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Dunlop Tire testing underway at Daytona

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 8, 2003) -- The three-day Dunlop tire test in preparation for the 63rd Daytona 200 By Arai on Saturday, March 6 kicked off Monday at historic Daytona International Speedway. At the center of attention on the first day...

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla., (Dec. 8, 2003) -- The three-day Dunlop tire test in preparation for the 63rd Daytona 200 By Arai on Saturday, March 6 kicked off Monday at historic Daytona International Speedway.

At the center of attention on the first day of Dunlop tire testing was the debut of the new Honda CBR1000RR with rider Ben Bostrom.

After completing Monday's session as the fastest rider with a lap of one minute, 48.9 seconds, Bostrom gave the new ride the thumbs-up.

"I've never smiled so much on a road race bike before," Bostrom said. "I don't want to stop riding the thing. I really love it."

Bostrom's solid start to the three-day Dunlop tire test has raised his confidence level for the March 6 Daytona 200 By Arai motorcycle classic, which will be held for the first time in event history on a Saturday.

"I know this thing has a lot of power and tire wear is going to be an issue," Bostrom said. "The boys are pretty good about setting up the bike. Even if you have to hurt the lap time initially, on the 16th lap, if you can still run a quick lap, that's the way you're going to setup the bike. Honda is good about that kind of thing. I've got a lot of confidence in them. Dunlop has built us some great tires. This is the best tire I've ever had here by far."

In the 2003 Daytona 200 By Arai, Bostrom was part of one of the most memorable finishes in the race's 62-year history. On the last lap, Bostrom and fellow Honda riders Miguel Duhamel and Kurtis Roberts were running nose-to-tail.

Exiting the chicane, Duhamel passed Roberts in NASCAR Turn 3 and beat Bostrom to the start/finish line by .069 seconds.

Bostrom believes the experience of that three-bike last lap finish will help him in future drafting battles as he continues to pursue his first Daytona 200 By Arai victory.

"We're hoping that happens again, but I want to be in first this time," Bostrom said. "I did learn a few things. I'm going to put that in my pocket and take it to the race in March. It's all I can do."

Dunlop tire testing continues on Tuesday and Wednesday. The test session is free and open to the public with access to the Oldfield Grandstand available through the lobby of DAYTONA USA.

Tickets for the Daytona 200 By Arai and the Daytona Supercross By Honda are available online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling (386) 253-7223.

-dis-

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Series AMA
Drivers Kurtis Roberts , Miguel Duhamel , Ben Bostrom