Bostrom's Daytona Lead Ended By Damaged Cooler Having started from pole position and dominating the action at the front of the field, Eric Bostrom's phenomenal performance in the Daytona 200 was ended at three-quarter's distance with a...
Bostrom's Daytona Lead Ended By Damaged Cooler
Having started from pole position and dominating the action at the front of the field, Eric Bostrom's phenomenal performance in the Daytona 200 was ended at three-quarter's distance with a damaged oil cooler caused by track debris. The initial part of the race saw a fierce three-way battle for the lead during which he set the race's fastest lap time of 1.49.227 aboard the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin 999.
After his first pit stop on lap 15, other riders in the leading group began to pull into the pits to refuel and change tires which enabled Eric to climb back to the top of the leader board and ride a controlled race at the front, picking through backmarkers spread throughout the length of the track. The excitement was heightened during the second pit stop when both Bostrom and then second-place rider Mat Mladin pulled into the pits, with Bostrom leaving just seconds behind the eventual race winner. Eric had retaken the lead when his race was ended by misfortune.
"It's like a ballet because it was so slippery and the feel of the bike is so light when you're out there so you can't let your concentration drop," explained Bostrom. "On the straightaways I had to stretch my hands because they were going numb from pushing on the bars. You have to stay fresh because you know there's so many laps to go. You don't try to win the race in one lap. Of course I'm disappointed, but I know I've got a great bike and the entire season ahead of me."
"I hate to call it a 'curse,' but we really haven't had the best luck here," said Ducati Corse's Paolo Ciabatti. "A stone, or something, hit the oil cooler and that caused a small hole. The same thing happened back here in January. Maybe it's not the ending we wanted, but we still had great success with the new lap record and pole position."
Team owner Terry Gregoricka was already putting the past behind him and looking forward to the next round. "Sure, I'm disappointed. But the bike ran great and Eric did a fantastic job. He was in front for so many laps and it seemed like we could've given Ducati the win. But as they say, 'that's racing' and if things don't go right this round, you've got the next one to prove yourself, and that's why we can't wait for Fontana."
Round 2 of the AMA series will be held April 2-4 at California Speedway in Fontana.