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Discussion Starter #1
Per Roadracing World Magazine

11/13/2003
Manager Denies That Eric Bostrom Is Considering U.S. Superbike Deal With Ducati

Copyright 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Sources close to the deal say that Eric Bostrom considered riding a Superbike fielded by Ducati Austin in the 2004 AMA Superbike series.

Kawasaki's decision to not run a Superbike in the 2004 AMA series is said to have been a factor in the opening of negotiations involving Bostrom and Ducati. Details of Bostrom's contract with Kawasaki, and whether or not the contract specifically refers to the Superbike class, are unknown.

But Eric Bostrom's manager, Norm Viano, denied the report.

In an e-mail to Roadracing World, Viano said the report was, "Completely untrue. We're happy with Kawasaki and are, in fact, in a two-year deal with them. Not sure where you are getting that info."

Despite the denial, an involved sponsor insists negotiations for the 2004 season took place, and sources at Kawasaki say that the company was quietly looking at possible replacement riders last week.
 

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On amasuperbike.com it says Bostrom and kawasaki have split !!?? ;D
 

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Discussion Starter #3
WOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOO! Finally my prayers have been answered a Bostrom to ride a Ducati again ;D
 

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I have been saying for quite a while now that most of these guys in the AMA are damn lucky that Eric Bostrom was on that outdated Kaw. He always seems to be the hardest working rider on the track. If I remember correctly Nicky Hayden would not have been 2002 AMA Champ if Bostrom didnt have some problems early in the year. It still came down to the wire at VIR anyway.

If Eric goes to Ducati I say we all chip in to buy Mladin plenty of kleenex. I hate to see a grown man cry. ;D

GT
 

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8) On the AMASuperbike website Ducati Corse said they had a big announcement coming soon that would make all Ducati fans in the US very happy !!!! Eboz to ride a full factory 999 ??!!! In the same post John Hopkins name was also mentioned. He deserves a good ride after the year he had on the suzuki. I think he will stay in motogp though.
 
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Awesome potential irony: Ben on an inline four Honda and Eric with a factory-supported Ducati. Despite the AMA's bumbling rules changes, next year might be pretty interesting after all.
 

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The news says that Bostrom and Kawasaki have officially split. He is released from his contract. So the stage is set....
 
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Finally a real chance at seeing a DUC on top the podium at Daytona. They've been close a time or two, but now that the factory is awake things are looking good. I cant wait.
 

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The AMA rider won't be Xaus. He has signed as Hodgson's teammate on the second Ducati MotoGP team.
 

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I'm still hopeing for eric bostrom. I rate him as a more agressive rider than his brother. I think he would be a better choice than xaus because he already knows the tracks over here and dosen't crash as much. I'd love to see eric against mladin on a competive bike.Remember the last superbike race at loudon when they battled all race long with eric winning !!
 

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:D on AMASuperbike.com " all signs point to bostrom and ducati" !! ;D ;D
btw, ducati gets first and second at macau. I LOVE real roadracing 8) 8)
 

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Its official!!! Press release on Ducati.com and AMAsuperbike.com. Bostrom signed a 2 year deal to ride the 999. And he will be on top-of-the-line Michelins.

The release says he will form 'part' of the effort. Will they have a second rider?
 

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;D ;D WOOOHOOO !!!!!! Plus he gets top of the line michelin tires. Two rider team ? Maybe Kurtis or even Hopkins, please,please. Can't wait for march !!!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Here is the full press release!

It's Official. EBoz is a Ducati Rider
Bologna (Italy), Wednesday, 19 November 2003: Eric Bostrom is set to spearhead the Ducati attack on the 2004 AMA Superbike championship in one of the most exciting challenges seen in North America's premier motorcycle racing series for many years.

The 27 year-old from San Francisco, who celebrates his birthday today, could not have wished for better news as it was announced that he will form part of the factory-supported Ducati effort to claim the AMA title for the first time since 1994.

The world-famous racing division from Bologna will be providing the machines and the technical support for the factory-supported team, which will take part in the 18-race 2004 AMA Superbike schedule with the new Ducati 999

"We are extremely satisfied to have reached a two-year agreement with Eric Bostrom to take part in the AMA championship" declared Ducati Corse Superbike Director Paolo Ciabatti. "As well as being an extremely talented rider, Eric will also be an excellent 'ambassador' for Ducati in one of the most important strategic markets for our company".

