HODGSON EARNS ANOTHER PODIUM SPOT AT BIRMINGHAM, BOSTROM IN TOP FIVE Birmingham, AL, April 24, 2005: Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Neil Hodgson finished an excellent second in Sunday's AMA Superbike race from Barber Motorsports Park in ...
HODGSON EARNS ANOTHER PODIUM SPOT AT BIRMINGHAM, BOSTROM IN TOP FIVE
Birmingham, AL, April 24, 2005: Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Neil Hodgson finished an excellent second in Sunday's AMA Superbike race from Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Hodgson rallied from his fourth place finish on Saturday to fight his way back onto the podium in Sunday's 28-lap contest. Hodgson's teammate Eric Bostrom also came home in the top five on his Ducati 999, his best finish of the year.
Hodgson got the holeshot in the race on his Ducati L-twin Superbike but was passed by the eventual race winner Mat Mladin on the first lap. Neil rebounded to battle with Aaron Yates for second place but the resident of the Isle of Man made the slot his for good once Yates stopped for a tire.
"It was a tough race for us. I was quite comfortable to sit behind (Aaron Yates) and bide my time to make a pass late in the race. I was pretty shocked when he pulled in. I thought it would be a tough battle to the flag," said Hodgson.
Neil said he chose a harder Dunlop tire than he had used on Saturday for the weekend's second Superbike race held in clear conditions. "Yesterday, I lost some side grip late in the race so I decided to run a harder tire the others used. At least I would be in the same boat," said Neil.
That wise choice, along with some setup changes and some excellent riding help put Neil and the Ducati 999 back onto the podium. Hodsgon also finished "on the box" at the Daytona opener as well. Neil has consolidated his second position in Superbike points after three races.
"Today, the bike was better for Neil than yesterday, so we are happy with that," said Luca Luca Ferraccioli, Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team engineer. "We worked on a solution for quicker direction changes and that seemed to help the lap times at this course and maybe others, too. We also decided to go with a harder tire for this race and Neil found it to be much better than yesterday's choice."
Eric Bostrom improved to finish fifth in the 28-lap race, up three slots from Saturday's result. Suspension changes to both ends of the 999 were good enough to better his feel for the track but not a perfect solution. "Today we were hoping to accomplish more than we did. We're glad to get fifth and the points, but we fell short of my goal and I'd sleep better tonight if we could have done better lap times. But I'm going to put it behind me because I am ready to go to Fontana and I think we'll do well there."
The next AMA race is next weekend at California Speedway in Fontana, California.