Kyalami Race Two: Bostrom!

Glenn le santo
by Glenn le santo
World Superbike Race Two, Kyalami, South Africa
April 1 2001
By Glenn LeSanto

American Whitewash in Kyalami

Ben Bostrom made up for his frustration in Race One by taking the holeshotin the second race here in Kyalami. The Ducati L&M rider then led fornearly all the race, Colin Edwards got his Castrol Honda ahead for a shortwhile but machine failure robbed him of a possible double victory onlymoments after taking the lead. Bostrom took full advantage of Edwards'misfortune to record his first Superbike win of the season, the secondin his Superbike career. He celebrated by crossing the line pulling analmost vertical wheelie! With Edwards having taken the first victory,Bostrom's win made it two for the USA at Kyalami.

Troy Bayliss had followed Bostrom into the first corner, only to be takenmomentarily by Troy Corser. Edwards was next to squeeze past Bayliss,and then the Texan put it up the inside of Corser, but the Australianbanged the door shut on the reigning world champion. Edwards was havingnone of it, and made his pass stick on the very next turn. The Texanthen set about catching Ben Bostrom, who made it hard work for Edwardsand the two fixed bayonets for a cliff hanging mid-race battle. Butjust as Edwards finally managed to get by the hard riding Bostrom itall went wrong for the Texan who suddenly slowed, allowing Bostrom tomove right back in front again. Whatever had gone wrong with Edwards'Honda was terminal and he coasted slowly back to the pits. The pit lanegarage door came down as soon as the Texan was in, no doubt he won't be ahappy rider tonight. I can only speculate about the outcome had Edwardskept going. He certainly looked like he could have won but Bostrom waslooking really aggressive and there would have been a hell of a fightover the race win.

Although now out on his own in front, Ben Bostrom continued to provideplenty of entertainment for the crowd as he slid his Ducati aroundthe hot Kyalami track. After the race he said that his bike was setup to slide; "I don't know if that's good or bad, but it worked and itmotivates me, it's kinda like being back on the dirt tracks." Bostromstarted professional racing on America's dirt tracks and was rookie ofthe year in the 1993 Grand National Series in the 750cc category.

Bayliss hung onto his second spot for the rest of the race. He put in acharge in an attempt to catch the fellow Ducati rider but the Americanwas by now over two seconds ahead and wasn't going to give in easily. TroyCorser, who had lost contact with Bayliss now had a lonely race, finishingthird on his Axo Aprilia. British rider Neil Hodgson made it four twinsin the top four, bringing his GSE Ducati home for a well deserved fourthplace after his mechanical problems in the first race.

There might well have been a four cylinder bike in the running had itnot been for Akira Yanagawa's get-off on lap two. The Kawasaki rider ranwide onto the gravel and looked like he was going to keep it upright. Butwith the tyre wall rapidly approaching the likeable Japanese racer wasforced to try and turn and was flipped over the bars. He remounted butretired at the end of the lap. His fellow Japanese rival, Tady Okadalooked likely to catch the leading trio, he was lying fourth and lappingquicker than any other rider when he again pulled into the pits to recordhis fourth DNF in four starts. The Castrol Honda rider must be startingto wonder what he has to do to finish a race in the WSB series!

Edwards had predicted two wins for America before the race but what hemeant was two wins for himself. Ben Bostrom and the gremlins at Honda haddifferent ideas and Bostrom leaves Kyalami with a grin on his face. LikeEdwards Bostrom also loves South Africa and he's staying on for a weeklong vacation. He'll be back for Australia on April 22 to battle it outagain with his countryman Edwards. The two Troys, Corser and Baylisswill be riding as hard as ever and must enjoy a certain amount of hometrack advantage there.

Result1 Ben Bostrom Ducati2 Troy Bayliss Ducati3 Troy Corser Aprilia4 Neil Hodgson Ducati5 Ruben Xaus Ducati6 Regis Laconi Aprilia7 Gregorio Lavilla Kawasaki8 Pierfrancesco Chili Suzuki9 Robert Ulm Ducati10 Stephane Chambon SuzukiPoints after two of 13 rounds:1. Corser 822. Bayliss 803. Bostrom 544. Edwards 485. Lavilla 456. Chili 367. Laconi 318. Yanagawa 299. Xaus 2610. (Tie) Hodgson and Chambon 2412. (Tie) Bussei and Parkes 1214. Ulm 1115. (Tie) Toseland and Borciani 9
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