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THE MUFFIN MAN said:
can't take the gixxer on the track??? have you seen any world superbike racing lately? have you ever heard of the 24 hrs of lemans? the isle of man tt? ama superstock? european superstock? the r1 in race trim has won ALL of these championships in the last 2 years with the exception of WSB, yet still finished 3rd overall in its first year back in the class. ahead of all the competition. we make the mistake of thinking ama superbike is the premier class of road racing in the world, since we live in the states, which it is far from. maybe the 4th or 5th strongest series around the globe. please, an ama superbike title is hardly coveted around the world. yes we would love to see yamaha compete here, since we are here, but ama superbike is hardly the toughest class yamaha races in currently.
i agree with you, man. that being said, America is probably one of the biggest markets, as far as individual countries go, for Yamaha so they have to have some concern in racing in the top-numero-uno-supreme class of Superbike.
 

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new interview with Eric from da soup:


It's been an interesting off-season in 2005, with some ironic twists to the usual stories; not the least of which is Eric Bostrom recently signed with Yamaha US to race the new R1 LE, but won't be racing it in the Superbike class. Fans looking for an epic confrontation between Mladin and Bostrom on 1000cc four-cylinders will simply have to endeavor to stay alive until 2007.
Soup spoke with Eric Bostrom—who will turn 29 later his month—yesterday via cell phone in an interview with many varied subjects.

Q Yamaha, obviously, is sitting out of Superbike in the US next season. You're, if I remember correctly, the second-winningest rider in Superbike for 2005. It's going to be quite a loss to not have you in the premier class. Any comment?

A I think "premier class" is always a push, because is there such a thing in the AMA? Unfortunately, we all know that there needs to be one, and that it should be Superbike. But with the Daytona 200 being a Formula Xtreme race, it's kind of strange. I don't know.

I just really want to see the class structure changed so that there's up-and-coming classes for up-and-coming riders, and then there's a premier class. And I think that would be great for the fans. So yeah, I think it's a little confusing, having me not in the Superbike class. I think that probably there's going to be some fans that are confused, and that's just the way the class is structured. I can't do anything about it. That's the way it is.

I think I have a great opportunity with Yamaha, and we're going to go out there and try to win all the races we can, and have a good time, and then hopefully in the future the rules will change and there will be a premier class, or at least - I don't know, everyone will kind of see one class as the premier class. Things will change a bit.

Q That's kind of the same thing I said on WindTunnel a few weeks ago. Dave Despain asked me what I thought, and I said that a lot of fans seem to be angry at Yamaha over this decision, and I think that's really misguided. They should actually be angry at the AMA for creating this situation. The AMA is supposed to be guiding the sport, and clearly they're not.

A That's a great call. You look at other series that have much less support than the AMA series, and there's a lot more guidance, and the classes are structured properly.

Q Did you know the Yamaha ride did not include Superbike when you said no to Ducati?

A Yeah. I hate to say that I "said no" to Ducati. It's just that our paths diverged. For whatever reason, maybe I just didn't feel that I could—maybe everything didn't suit my style to where I could give them 100%. I was always a little bit up and down, you know, on the bike, and I could never quite understand why one weekend I could be fast and the next weekend I wasn't. That's why I went for the change with Yamaha, and I know that the bike's going to suit more Eric Bostrom, that the bike is going to be great for me, and I'm really looking forward to it.

And yeah, I knew there was no Superbike for '06, but sometimes you've got to kind of take a step back and get a real focus on everything, learn a new team, and then look forward to the opportunities on the horizon.

Q Is the allure of racing the Daytona 200 on that new R6 a big pull for you? Because you came so close to a Daytona 200 win with Ducati in 2004.

A Yeah, yeah. I think that it's a huge race for the manufacturer. I've always kind of not been a great fan of Daytona—obviously I'd love to win the race, but the track is not motorcycle-friendly. I think it was more that I could just kind of go out there and really get comfortable with the team, and have a good time, and then kind of develop with the team. That's been something I'm really looking forward to.

Q When you were with Honda, Kawasaki, and somewhat Ducati, you were clearly viewed as a talent for the future. When you were with Kawasaki you tested World Superbike with them, and you raced as a wild card. When you signed with Ducati and there were hopes that you would leapfrog either to World Superbike or MotoGP. Do you think that now by signing with Yamaha and not racing Superbike you've put an end to the dream of racing internationally? Or how do you look at it?

