Eric Bostrom finished eighth in his AMA Pro American SuperBike debut for Team Cycle World Attack Performance Yoshimura Suzuki on Saturday at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. This was Bostrom’s first national-level race in more than a year.
“I definitely had a few nervous butterflies,” he admitted. “But once the green flag dropped, it was as though the whole world came into focus. I felt like I was at home and all those butterflies disappeared.”
Overnight suspension fine-tuning helped Bostrom post the ninth-quickest qualifying time with a personal best lap of 1:26.873. Eventual race-winner, Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes, led the 16-rider field with a 1:25.618.
“We need a second,” said crew chief Richard Stanboli toward the end of qualifying. “Then, we’ll be right in the hunt. Otherwise, we’ll be racing by ourselves in the middle of the pack.”
In fact, that’s pretty much what happened. Bostrom completed the first lap in ninth place, a position he held until the final moments of the race, when he reeled in M4 Monster Energy Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich. Ulrich had chosen a soft-compound rear tire; Bostrom was on a more commonly favored medium Dunlop.
“The platform is pretty rigid, which makes the bike very accurate and precise,” said Bostrom. “But now that we’re trying to squeeze a bit more speed out of it, the window is getting smaller. Thing is, it still has great grip and it’s still very accurate; we’re not losing any of those things. I’m still trying to catch up with the motorcycle.”
Stanboli planned to make several more small changes, including another fork tweak, for Sunday’s race.
“Tomorrow, I’m going to have to take a few more chances with the front tire to go faster,” said Bostrom.
“I’m okay with that,” replied Stanboli.