VIR: Ducati Austin race one, two report

BOSTROM AND HODGSON LOOK FOR A BETTER TOMORROW IN VIRGINIA Alton, Virginia (August 27) -The Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin squad were less than satisfied with the Saturday Superbike race held at Virginia International Raceway. Eric Bostrom...


Alton, Virginia (August 27) -The Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin squad were less than satisfied with the Saturday Superbike race held at Virginia International Raceway. Eric Bostrom was sixth on his Ducati 999 Superbike and Neil Hodgson crashed out of the event that was marred by two red flags.

Eric Bostrom has been hot of late, winning three Superbike races this year for Ducati. The Californian was disappointed not to run up front in Saturday's 28-lap race, but Eric still earned a respectable finish and remains third in Superbike points. "In testing, we were good here right off the truck. So far, we've been way off even with the same setup we used then. We're working through a few things tonight and hope to get it better in the warm-up tomorrow morning. The crew is working really hard and hopefully we will make some progress."

Eric ran as high as second after one of the restarts but wasn't able to translate his good start into another podium finish. He did, however, use the red flags to try some different settings. "For me, the restarts helped because we were able to make some adjustments and get some more feel out of the front," said Bostrom.

Neil Hodgson ran inside the top five until the first red flag, but he crashed on the first lap after the restart. "I lost the front in the last corner coming onto the front straight," said Hodgson. "I was fast there all weekend and hadn't had any slides or anything like that. The crash was a shock. I just tipped it in and, all the sudden, I was on my shoulder." Hodgson was sore after the fall, but said it would not hinder his progress on Sunday.

"As a team, we were disappointed about the results today," said team manager Tom Bodenbach. "The fall was a surprise for Neil and Eric just didn't have the feel and couldn't ride the way he wanted to race. We're going to try some new things for tomorrow and look for a stronger result in the second race."

Sunday's race is another 28-lap event.


Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin riders Neil Hodgson and Eric Bostrom fought through a difficult weekend at Virginia International Raceway, finishing fifth and seventh in Sunday's 28-lap Superbike race. Both riders managed the hot and humid conditions and the twisty track to earn points in the championship, but the ultra-competitive factory Ducati 999 Superbike pilots were left wanting more.

Hodgson, winner at Road America this year, was able to find some speed in the morning warm-up, placing third quickest in that session. Neil earned a solid finish in the race but was unable to fight for the podium on Sunday. "For the most part, I ran my own lonely race, not feeling any pressure (from other riders) and not needing to keep an eye on my pit board," said Neil after the race. "Really and truly, I don't know why we had such a rough go of it this weekend. It was the middle section of the track that gave us a tough time. The first part and the last parts were fine. It was a tough day at the office."

Eric Bostrom didn't find the improvements he needed on Sunday morning, either, although his result meant the Californian and winner of three races in 2005 is still third in AMA Superbike points with just two races left. "There's really not much to comment on. I feel like I rode even better than yesterday but it didn't matter much. We were really struggling for feel and didn't have some grip in spots. I followed around another rider for a while, and in some of the turns, we were pretty fast compared to the competition. In some others, we lost a lot of ground. After winning and doing well lately, we expected to be quick this weekend and anything less was disappointing. Fortunately, we have three days to think about it and we'll move on to the next one and do better."

"We definitely were aiming higher with our results this weekend," said team manager Tom Bodenbach. "The team tried hard and we improved our lap times, but it wasn't enough and we never fully caught up. We're a competitive team and we're glad the next race is so soon. We are looking forward to it."

The Road Atlanta doubleheader weekend is September 2-4.

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Series AMA
Drivers Eric Bostrom , Neil Hodgson