Mladin Goes Down

Henny Ray Abrams | May 31, 2008

TOOELE, UTAH, MAY 31: To Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Mat Mladin, the answer was pretty simple; “I crashed,” he said. “I just lost the front.” The rare race crash came on the second of 14 laps when Mladin lost the front of his Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the left hand “Bad Attitude,” the last of the three “Attitudes” that make up the downhill esses leading to the final sequence of corners on the 4.5-mile Full Course at Miller Motorsports Park. “I just pushed hard, that’s it,” he said. Teammate Ben Spies had finished the first lap with a cushion of .811 seconds and Mladin was determined not to let him get away. He’d had trouble with his front end in the most recent races, especially at Infineon Raceway, but a change to different forks in the second race at Infineon brought renewed confidence. Now he could attack the corners with his usual aggression. “Yeah, I started reeling him in that lap,” Mladin said. “He got away a little bit on that first lap, which, you know, he does a little bit. That lap I started pulling him back again and I didn’t quite make it.” Prior to the crash he was “having fun. The rest of this year when I’ve crashed,” he’s crashed an uncharacteristic five times this year, but never in a race, “it hasn’t been on the pace and I don’t know what’s going on. But we’re in a much better place now. I was overconfident to be honest with you. The front was feeling good, things were feeling good and I just pushed hard. “We overlaid the data and the GPS data and that lap was pretty fast. The bike felt good with a full tank of gas and I overpushed the mark. That’s okay. He’s going fast and there’s nothing left on the table and we’re trying to race. That’s it. Just a little bit too much. That’s the way it goes.”

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.