Jun 19, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>In the fateful press conference that led to him being fined and losing a point, reigning Superbike Champion Mat Mladin expressed displeasure with what he felt was inaccurate reporting in a newspaper article. Roadracing World taped the press conference and has retained the tape recording for reference. Citing what he felt was unfair press at the press conference following final Superbike qualifying, Mladin said, "Obviously all you guys are going to get this on tape, so, hopefully, nothing that's going to be said in here is going to be misquoted. There's been a lot of misquotes in newspapers and stuff. I've got one of them here. I don't know if the guy who wrote this is here, ‘Mat Mladin Zips Around, Finished Second But Refused to Talk To Reporters Afterwards.' This is a bit of a joke, because it's not the case. I had a few reporters come and see me under the tent out there. Pretty tired of seeing stuff that actually isn't happening. I don't know who organized these press conferences, obviously probably Larry Lawrence of the AMA. Most of the time we don't have press conferences on Friday, only some times we have them, so there's a lot of disorganization. So nobody knows what's going on. That's why I wasn't here."<BR><BR>Mladin went on to say, "I caught a lot of flack from a newspaper interview that was done on Friday. What I'll say about that is that I stated my opinion, and what I think is right. As far as I'm concerned, no money has been spent on this track in the last 12 months to fix it up for us. Money's been spent to fix it up for NASCAR, but not for us. I'll tell you now, I'm tired of reading some shit."<BR><BR>The top three Superbike qualifiers were all critical of the track at NHIS. "As far as the race track is concerned, it's the same track we've always been coming to and it's dangerous as always," said Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom. "Last year we got a bad rap because someone was trying to say that it's OK to run on this track. We are the professionals doing the bike racing and we have the best opinion for what's the safest." <BR><BR>Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates said, "Every year the tracks get rougher, more time on them, more cars and everything else, the bikes get faster, the tires get better and you're just going faster and faster. Usually our speeds are faster and faster in the turns so when you fall you're going faster and when you hit something there's just nowhere to go out here when you fall."<BR><BR>Pole-sitter Mladin said, "180 horsepower on this tiny, little racetrack, we could put up with a couple of corners, but not every corner. There's only one spot you can fall off here and not hit something."<BR><BR>Mladin also said that his record lap at 1:09.561 could have been better, explaining "The lap that I set for track record was balked by Eric Bostrom and Larry Pegram," referring to them as "Wallies" and suggesting they go back to club racing to learn the basic rules of road racing. "Some of these factory riders need to learn how to get out of the way when they're coming into the pits. If they're doing a 14 or something and they're coming into the pits and someone is doing a 9, they're going to get caught real quick. Other than that, it all went pretty well. I put a second fast lap up on the same tire and did the same lap time; it was the best I could do."<BR><BR>Apparently Mladin alone got penalized for criticizing the track because he used the word "shit." <BR><BR>Roadracing World has requested that AMA Pro Racing release an official list of words which, if used in a press conference or on the podium, will cause riders to be fined or penalized in some other way.