Birmingham, AL, April 24, 2005: Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin's Neil
Hodgson finished an excellent second in Sunday's AMA Superbike race from
Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Alabama. Hodgson rallied from his
fourth place finish on Saturday to fight his way back onto the podium in
Sunday's 28-lap contest. Hodgson's teammate Eric Bostrom also came home in
the top five on his Ducati 999, his best finish of the year.
Hodgson got the holeshot in the race on his Ducati L-twin Superbike
but was passed by the eventual race winner Mat Mladin on the first lap. Neil
rebounded to battle with Aaron Yates for second place but the resident of
the Isle of Man made the slot his for good once Yates stopped for a tire.
"It was a tough race for us. I was quite comfortable to sit behind
(Aaron Yates) and bide my time to make a pass late in the race. I was pretty
shocked when he pulled in. I thought it would be a tough battle to the
flag," said Hodgson.
Neil said he chose a harder Dunlop tire than he had used on Saturday
for the weekend's second Superbike race held in clear conditions.
"Yesterday, I lost some side grip late in the race so I decided to run a
harder tire the others used. At least I would be in the same boat," said
That wise choice, along with some setup changes and some excellent
riding help put Neil and the Ducati 999 back onto the podium. Hodsgon also
finished "on the box" at the Daytona opener as well. Neil has consolidated
his second position in Superbike points after three races.
"Today, the bike was better for Neil than yesterday, so we are happy
with that," said Luca Luca Ferraccioli, Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team
engineer. "We worked on a solution for quicker direction changes and that
seemed to help the lap times at this course and maybe others, too. We also
decided to go with a harder tire for this race and Neil found it to be much
better than yesterday's choice."
Eric Bostrom improved to finish fifth in the 28-lap race, up three
slots from Saturday's result. Suspension changes to both ends of the 999
were good enough to better his feel for the track but not a perfect
solution. "Today we were hoping to accomplish more than we did. We're glad
to get fifth and the points, but we fell short of my goal and I'd sleep
better tonight if we could have done better lap times. But I'm going to put
it behind me because I am ready to go to Fontana and I think we'll do well
The next AMA race is next weekend at California Speedway in Fontana,