"Thanks to the collaboration with Terry Gregoricka of Ducati Austin, who will make available the logistics structure, technicians and the experience of his team at their new Road Atlanta premises in a two-year deal, and with the appointment of a Ducati Corse engineer as technical director, we are certain that next year will see us obtain some important results".

Michael Lock, Ducati North America CEO, added: "This is the good news that we have been expecting for some time. Finally Ducati will have the right package of rider, team and machinery to be able to put together a serious challenge for the AMA title. We are sure that Eric's talent and popularity will help Ducati achieve major visibility in the North American market".

Las Vegas resident Bostrom, who has four US National titles to his name, finished seventh overall in the 2003 Chevy Trucks AMA Superbike championship with 350 points, but would surely have finished higher up the table had he not suffered a badly-dislocated right shoulder in a first turn pile-up during the opening lap of the Laguna Seca World Superbike race.

"I'm totally pumped to sign with Ducati. They've shown a huge commitment to step up their American Superbike campaign" declared Eric Bostrom. "Obviously, jumping onto the World Championship machine brings high expectations, but at the moment I just can't wait to get on the bike. Between the 999, myself, and the Michelins, 2004 is going to be an exciting year. A year that will hopefully see a Ducati twin back on top in the U.S. and give the Ducatisti something to cheer about."

"I'd also like to thank all of my fans and sponsors for their support during this time of change in my career. I've received lots of encouraging e-mails from my fans and hope to continue giving everyone something to cheer about as my career continues to progress forward."

"Obviously leaving Kawasaki USA was a tough decision. We really had great successes over the years and I really felt comfortable there, but I believe that joining the Ducati family is a positive step in the right direction for my career".

The Ducati 999, which will be racing for the first time in the AMA championship, will be able to count on the support of French tyre manufacturer Michelin, recreating a successful long-term partnership that has brought the two companies a total of seven world Riders' titles, including the 2003 crown for Neil Hodgson in the Ducati 999's debut season.

"We are delighted to be able to continue our successful collaboration with Ducati, also in the AMA championship" declared Nicolas Goubert, Michelin's Head of Motorcycle Competition. "With its different circuits and conditions, the AMA Superbike championship will offer a major technical challenge for us and we are happy to face up to it with our long-term partner Ducati".

With over three months to go before the start of the 2004 season, Eric will be seen in action on the Ducati 999 for the first time at Daytona tyre testing on 4-6 December, but already expectation is high over the combination of one of the USA's most talented riders and one of the world's most exciting Superbike racing machines.
 

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AMAsuperbike.com is saying there will be only one rider.
:'(

But he will have full Corse support and WSC spec equipment.
;D
 

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AMAsuperbike.com is saying there will be only one rider.
:'(

But he will have full Corse support and WSC spec equipment.
;D
Ducati Austin contacted me about my big move to Austin. They want me to join the team!!! Only catch is I have to shave my chest, wear a skirt and hold an umbrella. Oh well, gotta start somewhere....
BTW- What is the story behind the Austin shop? Why are they the team you always hear about? Are there no others that sponsor riders?
 

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If I remember correctly, they had a privateer Harley team before they saw the opportunity to switch to Ducati after HD pulled out of superbike racing. Ducati racing in the US has always had a history of a 'shop' being the main team, but with factory support (Fast By Ferracci, Vance & Hines, HMC). At some times, there were 2 teams racing Ducatis (FBF/V&H; HMC/Austin). FBF won two AMA Superbike titles ('93 w/ Polen, '94 w/ Corser) on Ducatis. Austin has raced Ducatis for two seasons and apparently planned to continue, so Ducati finally rolled out the full Corse support. Its about time.

Do you have your push-up bra ready, you little brollie-dollie?
 

