BOSTROM AND HODGSON GETTING UP TO SPEED AT ROAD AMERICA Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (June 3) - Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Eric Bostrom and Neil Hodgson qualified provisionally for the weekend's Superbike races at Road America on Friday....
BOSTROM AND HODGSON GETTING UP TO SPEED AT ROAD AMERICA
Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin (June 3) - Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Eric Bostrom and Neil Hodgson qualified provisionally for the weekend's Superbike races at Road America on Friday. Pikes Peak Superbike race winner Bostrom qualified fifth on his Ducati 999, while Hodgson was eighth at his first time ever on the track.
"Actually, I feel pretty good about things," said Hodgson. "First of all, I'd never been here before. This is going to be the hardest track to learn because it's the longest and it's fast. You need to be inch perfect. If you break five meters late at these speeds ..." said Neil after a best lap time of 2:15.496. "We're about a second off second place, really. I'm really upbeat and looking forward to tomorrow. I think we can chip away at it."
The 2003 World Superbike Champion commented on the 4.0-mile lap, the longest on the AMA tour at well over two minutes. "When you have a problem or two or you make some changes on the bike in practice, it can hurt you. If you spend much time in the pits or going slowly around this place, it's really going to limit the number of laps you can do," Neil said. "That probably affected us a bit today but we will get some more track time in the morning."
Both riders will participate in final qualifying at 11:10 local time.
Bostrom was fifth in qualifying with a time of 2:14.677 after holding third for much of the session. The former Elkhart Lake race winner says the team is working on a solution that will see his times improve in the first part of the lap. "We gained a lot of time from the morning to the afternoon," said Bostrom. "Overall, the tires are working well, the top speeds for the Ducati 999 are cool. I think we have some improving to do in a couple of areas. I'm not totally happy with the bike setup and we need to work on the gearing a little bit. The second split is really good, and the third split is okay. It's the first split that's terrible right now, as far as I am concerned. We're struggling a little bit with the front end being a little unsettled in turn one."
On the heels of his Pikes Peak victory, Bostrom says things continue to improve on his side of the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin squad. "We've been going in the right direction, Since Fontana, things just been improving and we've gone from way off the pace to halfway competitive. We've had some different ideas within the team and we are improving."
The first 16-lap, 100k Superbike race of the weekend will be held tomorrow afternoon at 3 PM local time.
Qualifying times: 1. Mladin (Suzuki) 2:12.554, 2. Yates (Suzuki) 2:14.388, 3. Duhamel (Honda) 2:14.483, 4. Spies (Suzuki) 2:14.542, 5. BOSTROM (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN) 2:14.677, 6. Hayes (Kawasaki) 2:15.002, 7. Zemke (Honda) 2:15.287, 8. HODGSON (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN) 2:15.496