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Pikes Peak: Ducati Austin race report

Eric Bostrom Scores his First Ducati Victory at Pikes Peak   Fountain (Colorado) - Sunday May 23, 2004: Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Eric Bostrom rode his Ducati 999 to a superb win in the AMA Superbike race at Pikes Peak today, emerging ...

Eric Bostrom Scores his First Ducati Victory at Pikes Peak   Fountain (Colorado) - Sunday May 23, 2004: Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Eric Bostrom rode his Ducati 999 to a superb win in the AMA Superbike race at Pikes Peak today, emerging victorious after fighting off challenges from runner-up Jake Zemke (Honda) throughout the gruelling 48-lap battle. Eric led every lap of the race after taking the lead in turn two of the opening lap.   The 27-year-old from San Francisco, California qualified seventh but overnight changes to his Ducati 999R helped him win his 12th career AMA Superbike victory, and the first for Ducati in AMA competition since Eric's brother Ben won at Brainerd in 1999 on a Ducati 996.   "It's good for Ducati, Michelin and me to get our first win as a team," a jubilant Bostrom said after the race. "We've done a lot of hard work together and haven't gotten the win we've wanted until today. We made some definite headway this weekend, getting better balance with the Ducati 999 that helped me push harder. The level of competition is so high in AMA Superbike right now - to win this race, one of the toughest we have on the tour, makes it feel even better."   Eric immediately broke to the front of the pack from his second-row starting position and gradually increased his lead lap after lap. By lap 14 Eric had opened up a gap of just over three seconds and seemed headed for an easy fifth win at the 1.3 mile track when Zemke, who had broken free from a battle with series points leader Mat Mladin (Suzuki), chased down the Ducati until the gap was a mere .104 seconds with 17 laps still remaining.      "Everything was great from the start. I was building a gap by a couple of tenths on every lap and I thought that if I could keep it up I'd get my first win without any drama," explained Eric. "But then Jake started chipping away at my lead even though I was turning good lap times." In spite of the continued pressure, Eric kept his focus and slowly rebuilt his lead, eventually winning the race with a 1.135 second margin of victory.       Racing Manager Tom Bodenbach was pleased with the entire team's effort. "Eric had some changes he wanted us to make last night and the guys stayed late to get them done. He liked the bike better this morning in the warm-up and his lap times really came down to the level where we felt he would be competitive in the race. Eric rode with a lot of heart today and it showed."   "I'd be lying if I said it wasn't a nail-biter," said team owner Terry Gregoricka. "But it was a great race to watch - and an even better one to win! Eric, Michelin, Ohlins and all the guys on our team - everybody's done so much to get this win today."   Road America hosts round 6 (races 9 and 10) of the AMA Superbike Championship at Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin on June 4-6.    RACE: 1. E Bostrom (Ducati); 2. Zemke (Honda); 3. Yates (Suzuki); 4. Duhamel (Honda); 5. B Bostrom (Honda); 6. Mladin (Suzuki); etc.   POINTS: 1. Mladin 268; 2. Zemke 249; 3. Duhamel 245; 4. E Bostrom 184; 5. May 175; 6. Acree 156; etc.

-www.ducatiaustin.com-

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About this article
Series AMA
Drivers Eric Bostrom , Jake Zemke