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Pikes Peak: Ducati Austin qualifying report

BOSTROM AND HODGSON ON THE FRONT ROW IN COLORADO Fountain, Colorado (May 21) - Eric Bostrom and Neil Hodgson will start Sunday's AMA Superbike race from the front row after an exciting final qualifying session. Bostrom, last year's race...

BOSTROM AND HODGSON ON THE FRONT ROW IN COLORADO

Fountain, Colorado (May 21) - Eric Bostrom and Neil Hodgson will start Sunday's AMA Superbike race from the front row after an exciting final qualifying session. Bostrom, last year's race winner on a Ducati 999, will start second after his lap of 54.560. Hodgson, at his first time ever at the track, was fourth despite learning a difficult circuit in just two short sessions, both of which were interrupted by red flags. Neil's lap time was 54.894, set in the blistering Colorado sun.

Eric Bostrom continued his annual Pikes Peak mastery in Saturday's qualifying session. "I'm happy with the lap that put us in second place on the day. We're still chasing a few things, but we have the bike a lot easier to ride for 48 laps here," said Bostrom, five-time winner of Pikes Peak AMA Superbike races.

Eric feels the weather will still be the wild card, as the track temperature could be much kinder for the Dunlop tires in Sunday's race. "Tomorrow will really be the indication. The weather might be a lot cooler, so that could change everything. Racing in the heat just makes everything more vague. It's the same for everyone, though. The team has worked hard and we've really made some progress at the last few races. I'm much more happy with the bike this year than I was last year when I won."

Hodgson showed his mettle when he rallied to set a lap worthy of the front row. Neil had never turned a wheel at Pikes Peak before today and was 11th in morning practice, but the former British and World Superbike champion figured out the fast way to get his powerful Ducati 999 around the tricky PPIR speed bowl. "I was well pleased to be on the front row," said the Isle of Man resident. "I was hoping not to be on the third row, to be honest. I'm a couple of days away from really being comfortable here, actually, so I'm happy with how things turned out so far. I've raced for a lot of years, but there's no corner like turn one here at the tracks I've been."

Team engineer Luca Ferraccioli spoke of the team's performance in the 95 degree Colorado weather. "We're very happy with both the riders in qualifying as Eric and Neil are on the front row. Eric is unbelievably fast here but we're also pleased with Neil, too. He had just 45 minutes on the track this morning and that wasn't enough to learn the track his first time here. We were a bit worried about his position but he did a very good job in qualifying. Neil is very professional in his approach to racing."

Tomorrow's 48-lap Superbike race begins at 3:30 PM local time.

Qualifying Results: 1. Mladin (Suzuki) 54.433, 2. BOSTROM (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN) 54.560, 3. Spies (Suzuki) 54.664, 4. HODGSON (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN) 54.894, 5. Yates (Suzuki) 54.960, 6. DuHamel, (Honda) 55.089.

-www.ducatiaustin.com

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Series AMA
Drivers Eric Bostrom , Neil Hodgson