Q: What makes the team work?
The Mladin Yoshimura crew...
The Mladin Yoshimura crew was like a well-oiled machine, in need of very little maintenance. As Mladin dismounts after practice, Asher and Doyle discuss rear tire options, while Ackland and O'Rourke quickly mount up the front end stand.
I think communication. Everyone communicates quite well and everyone understands each other without saying too many words and everyone has a common interest. That's about it.
MM: Everyone has their job and realistically nobody has a title, unlike most of the race teams over here and you can do what you go to do. But, you know, as we speak, that's definitely now changing as of a few hours from now. A lot of things are changing. I think just a lot of the decisions being made for a lot of people as to what they're going to be doing next year. Reg and I are pretty set about what we're going to be doing. Reg is going to be on the internet checking out what's going on over here (laughing) and missing it like anything and I'll be ringing him for results.
JA: As far as the approach to every weekend, it's like Mat said; take one race at a time and give it 100 percent. He rides 100 percent and we give our job 100 percent and if we come out on top at the end of the weekend, then it's great. And if we don't, we don't cry about it. We carry on and give 100 percent the next weekend.
Q: From the outside it looks like the team never panics.
It's called everything's under control. We all know that every weekend anything can happen and we've still managed to win. We've seen bike issues and you guys have seen a couple little problems, like clutch things. You don't realize how many times we've had something thrown at us and then in the end, those are the things that add up to championship wins or race wins. It happens regularly. The crew have done their job the same every year and the same as anything, you win enough and you become complacent. Then you take a little bit of time off and you try and come back again. In the end the bike and the crew have been a constant the whole time. The difference between whether a decent motorbike wins the race or not is the rider and when he wins, it's because of the rider and when he loses it's because of the rider. It's that simple. And, in the end, we let three championships go in the last three years. And do I think it was possible to win them? Sure I did, if I would have approached it differently it would've been possible to win those championships and maybe we would've won a couple. But I had my way that I wanted to approach those years and it was that way that allowed me to continue to race. If I had to think about championships for a couple of years back then, then I wouldn't be racing now.
PD: Winning championships over here also, I think, changed a little bit...I think you had pretty strong competition, I think some of the strongest competition on the same equipment. Because back in the day on the 750, riding a 750 against those factory V-twins and winning championships, you had to play the year out. you couldn't afford to screw it up. When you got two guys racing so far ahead of the field, one guy had a problem the other guy was going to win. Even down to the fact if you got a bad start, you're going to get second. You're not going to win and you're not going to finish worse. So I think the attitude of winning races, if you're winning races and you're not a crasher, the championships will come.
Q: Do this year's technical rules make it any harder or easier to work on the bikes?
JA: It's production, almost, for us. From the pinnacle of factory Superbikes, now we're looking at stock forks and stock swinging arms and a lot of stock parts. And as much as we still give 100%, it's far removed from the racing that we're all used to and have been doing for a very long time. In that respect it's disappointing.