There has been much commotion in the World Superbike paddock recently, much of it caused by one man: Mat Mladin. The seven time AMA Superbike champion had intimated on social networking service Twitter that he had received a couple of "very interesting" offers to race in World Superbikes in 2010, though he didn't mention any names. He left that to the rest of the motorcycle racing world, and they did not fail him.
The most obvious candidate would be Yoshimura Suzuki, but nothing but a deadly silence has emanated from the Japanese Suzuki team in response to those suggestions, leading most commentators to believe that this is not the option Mladin was referring too. The British publication Motorcycle News knew better, linking Mladin to the second seat at the satellite Reitwagen Racing BMW team, to partner the young Austrian Roland Resch.
That partnership was not to be, however. According to the German-language publication Motorsport Aktuell, Mladin could not reach agreement with the team boss Andi Werth. No details of the discussions are known, but presumably, the disagreements would have revolved around the level of support the privateer team would be receiving from BMW. Mladin has long said that he would only be interested in riding in another series (either World Superbikes or MotoGP) if he was convinced he had the right team around him and the right support from a factory.
Another Australian could take Mladin's place, however. The Dutch website Racesport.nl is reporting that former World Supersport champion Andrew Pitt is slated to take the second seat alongside Resch. The Australian brings his vast experience to the team, having previously ridden in MotoGP with Kawasaki and Ilmor, World Superbikes with Yamaha and World Supersport with Kawasaki and Honda.
As reported by our very own Mike Walt, Pitt will fall under the technical direction of Johan Stigefelt. The Swede was forced to shelve his plans to continue his own Stiggy Racing team for 2010, after sponsorship problems left the team in financial chaos. Stigefelt's ability to manage a team was never in doubt, and the Swede joins Reitwagen Racing in a technical capacity.