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:D ;D Even with Eric alone they should still be the best team we have had over here since Ben and Gobert.With full Corse support and equipment it'll be great. I hope he adjusts to the Michelins better than his brother.With wsbk crumbling more every day we should start seeing more wsc spec equipment over here. 8)
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Interview with Paolo Ciabatti. Ducati Corse Team Boss
Q. Why will the Ducati Austin race team be located in Atlanta next year?
A. We like the South in America. I think, presently, the Ducati Austin team had a very small location close to their dealership, which was not practical. And a East Coast location makes many things easier beyond the facility problems they had in Texas. They found a nice facility at Road Atlanta which formerly was a car racing shop.
Atlanta is fine with us. It's easy to fly in and out of to Italy, it's a hub and it will be fine to get parts and things sent to the team. For us, it works a lot better than other places; it could have been Florida or California. California is too expensive and it's nine hours away from us, so it's a bit of a problem. It does not make communication so easy.

Q. If you look at the rules in AMA and know the probable configuration of the Ducati Superbike engine, you have to come away thinking these bikes will put out a lot of power, probably more power than the World Superbike machines Ducati fields.
A. We think the bike is going to be very competitive. We don't know how the Honda Fireblade is going to be. We think they are going to be very fast because they have included in the street bike the features needed to be competitive. Suzuki knows this better than us and this is why they were upset, I heard.
I think we're going to be competitive, for sure. I don't think we're going to be better than the four-cylinder. But we're not going to be worse than the four, for sure.

Q. It's tough to say whether the change to Michelin is an advantage right now. Eric knows Dunlops, they are very well designed for US tracks ...
A. We don't know if it's going to be an advantage. Maybe on some tracks it will be an advantage, and on others it will not. I don't think we will be so good in Daytona, the first time, because Michelin does not have such a recent knowledge about Daytona, but we know that they can get there if they want. And they want, because otherwise they would have stayed out of the States.

Q. Will the team get top-level Michelins? Several small teams here use Michelins, but they're not the same quality as those used in world championship.
A. Yes. They'll be using World Superbike tires as a base and then develop from there. I'm sure they will be developing something special for all of the different surfaces in America.

Q. Obviously all the changes to the rules in World Superbike for this year made it easier for you to direct some of the Corse Superbike budget to America.
A. Yes.

Q. Your thoughts on the current state of World Superbike as a series? It's hard to see that any other factories will race it now with two directives from the MSMA.
A. We're waiting to see how things build with Honda through Team Ten Kate. Even though in a way it's Honda leading the MSMA against the Flamminis. So it is a little hard to believe that they will do much to support World Superbike but who knows? Honestly, I think apart from this Honda that I cannot judge, I think the teams will be the usual Ducati teams, us and maybe Chili, the Steve Martin team, maybe NCR, and Foggy. Chili might be on 999s if he can find some more money, and NCR may field McCoy, I think they are talking to him, which would make it interesting.
But, apart from that, I don't expect to see a factory supported Kawasaki and trying to develop one on your own might be very difficult for a small private team. I don't think there will be any Yamahas; the ones that were testing with us at Valencia from Yamaha France, they were just slightly (faster) than a Superstock bike. And it looks like they have no budget to do the series. And Suzuki, they won't come.

Q. Some people feel that the future of World Superbike is actually quite bright, likening it to the time when NASCAR's Bill France told Detroit to pound sand. In that the series will grow on its own to support smaller privateer teams. There were no true factory teams in World Superbike for the first few years the series existed.
A. Who are these people that feel that way?

Q. People, the press.
A. (Laughs) Honestly, I think that one of the successes from World Superbike was that you had high level participation from all manufacturers with very good riders, which will give you some close competition with some big names. I think the spectators like to go to see not only some nice and close racing but also to see their heroes. We had several last year (2002): Troy Bayliss, Colin Edwards, Nori Haga, Ben Bostrom, Ruben Xaus and Neil Hodgson. And others like Lavilla and Chili.
Now this year, we had Neil, Ruben, Lavilla and, in a way, Laconi.
Next year, we'll have Laconi and Chili, and the others .... Well, James Toseland is a strong rider and he is only 22. But, I don't think he is moving the big crowds, people like the sport and they like the bikes and the close racing, but they also like to see some big names racing. So, maybe someday you have a very balanced championship with private teams running private team bikes with Mr. Nobody riding it, you might have some very close racing. But, I think people will not care. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't think that I am.
 
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