Kawasaki Back in AMA Superbike with Eric Bostrom
E-Boz and JD Beach pursue new glory with Kawasaki
Get the Flash Player to see this player.One of the bright spots of the 2011 AMA Superbike season is the return of Kawasaki and Eric Bostrom to the premier class. E-Boz, brother of superbiker Ben, exited his racing career after the 2008 season, spending much of his time at the Bostrom family compound in Brazil.
Although not back as an official factory team, Kawasaki is lending support to the Attack Performance squad headed by longtime lead wrench Richard Stamboli. As part of the deal to run E-Boz in the Superbike class, the 34-year-old also will be teaming with youngster JD Beach to win honors in this weekend’s Daytona 200 aboard ZX-6Rs.
Bostrom returned from his self-imposed hiatus midway through the 2010 season, riding a Suzuki GSX-R1000 for the Stanboli-led Attack Performance squad. The privateer Gixxer took a few races to get up to top-level speed, as did Eric. “I was kind of a hazard,” he said about initially returning to racing.
E-Boz had his best qualifying effort in the final race of the 2010 season at Barber Motorsports Park where he gridded up in fifth position. Unfortunately, Bostrom was torpedoed by Jordan Szoke who went into a corner too hot. Szoke’s low-siding bike beveled its footpeg as it skittled Bostrom, and in the ensuing bike tumbling, the footpeg dug into Bostrom’s leg terrifyingly close to his crotch. The gash, which required more than 100 stitches to close, came just 2mm short of severing his femoral artery.
The return to Kawasaki is a bit of a homecoming for Bostrom, as he had his most successful AMA Superbike seasons riding the green machines. He carded runner-up finishes in the 2001 and 2002 seasons while riding the 750cc ZX-7RR.
With the 2010 AMA Superbike season about to begin, Bostrom is optimistic about the capabilities of Kawi’s all-new ZX-10R. In pre-season testing on Florida’s high banks, Bostrom’s Ninja was the second-fastest bike through the speed trap, just 1 mph down on Larry Pegram’s powerful new BMW S1000RR that went 187 mph. Even though the 10R was in a very early stage of development, E-Boz posted the fourth-quickest lap at the famed Florida track. “I’ve never been so excited to return to Daytona,” he told us.
E-Boz added that the new ZX-10R has some of the same characteristics has the old ZX-7R superbike he last rode in 2003.
“The Kawasaki keeps getting better and better the more testing we do,” said Bostrom in a press release. “We’re finding a way to get the most out of the new ZX-10R, and I’m really happy where we ended up. Now, it’s time to put the faceshield down, look for the green light and go for it.”
Although Eric is hoping for a strong season on the Kawi, he predicts the top 3 this season will be 2010 champ Josh Hayes, Tommy Hayden and brother Ben Bostrom.
AMA Pro Road Racing's 2011 season opener will be held at Daytona International Speedway March 10-12.
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