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Discussion Starter #1
from RRW today.

Mladin Calls 2004 AMA Superbike Rules A Massive Mistake



Copyright 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Three-time AMA Superbike Champion and current AMA Superbike Championship points leader Mat Mladin says AMA Pro Racing has made a big mistake with its new 2004 Superbike rules for 2004, and complains that the new technical regulations will give 1000cc V-Twins an advantage over 1000cc four-cylinder racebikes.

“I think the AMA has made an absolute massive mistake in what they’ve done with the rules. All because one guy’s winning races this year they decide to change it? That’s crazy,” said Mladin, nine-time race winner in 2003.

The 2004 rules will require 1000cc Fours, like the Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 ridden by Mladin, to go back to stock airboxes and stock fuel-injection throttle bodies while 1000cc V-Twins will be able to run near their current state of tune.

“They’re saying, yeah, but they can only have the same gearbox (one homologated and one standard gearbox) option as us, as the four cylinders, but Ducati doesn’t change their gearboxes anyway. So essentially they’re allowing a full V-Twin Superbike and we’re going to be handicapped by, who knows, 10-15 horsepower. So all the AMA’s gone and done is put the advantage straight back into the V-Twin’s hands, like the V-Twins have had.

“I think a better way is Ducati needs to abide by everyone else’s rules for once and not have everyone play by Ducati’s rules. Simple. How many years have V-Twins had an advantage over four-cylinder motorcycles? Ever since they’ve been around.”

Mladin believes 1000cc four-cylinder bikes and 1000cc V-Twins under the 2003 rules are competitive with each other and points out Honda’s 1-2-3 finish at Daytona and other strong V-Twin showings at Road America and Mid-Ohio.

“I believe our bike comes off the turn fractionally better, but I believe the V-Twins still have top end on us,” said Mladin.

Al Ludington, Crew Chief for American Honda’s Miguel Duhamel, disagrees with Mladin and complains that the AMA should have already done something to make V-Twins more competitive, mid-season. On Honda’s radar gun during the recent Dunlop tire test at Daytona, Ludington said Mladin’s GSX-R1000 hit 187 mph, RC51 Hondas ridden by Duhamel and Ben Bostrom hit 181 mph and a 2004 Superstock-spec GSX-R1000 ridden by Aaron Yates hit 181 mph.

“The 2004 rules will probably even things up (on horsepower),” said Ludington, “but the four-cylinder is going to be the way to go. The way the weight bias is on the Four helps its handling too much. They all have the power to blow away the rear tire. The Four gets turned and stood up on the big part of the tire quicker, allowing them to get on the gas sooner.

“The AMA doesn’t address the difference in parity in a timely manner,” said Ludington. “Look at NASCAR. I know people say it’s boring, but $2.2 billion in revenue isn’t boring. NASCAR has its own R&D facility with its own wind tunnel and engine development program.

“And NHRA. Have you seen that bike that Vance & Hines is drag racing now? They won a couple of races in a row, and NHRA called them up and told them to add 10 pounds to the bike for the next round. The problem lies in the AMA’s adjustments to the rules.

“You can’t write rules in the winter and hope they’ll be good for the next eight months.”
 

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Hrmmm... Interesting. I figured they'd be moving away from the twins and we'd have to watch Duc the RC-51 die a quick death. I guess I called it wrong on that one. Maybe there's still time for me to own a twin! I'd love to have one before they are relics.
 

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'Ducati's don't change their gearboxes anyway...'

Doesn't that imply that Suzuki needs to make a better bike straight off the showroom floor?? This is good for all of us, this will make the stock bikes, that much better. Instead of being able to run CF airboxes and multiple injectors (that are practically one offs), they'll have to come stock with all of that, thus making people with less funding more competitive than they were...

Yes, more crying from the king crybaby. I see what he is saying, but damn, the dude has been dominant this year. Even his teamate has been on point and to me, he isn't on mladin's level...
 

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So your definition of 'fair' is that Honda can build an unobtanium RC-51 that resembles the stock model in name only but Suzuki should be forced to race what comes off the showroom floor?
 

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CyBeR929 : So your definition of 'fair' is that Honda can build an unobtanium RC-51 that resembles the stock model in name only but Suzuki should be forced to race what comes off the showroom floor?
Sounds about right to me.
 

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Yes, this is interesting. Up until now I figured the RC was probably in it's last year of production and the CBR 1000 would be raced in Supersport next year. I was fairly excited about that. However, it looks like the RC will live on and our 1000cc Honda will be religated to FX once again. Not sure if I mind or not, I like RC's and would love to have one, but I'd also like to see BBoz and Duhamel ride a Honda I4 liter bike (not sure how Ben would do as he has been on a Twin for so long). Also, w/ Zemke going to Superbike next year, had he been on an I4 he may have had an advantage having been racing on a Honda I4 liter bike all this year.
 

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Heavy-Dee : However, it looks like the RC will live on and our 1000cc Honda will be religated to FX once again.  
Not necessarily. The new 1000 might end up being a better platform. They may even co-exist for awhile.
 

