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May 6, 2002

Sears Point President Opens Direct Dialog With Mladin On Track Issues

Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Sears Point Raceway President and General Manager Steve Page met with AMA Superbike Champion Mat Mladin on Sunday morning at Sears Point to discuss Mladin's concerns with the racetrack.<BR><BR>The meeting took place after Superbike practice at about 11:00 a.m..<BR><BR>"Steve sent one of his guys down to see if I wanted to have a chat with him," Mladin said. "One thing I will say is that he definitely seemed very accomodating. He was very receptive. But I'd have to go up there and see them and then we'd have to see what sort of changes are made to make sure he's gonna put up what he says he will. He left the door open to have me go up there and give them a hand with their racetrack."<BR><BR>Mladin said no timetable has been set for him to return to Sears Point and meet again with Page concerning specific track issues.<BR><BR>Page said of the meeting, "We spent about 30 minutes together and I showed Mat overhead pictures of Sears Point from 1995 and from today and I went through them corner-by-corner to show him the safety improvements we have made. I don't know if that changed his view of the track, but I wanted to make the point that we feel there is an appropriate time and place to deal with track safety issues. I gave him my card and told him to contact me any time. I really wanted to reinforce with Mat and other riders that our door is always open."<BR><BR>Page's approach of opening a dialog with 3-time AMA Superbike Champion Mladin stands in stark contrast to the reaction riders typically encounter when they express safety concerns about racetracks hosting AMA Superbike Nationals.<BR><BR>AMA Pro Racing Director of Competition Merrill Vanderslice warned teams Friday that if they did not muzzle their riders, he would do it for them. Vanderslice was reacting to comments made in a post-qualifying press conference by Aaron Yates, Anthony Gobert and Mladin, in response to a direct question posed by a reporter. Their comments criticizing the track over safety issues received big play in the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper.<BR><BR>For more information, see the following earlier posts on roadracingworld.com:<BR><BR>05/04/2002 AMA Fallout Over Rider Comments On Track Safety Leads To Gobert Apology At Sears Point <BR><BR> <BR>05/04/2002 AMA Pro Racing's Vanderslice Furious Over Rider Comments On Track Safety At Sears Point <BR><BR> <BR>05/03/2002 Sears Point Still Not Safe Enough, Top Superbike Riders Say <BR><BR> <BR>04/29/2002 What's Going On At Sears Point? Have Changes Made It Safer Or More Dangerous? <BR>