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Hodgson and Bostrom Test The Limits at Daytona - March 9th 2006


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    Parts Unlimited Ducati's Ben Bostrom and Neil Hodgson kicked off the 2006 AMA season today with two practice sessions at the famed Daytona International Speedway on their Ducati 999 Superbikes. Hodgson set his personal best time on the day of 1:38.834 during the morning practice, good for the second quickest overall time in that session. Ben Bostrom's best on the day was 1:39.728 in the morning, around one tenth quicker than he did in the afternoon session.

    Hodgson was quick early at Daytona, but was caught out by the shortened practice session in the afternoon. "This morning was really good," said Hodgson. "In the afternoon, we were trying some new things and had a had a little problem with the bike that cost us some time. Our best lap time wasn't as impressive in the afternoon as we lost some track time due to a few factors. It's not that big a deal, though. I know where I'm going around here now and I think I could lap this place with my eyes closed. We've made progress."

    Bostrom declared himself content with his day's effort. Daytona is his first ever race on the 999, although Bostrom rode the previous generation Ducati Superbike earlier in his career. "I'm happy with today. I got a little bit of a slow start but the bike settings are like they were before at the test," he said. "It was the first day racing of the year, a day to get your head back into it before qualifying tomorrow. We were getting some laps in today. I really don't want to change anything right now with the 999 because the Ducati works best in a small setup window with just minor changes. Today I learned something about braking on the Ducati that's pretty cool and I think it will help. I have a great team behind me and I can't believe how good the situation is for me here."

    The Parts Unlimited Ducati Team will qualify for Saturday's race on Thursday afternoon.

    Best practice times:

  1. 1. Ben Spies, Suzuki - 1:38.129
  2. 2. Mat Mladin, Suzuki - 1:38.308
  3. 3. Neil Hodgson, Ducati - 1:38.834
  4. 4. Jake Zemke, Honda - 1:38.972
  5. 5. Roger Hayden, Kawasaki - 1:39.097
  6. 6. Miguel Duhamel, Honda - 1:39.153
  7. 7. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki - 1:39.369
  8. 8. Ben Bostrom, Ducati - 1:39.728