Eric Bostrom and Tommy Hayden officially Green

story by Brent Avis, Created Oct. 30, 2001
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(Oct. 29, 2001) IRVINE, Calif. - Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A. welcomes back reigning AMA 600 SuperSport Champion Eric Bostrom, who will again contest the AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Series for Kawasaki Road Racing. Bostrom will be teamed with Tommy Hayden, an up-and-coming rider and a force to be reckoned with on the racetrack. Bostrom will not compete in the 600 class this year. Instead, he will focus on Superbike only, and will also campaign select World Superbike events. Hayden, meanwhile, will concentrate on the 600 class with the goal of defending Kawasaki's 600 SuperSport title. Negotiations continue for a potential third team rider who would also campaign 600 SuperSport.

En route to winning this year's 600 SuperSport title aboard his NINJA® ZX-6R motorcycle, Bostrom - who turns 25 on November 19th and resides in Las Vegas, Nev. -- took first-place finishes in the 600 class at Road Atlanta, Pikes Peak and the prestigious Laguna Seca event...

He also captured Superbike wins aboard his NINJA ZX-7R at Laguna Seca and Loudon, finishing a close second in the competitive AMA Superbike series.

Looking ahead to the 2002 season, Bostrom is pleased to be focusing all of his energy on Kawasaki's Superbike effort. "I'm thrilled to be back with Kawasaki," explained Bostrom. "This is definitely a new opportunity since I'm leaving the 600 behind. It's good to be focusing our efforts directly on Superbike, because we'll be able to get a lot more done as far as testing goes."

Team Manager Mike Preston is just as enthusiastic as Bostrom is concerning their continuing relationship. "I'm really excited to have the opportunity to work with Eric again," he said. "Of course we're thrilled that he won the 600 SuperSport Championship, especially because that was one of the goals that Eric and I had set for the 2001 season. For 2002, we're going to focus on Superbike, and I believe that Eric has the talent, the tenacity and the mental strength to win that championship."

Preston also expresses confidence in his newest team member's abilities. "Tommy Hayden is a rider that Kawasaki was interested in when we first brought the team in house," says Preston. "He's had a few years of experience now, and he seems like he will fit in to our program very well. By putting him on a championship-winning team, on a championship-winning bike, we believe he has championship-winning potential."

Hayden brings to Kawasaki a career replete with professional dirt-track and road racing experience. He comes from a racing family and his two brothers also have factory sponsorships. Furthermore, he is no stranger to Kawasaki. In 1997 and 1998, Hayden was a member of Team Muzzy Kawasaki, where he raced both Superbike and 600 SuperSport. In 1997, during his Kawasaki tenure, Hayden was named Rookie of the Year, thanks to his numerous top-10 finishes.

While on hiatus from Kawasaki, the talented, 23-year-old Kentucky native continued to hone his racing skills, and has finished impressively in the points standings in both Superbike and 600 SuperSport. In 2001, he finished fourth overall in the 600 class. Preston and Hayden both believe that he can bring Kawasaki another 600 SuperSport title.

Says Hayden, "I am really excited to be back riding for Kawasaki. I am definitely looking forward to riding the 600 this year. Eric will be a real good teammate, and he pretty much proved the bike's capabilities by winning races and the championship. Hopefully I can get in there and pick up where he left off. I'm looking forward to working with the entire Kawasaki Road Racing team and I'm excited to get on the NINJA ZX-6R and do a few laps."

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