A That's a good question. I think that ... I would guess that it's a little bit more removed. I think that I'm 28 now—I'm not that old or over the hill by any means, but - yeah, it's - we signed a two to three year deal, and obviously, by the time this contract's over, I'd be into my early thirties, and that would be a really tough time to go over there and start learning tracks in Europe and dive into it. I think it would be really difficult. I'm not—I don't think it would be impossible. We've seen guys go over there at what you would consider a late stage in their career, like Troy Bayliss, for example, and really have a lot of success. So, I don't know. I guess we'll just—it depends on where my heart takes me, but right now this really feels right. It feels like a nice fit.

Q Is it a two-year deal with Yamaha, or three?

A It's two with an option of three, so if we do well, it'll pretty much lock it up for a three-year deal. I'd be happy for that.

Q From a personal perspective, I guess you could look at it a couple of different ways. But it's either really bizarre or kind of par for the course for your brother to replace you on the team that you were just riding for. How do you look at it?
Those Soup heads who are able to play Mp3s on their computers may listen to Eric reminisce about how he and Ben have essentially raced for the same teams all their lives (416k). Click here to give a listen, eh?

A It's so true. We've shared so many sponsors throughout the course of our career. It's pretty funny that you put it that way. I hadn't even thought of it until you mentioned it. But it seems that between Ben and I, there's always a bit of a hand-me-down, or hand-me-across, some sort of ride. It's really been great. I think that people have always been so cool about supporting my brother and I. This opportunity, I know Ben had opportunities to go back and race in Europe, but this was the only thing that was a definitely concrete factory ride, whereas everything else could've been up in the air, and being a good way for him to go. And it's also back to his roots, really. So I'm excited to have him back.

Q Any idea when you'll test the Yamaha for the first time?

A Yeah, we're testing at Cal Speedway on the 22nd and 23rd of November. Kind of a little bit of a warm-up for Daytona.

Q. How is the shoulder? You had surgery on it after the season ended.

A. My shoulder is, you know, 50-60% right now, so I think that we're just going to go out there and shake things down. I think that my health will be better in a couple of weeks, but I'm not looking to the set the world on fire on the first test. I just want to go out there and feel things out.

Q Are you doing rehab on it every few days?

A Every day. It's coming out right. Just leaving that kind of injury takes a lot of time. Soft tissue.

Q You worked with Gary Medley this season and it was rumored Yamaha was trying to hire him as well. Do you know who your crew will be in 2006?

A Jim Roach is going to be my crew chief, which is going to be a learning experience for both of us, because Jim's done a little bit of—he's worked with Pascal as his crew chief in the Canadian Superbike championship, but aside from that, he's pretty green. But I really like the guy. I think he's got a ton to offer. But he's new to it. So actually I'm driving up there right now to go hang out with him so we can get the communication channels open. That's really all I know at the moment. I don't know exactly who will be spinning wrenches, and what's going to work out all the way across the board. But definitely Jim and I are hooked up.

Q You're getting back on an (in-line) four-cylinder. Do you look forward to being infinitely more comfortable on the bike than you've been in a couple of years?

A I think I will be. The four-cylinders seem to like to kind of turn and then drive out of the corner, and the Ducati—the twin—definitely like to be on the throttle at the apex. Which is always strange, because it would take the throttle, but I never felt comfortable with hitting it that hard in the middle of a corner. So I think the four-cylinder, certainly, if you hit it that hard in the middle, you'd go for a big ride. I know I'll be more—I'm sure that it'll be comfortable for me to get on it straight away.

Q Yamaha has a pretty competitive Supermoto program. Have you given that any thought, for an off-season gig?

A Definitely I'm real curious to see what the ESPN channel does with their whole Supermoto series.

It'll be dodgy ground, because if we're running good for the championship, to go race at the X-Games or any of those events is going to be pretty dodgy. You take a lot of risk out there. So we'll just have to see what happens. But hopefully we'll be in a good position for a championship, and we'll have to look pretty hard at whether or not to do those events. But I know the bike has been the bike to beat all year, so there's certainly no doubt about the equipment and the team.
 

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rest:



Q You were teamed with Neil Hodgson for an entire season. You must have one good Neil Hodgson story.

A You know, I've got more than one. But my favorite stories all stem from him being teammates with John Kocinski. There's probably no greater storytelling than the stories around JK. But, since they're not my stories, I can't really embellish upon them. Aside from that, Neil's kind of "what you see is what you get."

Q Didn't Hodgson confess at one time that he didn't know who was riding what class, because he was so confused by the AMA's class structure? That he was actually in racing and he didn't know that Duhamel was racing Formula Xtreme, or something like that?

A That is true. He had no idea. He was flabbergasted when he saw the disarray of bikes and classes. He was shocked. At first, I think he went to Daytona and he was shocked, but Daytona is such a strange place, he didn't really understand. But by the time we got to Barber, he was more confused than he was at Daytona. Just spinning on what was actually going on.
 
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