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dB : Not necessarily. The new 1000 might end up being a better platform. They may even co-exist for awhile.
That's what I'm guessing. Honda's going to sell more RCBs (or whatever the inline is going to be called) than it is RC51s and I'm sure that the R&D for it has been at least somewhat focused on competition.
 

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FX is 650CCs next year. The new 1000 will NOT be an FX bike.
1000 SuperStock maybe, but not FX.
Mladin is just getting the ball rolling for his constant stream of excuses for next year. He's been the #1 complainer of rules for the last 4 years. His memory for history is equal to hitlary's.

Oh, by the way the rule changes are Bush's fault. He can't have some foreigner winning the AMA series, so he made them change the rules.


That one was for Bacchus.
 

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So how is this whining? The rules for '03 were closer to a level playing field than they have been in years, but now the AMA is going to go back to give twins an advantage because Suzuki put a killer product out? Why can't they just put the same restrictions on all 1k bikes? Isn't that a level playing field? This is superbike right?

As far as Mladin, he's not whining...he's just stating the facts in a not so subtle way. Will the rules changes allowing twins an advantage be better from a spectator perspective? Absolutely. But when your job is to win race, you want to win or lose based on your talent, not because someone was allowed to have a rules advantage. That's how I read Mladin's comments anyway.

But it's probably irrelevant ...Pridmore is showing that even a privateer I4 can run with the full factory twins.
 

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CyBeR929 : But it's probably irrelevant ...Pridmore is showing that even a privateer I4 can run with the full factory twins.
Well...I wouldn't call Attack a 'privateer' team.  Not full factory, but not exactly scraping together lunch money either.  

Some pretty interesting reading on that subject on the CCS board: LINK
 

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True....depends on your definition of privateer...just like the link says....but he's definatly not full factory.

But the point is that a non-full factory I4 was running with full factory V twins by the end of the season. I think this is more a failing of Honda to have a raceable I4, so the rules have to be fixed to 'make' them competitive. To say that Mladin is 'whining' about rules that give a particular engine configuration an advantage is a discredit to both Mladin and Suzuki's talent. Mladin may not be the most PC speaker on the tour, but this isn't a debate on if the guy is likeable or not...I just see the truth in what he is saying.
 

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It's really hard to say what is the fairest thing to do. The different engine configurations have different characteristics and it's not easy to decide how to make them 'equal'. I really think it's going to be a moot point in a year or two, as the Japanese Superbikes will probably all be I-4's. Ducati is the one that'll be interesting.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I think the rules are more for Ducati than anyone else. The factory guys will be on the new CBR.
 

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CyBeR929 : True....depends on your definition of privateer...just like the link says....but he's definatly not full factory.
Yeah, that billet lower frame and all the kit parts he could want sure are privateer stuff.

Have you seen an Attack bike up close, and understood what you were looking at?  It is nothing like a privateer bike.  I've seen more pedestrian 'factory' bikes.
 

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Here's my (long) thoughts on the subject. I'd be interested in any comments on any of this stuff.

The AMA and other rule-making bodies are adjusting the rules to level the playing the field but they'll never get there. Back in the day the displacement handicap for twins made sense because they couldn't move as much volume as an I4 of the same size...due to rpm limits. But now with improved combustion chambers and piston/rod materials, bores are bigger and strokes are shorter, and the twins are turning a lot faster. There's still a difference but it's smaller and nobody has found a balance yet. Now the technology is changing so quickly that it's not practical to try keep up with rules changes.

The 1000cc I4's are closer to stock than any Superbikes have been in a long time, and they're leading the pack. So why not redefine 'Superbike'. The world already has a no-holds-barred 4 stroke class, I'd like to see Superbike rules changed across the board (AMA, BSB, WSB, etc.) to something more like Supersport is now...basically all stock with the exceptions of exhaust (gotta have the sound), FI mapping, and some suspension bits. Homologation would require much higher sales numbers than currently (no RC30s, RC45s, R7s). This would give the factories incentive to develop their Production bikes and 'Win on Sunday, Sell on Monday' would be more true than ever. Standardizing the rules across the different SB series would encourage teams to participate in other series and the whole structure could work as a feeder series to GP. Not to mention the cost savings to privateer teams. I'd even go as far as to say that DOT tires (or the Euro equivalent) be specified to encourage tire development and cost competition.

Let them build twins or I4s or whatever. If you can sell it, you can race it...and vice-versa.

Thoughts??
 

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dB : Thoughts??  
Factory bikes will always be factory bikes. People will find loopholes in the rules and exploit them. See sig.
 

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luvtolean : Quote (dB @ Aug. 29 2003, 1:03pm)Thoughts??  
Factory bikes will always be factory bikes.  People will find loopholes in the rules and exploit them.  See sig.
I was just gonna comment on the sig...very cool.

True about the factory bikes. They can spend all they want going through all the production parts for the best specs, but it would even the gap a little while saving the privateers some money.
 

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Its gonna be funny to see what happens when Mladin, gets smoked by a bunch of I4 liter Hondas and Kawis---not sure why he is bothering with the V2 excuse what ducatis are ven running top 10 in AMA?
 
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