After winning three of the last four AMA
Superbike races, the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team will look to
continue their recent streak at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course this weekend.
Eric Bostrom and Neil Hodgson hope to break a trend at Mid-Ohio's Superbike
doubleheader. No Ducati-mounted rider has won at the 2.4-mile
(3.8-kilometer), 15-turn circuit since 1992, but both the factory Ducati 999
riders have proven capable of finishing first, most recently with Bostrom
winning at Laguna Seca.
Eric Bostrom, a former race winner at Mid-Ohio, has been red hot since
Pikes Peak and the Californian has won two of the last four AMA Superbike
races. "Mid-Ohio is always a tough track because a lot of the guys go really
well there," said Bostrom, a 14-time AMA Superbike winner. "Our side of the
team has fought hard and gotten more competitive over the season and it will
be interesting to see how the weekend develops. My confidence is high coming
off the Laguna Seca win and we are certainly ready to race the 999 again."
Neil Hodgson has proven his mettle in 2005, dueling with the veteran
AMA Superbike aces despite competing at the difficult American tracks for
the first time. Coming off a spectacular victory in the wet at Road America,
Neil's Laguna race ended in disappointment after a lap one incident saw his
999 knocked out from under him at the Corkscrew by another rider's mistake.
Neil says he is ready to get back on the track, however. "It was good that
we were able to test at Mid-Ohio earlier this year," said Neil, the 2003
World Superbike champion. "I must say I've never seen another track quite
like it with the concrete patches and high curbs. Any rider racing there for
the first time has to come to terms with that. The actual layout of the
track is interesting. I haven't had the best luck the last few times out and
we're ready to turn that around in these two races."
"We are looking forward to this weekend," said team owner Terry
Gregoricka. "Eric's gotten up to speed and raced really well the past few
events. I know Neil's ready to get racing again after Laguna Seca. He feels
like he had some unfinished business after the way his race was ended early
on the first lap. He wants a good result for himself and the team."
The Circuit: The 15-turn Mid-Ohio circuit is a tight track with some
elevation changes but also has a respectable straight. The 2.4-mile
(3.8-kilometer) track's surface has been quite bumpy in the past, but the
surface was ground down for last year's race. The track also brought in 1000
feet of air-based safety barriers, smoothed two of the gravel traps, and
relocated two walls for this year's event. Last weekend, Ducati was the
featured marque at the AMA Vintage Motorcycle Days held here.
AMA Superbike Points Standings (After 11 of 17 races);
- 1. Mat Mladin, Suzuki - 358
- 2. Ben Spies, Suzuki - 327
- 3. Aaron Yates, Suzuki - 294
- 4. Eric Bostrom, Ducati - 268
- 5. Neil Hodgson, Ducati - 249
- 6. Miguel Duhamel, Honda - 229