AMA FORMULA XTREME TURNING INTO THREE-WAY BATTLE Superstock points gap narrows PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 14, 2006) -- Earlier this season it appeared the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series would be a two-rider battle between Graves ...
AMA FORMULA XTREME TURNING INTO THREE-WAY BATTLE
Superstock points gap narrows
PICKERINGTON, Ohio (June 14, 2006) -- Earlier this season it appeared the Lockhart Phillips USA Formula Xtreme Series would be a two-rider battle between Graves Motorsports Yamaha rider Jason DiSalvo and Erion Honda's Josh Hayes, but with the resurgence of DiSalvo's veteran teammate Eric Bostrom, who has scored the three most recent victories, the battle for the crown has suddenly become a three-rider affair as the series moves to Miller Motorsports Park in Tooele, Utah, on Saturday, June 17.
Bostrom, who had a rocky start to the season, appeared to be out of the championship picture. Then, after finishing a lowly 22nd at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala., Bostrom rather unexpectedly won the California Speedway round on April 29. He not only won, he did it convincingly. Since then Bostrom has gone on a tear, having scored his third straight at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wis., on June 3.
"It seems like our bike set up suddenly came around," Bostrom said of his Yamaha R6. "I've got confidence now and everything is falling into place. I'm pretty far down in the standings, but chipping away at it. Hopefully we can keep this momentum going our way and get within range of Jason and Josh by the end of the season."
Bostrom has the opportunity at Miller to tie Miguel Duhamel for the top spot on the all-time Formula Xtreme wins list. Bostrom has 12-career wins to Duhamel's class leading 13.
DiSalvo, who appeared to have a wide-open path to this year's title, suddenly finds himself being chased by a red hot teammate.
"Definitely Eric's come on strong in the last couple of races," says the series leader, who has a race win to his credit this season. "It's almost like we might've counted him out a little bit too early. But it's good for him and it's good for the team. All the Yamaha guys are going well. I'm going well, and just trying to work on that race performance still, and getting that dialed in. I think we're getting closer."
While DiSalvo is trying to hold off Bostrom in Formula Xtreme, his Graves Yamaha teammate Jamie Hacking is attempting to do the same with Yoshimura Suzuki's Aaron Yates in the Repsol Lubricants Superstock Series.
Yates' win at Road America pulled him to within nine points of Hacking in the standings. It marked the second victory of the season for the defending champ and he now feels he has a good shot at catching Hacking.
"I've struggled a bit making the bike work like I want it to," Yates said. "It seems like I'm starting to get it going now and the win at Road America put us right up there in the points. Now that I'm so close it makes me want to work even harder to get up there and battle. We've never raced on this track [Miller Motorsports Park] before so we're all going to be starting from scratch other than what we learned in testing."
Hacking, who also leads the Pro Honda Oils Supersport Championship presented by Shoei standings, says he realizes Yates is going to be tough to hold off.
"I thought I had him [Yates] at the last race and I just made one little mistake and that's all it took," Hacking said. "Aaron's wearing that No. 1 on his bike for a reason. He's not going to give it up without a fight, but we've got a great bike and I'm riding as well as I have in my career so we're going to try to not make it easy for him."
The Miller Motorsports Park Formula Xtreme race can be seen on SPEED on Tuesday, June 20 at 4:00 pm eastern.
The Lockhart-Phillips USA Formula Xtreme and Repsol Superstock races are part of the Honda Summit of Speed that runs June 16-18 at Miller Motorsports Park. Tickets can be purchased through Ticketmaster. Visit the website www.millermotorsportspark.com for additional information.