Although they admit it's the...
Although they admit it's the same for all teams, Mladin and his crew aren't fans of the more production-based rules formula for AMA superbikes. Suspension and chassis adjustments that used to only require less than a minute now take 15 minutes or more, robbing the increasingly precious time that could be used out on the racetrack.
I think this country is wealthy enough to afford the right equipment and be at least on the same level of equipment as World Superbike, which in turn would give everybody a chance when those guys come over here to get the locals in there, help make that race bigger, as they try to do in most countries in the world that have the right bikes, that's the whole idea. Put the locals up against the world guys and they'd obviously fit right and it's happened forever. It just doesn't happen now. It's a bit weird, because it's the biggest motorcycle market in the world. If the manufacturers want to spend $30 million a year to go racing, why can't they?
PD: The bikes now they're very fragmented. You've got modified street bikes, in our case, versus hand-built factory bikes in Pegram's case in the same class.
MM: And a purpose-built race bike in the Buell. I think what people ought to know in the motorcycle side of things, if the Buell right now at this race, three months into their racing development, if the Buell had as much motor as what we had, it'd win the race by probably 15 seconds. So, I don't know. Is that because Buell builds a better motorcycle than Suzuki or Honda or anybody else or is that because they're allowed to do whatever they want? Good on Buell. They've taken advantage of the situation, but the situation shouldn't be there for them to take advantage of. So, you can't complain about Buell. It's open for them to do whatever they want. Right now if they got down the front straight as good as us, we wouldn't see them.
Q: How hard is it going to be to go to work for a guy who isn't Mat, where every race you know you might win?
Mladin describes the bike's...
Mladin describes the bike's handling from the rider's point of view to crew chief Doyle, while Auxier checks out the data from the machine's point of view.
It's about doing your job to the best of your ability. If you win some, that's good. But a 17-year-old kid riding the bike gets exactly the same effort that you'd give to Mat. I guess there's more pressure if you've got a winning rider, but you still do your job the same.
Q: Do you have a favorite moment from your career? Favorite year, favorite bike?
MM: Favorite bike, maybe the '05-06 Superbike is probably my favorite bike. Yeah, it was good; '07-'08 was OK as well, except we started getting hand me down parts of things that we had to use that I really didn't want to use, suspension-wise and stuff like that. Over there in Europe, I guess those guys knew better and all the rest of it, even though the results didn't say so. Things in the next couple years got a little bit tougher for sure.
DA: I'd have to go with the '06. I had one of them myself. Best one I had. The difference for us, I think is, listening to the bike that we have in '09 that the rules allow us to have, just sounds like a street bike with a pipe on it, whereas the other ones...
MM: It goes like a street bike with a pipe on it too. The thing about the old 1000s, before they tightened up on cams real bad and all that, they just had some sack, you know? That's what we should be riding. Those bikes were superbikes, you could open them up. They were World Superbike-spec superbikes. But in the end, things are changing over here and as much as you look back and see all the bikes that you prefer to ride, over here in the not too distant future motorcycle racing is going to be the same as car racing in America, it's going to be a circus rather than a race. Eventually that's what will happen.