Neil Hodgson and Eric Bostrom from the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin team will race at the Pikes Peak International Raceway Circuit in Fountain, Colorado this weekend. Bostrom, the defending race champion, will attempt to put his Ducati 999 in victory circle once again this weekend, something he's done five times before at the small oval with an infield road course located in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains. Hodgson, consistently quick throughout 2005, looks to continue as a major factor in the points this weekend as he will race at a track he's never seen before.
Bostrom grew up dirt tack racing and the primarily left-hand circuit has seen some of his best successes, including last year's dominating victory on the Parts Unlimited Ducati Austin 999. "There's something about this track for me, that's for sure," says Bostrom. "This place really suits my riding style and my results have always pleased me here. That said, we're going to have to do quite a bit of work in the short weekend. This track is all about grip and that's an area we're still battling at the moment. We've been gradually improving over the season and we'll need to once again after a disappointing couple of races at Infineon.
"For Hodgson, he will be charged with racing at a track he's yet to test, something he has avoided so far in his rookie season in the United States. His setup challenge will also be limited by the fact that Pikes Peak is a one race, two-day format with little track time.
"There's really not much to say right now," says the 2003 World Champion Hodgson. "I'm looking forward to getting out there and racing this weekend. I've never been here before, so we'll have to see how things progress. The circuit is very short and the outlay at least looks similar to some of the English tracks I'm used to. But we'll really just have to see what happens."
"We're hoping Eric has a great race like he's had in the past, and Neil learns the track quickly," says team owner Terry Gregoricka. "The ideal scenario for us is that we have two guys fighting for the podium. We know it's going to be a difficult weekend with lots of competition, though, just like any AMA Superbike National.
"While the lap at Pikes Peak is the shortest on the AMA Superbike tour, the race can have a gruelling aspect since the nature of the track is abusive on tires and the altitude tests the engine's cooling ability and power output. Sunday's race will be 48 laps.
THE CIRCUIT: Pikes Peak International Raceway is a 1.315 mile road course located inside an oval. Officially, the track consists of 12 turns and is located one mile above sea level.
AMA SUPERBIKE POINTS: (after 7 of 17 rounds)
1. Mladin (Suzuki) 227, 2. Spies (Suzuki) 211, 3. Yates (Suzuki) 207, 4. NEIL HODGSON (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN 999) 207, 5. ERIC BOSTROM (PARTS UNLIMITED DUCATI AUSTIN 999) 167, 6. Duhamel (Honda) 149, 6. Craggill (Suzuki) 149
Source: Ducati Corse Press