has taken up rock climbing, according to this release from his publicist, Steve Reeves:<BR><BR>MAT MLADIN Racing--MEDIA INFORMATION<BR>Round 12, 2001 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship<BR>Pikes Peak International Raceway, Colorado, USA<BR>Event preview<BR><BR>PIKES PEAK, THE NEXT CHALLENGE FOR MLADIN<BR><BR>Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA - After a one month layoff the competitors in this year's AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike Championship will head to the mountains for this weekend's 12th round of the championship which is being held at the Pikes Peak International Raceway on Sunday, August 26.<BR><BR>In preparation for the round, two-times defending AMA Superbike Champion Australian Mat Mladin, has spent the past week high in the mountains acclimatizing himself with the conditions. Mladin has based himself in an area known as the `Garden of the Gods', which is about 30 minutes north of the Pikes Peak circuit in Colorado Springs. A combination of hiking, running and a new interest in rock climbing has kept the Team Yoshimura Suzuki rider busy.<BR><BR>"I've never been into hiking or climbing before, but Doug (Chandler) has been into it for the past 12 months and suggested that we (wife Janine and I) should get involved and see what it's all about," said Mladin. "We've got right into it with the harnesses, ropes and all that stuff and all we have to do now is learn the jargon. It's actually been a lot of fun and it will be something that we will continue to do."<BR><BR>Prior to heading to Colorado, Mladin had set the quickest lap time at last week's three-day test at the Virginia International Raceway, the venue for the final round of the championship. Aside from setting the fastest time, Mladin was happy with some of the information that the team gathered on the workings of their Suzuki GSX-R750 Superbike.<BR><BR>"The Virginia test gave us the opportunity to try a lot of things such as steering head geometries and caster angles that we were able to put our finger on and understand what they all meant and how the changes affected the bike. It was great to be able to do a lot of back-to-back testing there and I'm sure that will help us this weekend."<BR><BR>Mladin will be hopeful of maintaining this momentum when they take to the Pikes Peak circuit this weekend. Mladin is the current Superbike lap record holder at the short and twisty 10-Turn 2.12km (1.315 miles) circuit with a time of 54.009-seconds, but main championship rival Eric Bostrom (Team Kawasaki) is the defending race winner. The 48-lap Superbike National on Sunday is certain to be highlighted by the battle between the championship protagonists. Mladin currently holds a 20-point lead over Bostrom at the top of the points table and will be looking for an increased margin when they leave Pikes Peak on Sunday afternoon.<BR><BR>"The last two years here at Pikes Peak we have been battling for the championship and not necessarily chasing a race win. This year the same will apply as I will need to finish ahead of Eric (Bostrom) in order to stretch out as many points as possible, but that doesn't mean I won't be chasing a win either."<BR><BR><BR>2001 AMA Chevy Trucks US Superbike Championship<BR>(Points after 11 of 14 rounds<BR>Mat Mladin, 332 points<BR>Eric Bostrom, 312<BR>Nicky Hayden, 265<BR>Doug Chandler, 263<BR>Miguel DuHamel, 251<BR>Tommy Hayden, 249<BR>Jamie Hacking, 243<BR>Steve Rapp, 220<BR>Kurtis Roberts, 199<BR>Andreas Meklau, 193