"I really do miss racing a motorcycle, I miss it a lot," says a content Mat Mladin sitting at the table of his picturesque property at Oakdale, 90 minutes southwest of Sydney. "I didn't retire because I wasn't quick enough, I retired because I'd had enough. I miss riding the motorcycle - fast. I miss that a lot. I miss the competition... I miss getting up everyone's nose. I miss that side of racing, the mental side of it. I also miss the camaraderie, being away with the boys in the team on the weekend."
Since retiring in 2009 with a record seven AMA Superbike titles, Mladin is happy now to be moving on to greener pastures, literally. But if it were his choice, he would've stayed on in America.
"I've been dragging [wife] Janine around the world for 15 years and the deal was that we would always come back to Australia after I finished racing and raise the family here," Mladin said. "I would've been happy to stay in America; Australia's become a bit of a nanny state and everything is so expensive. In America, once you get away from the racetrack and places like LA, the people are great. I have a lot in common with them."
Mladin's searing honesty and rejection of any false modesty guarantees an unfettered view of his career, both good and bad. He says he would never won just one title without a good team.
For the complete interview with Mladin, see this week's Cycle News at the following link: