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
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
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.
- 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 (Ducati) 2:14.677
- 6. Hayes (Kawasaki) 2:15.002
- 7. Zemke (Honda) 2:15.287
- 8. Hodgson (Ducati) 2:15.496