Bostrom To Head Factory Ducati
Supported AMA Superbike Challenge for 2004
Bologna (Italy) Wed. 19 Nov. 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
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
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”.
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.
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
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."
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.
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.
- Kawasaki Releases Eric Bostrom,
Pulls out of AMA Superbike
Kawasaki USA to focus just on Superstock and
Supersport in 2004
Irvine, CA , Nov. 14th: - The Director of professional
racing for Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A., Bruce Stjernstrom today
announced the company's decision not to contest the 2004 AMA Superbike
Series, and instead to concentrate on the Superstock and Supersport
series races. At the same time, he indicated that Kawasaki would release
the company's Superbike racer, Eric Bostrom, to "pursue his personal
is to put our team effort behind the Superstock and Supersport series
at a time when the AMA's Superbike series is being restructured,"
said Stjernstrom. "Eric's contributions to the team and Kawasaki
have been enormous over the past several years, and there's just no
way we could stand in his way once the decision was made to not race
the Superbike series," he continued.
Stjernstrom, team management discussed the company's 2004 plans with
Bostrom and a mutual agreement was reached, which the director of
racing says "is a prime example of the respect that exists between
the two parties. Kawasaki certainly wishes only the best for Eric
in the future," concluded Stjernstrom.
Note: Kawasaki's decission to pull out of AMA Superbike probably
has a lot to do with the late arrival of the new ZX1000R Superbike,
which probably won't arrive in America until the spring of 2004. Too
late in the season to develop it as a competive Superbike against
the current Honda RC51 and Suzuki GSXR1000. For the same reason we
also doubt Yamaha with its all-new R1 will return to AMA Superike
Having their Japanese parent companies spending all their race budget
on MotoGP and not developing the new generation of in-line fours to
compete in World Superbike is having a direct impact on various countries
national superbike programs as well. Hopefully Ducati will still field
a factory rider in AMA Superbike next season to bolster the lone 2
rider teams from Suzuki and Honda.
The Ducati Classic GT features the new DS1000 aircooled engine in a
retro unfaired chassis complete with wire spoke wheels and a twin shock
swingarm, but with modern front forks, brakes and electronics. More
to Preview Dream Machines at Cycle World Shows,
Long Beach - Dec 12-14th and New York - Jan 2-4th
7th - Ducati North America will be bringing to America their
3 new "Dream Machine" Sport Classic prototypes which were
premiered at last month's Tokyo Motorcycle Show. Inspired by the Sportbikes
of the 1970s, Ducati’s Three SportClassic Prototypes are the
Stuff of Enthusiast’s Dreams
The GT 1000 shown
above is a sport bike eminently suitable for everyday use, striking
a perfect balance between the comfort of a two-seater and the performance
of a twin-cylinder Desmo engine. Tradition and stylish elegance are
merged seamlessly in this machine, made even more interesting by high-spec
componentry and the road performance modern Ducati motorcycles.
Two other models
to be displayed include the Paul Smart 1000 inspired by the 750 Imola
on which Paul Smart rode to victory in the historic 200 Miles of Imola
in 1972. The PaulSmart 1000 bike brings the spirit of its predecessor
back to life with levels of performance able that surpass the expectations
of today’s most demanding two-wheel enthusiasts. And
the Sport 1000 is a gutsy “Café Racer”. Ducati
through-and-through, with a coat of bold Ducati yellow paint, the
Sport delivers timeless good looks and excitement that fans and enthusiasts
expect of all Ducati sport bikes.
The USA unveiling
will take place at the Long Beach Convention Center in Southern California
December 11th 2003, and the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New
York City January 2nd 2004. You can see more details and pictures
on all three Ducati Dream Machines HERE.
be watching on Wednesday Nov 19th 10/9 pm on CBS
as Victoria's Secret kicks off the holiday season with their
2003 fashion show with a special performance by Sting.
broadcast was a little disappointing with poor direction, editing,
and cameras that were always out of focus. And far too many
jiggling butts with models on the catwalk who didn't work out,
with the lone exception of hardbody Naomi Campbell. Hopefully
this year will be better.
we'll console ourselves with the new 166 page perfect bound
Victori'as Secret 2004 Christmas Catalog with images like those
for American Honda to be running any advertising on this prime
time evening special. We can't photograph their race bikes even
with fully clothed models.
You Wanted to Know about running
2004 World Superbike and Supers port 2004 Spec Tires
Press Office, November 13, 2003: The following amendments
to the Superbike and Supersport Technical Regulations have been
may be replaced from those fitted to the homologated motorcycle.
The use of tyre warmers is allowed.
At each event, during free practices, qualifying practices,
Superpole, warm up and races, a maximum of 15 rear and 11
front tyres may be used. Front and rear wet tyres will be
included in the total quantity count. A Technical Steward
must mark all of these tyres. During free practices, qualifying
practices, Superpole, warm up and races, no motorcycle may
enter the track without the front and rear tyres being marked.
If the riders are given a red flag during a race (or during
the Superpole for reasons beyond rider's control) the FIM
Technical Director may allow an additional set of tyres
to be used. For each race, one extra set of tyres can be
put on the second motorcycle to have it ready for substitution
on the grid in case of failure of the first motorcycle.
The competitors must use only the tyres distributed during
the event by the Official Supplier.
All tyres to be used must be easily identifiable with a
colour marking or a numerical system to be applied by the
Official Supplier at the time of manufacturing. At the beginning
of the event, the Official Supplier must deliver to the
FIM Technical Director 4 samples of each type of tyre which
will be used at the event. When the Official Supplier delivers
the samples of the tyres to the FIM Technical Director,
he must also give a written explanation of the marking and
the general characteristics of the different types of tyres.
FIM Technical Director may, at his discretion, require the
exchange of one or more competitors' tyres for a tyre sample
under his control. The tyres exchanged remain under his
control and he can exchange them for the ones of another
1) Tyres must
be a fully moulded type carrying all size and sidewall marking
of the tyres for commercial sale to the public. Tyres of V and
Z rating must be used. The depth of the tyre treads must be at
least 2.5 mm over the entire tyre pattern width at a pre-race
control. The tyres must have a positive and negative tread of
96% positive and minimum 4% negative (land and sea ratio). The
maximum distance from the external edge of the tyre to 50% of
the tread elements is 35 mm. One size for the front and two sizes
for the rear are allowed. Each size, front and rear, must be available
with the same tread pattern as the commercial tyres for the road
use. The manufacturers may only submit one front and rear pattern
for approval. The previously approved tyre pattern will remain
valid until one year after the introduction of a new approved
will grant the approval. The manufacturers must submit the tyre
for approval 30 days prior to its first use. Templates proving
the land and sea ratio must be included. The tyres must have a
DOT and/or E mark. The DOT and/or E mark must appear on the tyre
sidewall. Only when a race or practice has been declared "wet",
the use of a special tyre commonly known as a full wet tyre is
allowed. Wet tyres must be a fully moulded tyre, no hand cutting
is allowed on moulded tyres. The use of hand cut tyres is not
allowed. Wet tyres do not need to carry DOT or E marks; however
these tyres must be marked "Not for Highway Use" or
"NHS". At each event, during free practices, qualifying
practices, warm up and the race, a maximum of 11 rear and 9 front
tyres may be used. A Technical Steward must mark all of these
tyres. During free practices, qualifying practices, warm up and
the race, no motorcycle may enter the track without the front
and rear tyres being marked. If the riders are given a red flag
during the race, the FIM Technical Director may allow an additional
set of tyres to be used. For the race, one extra set of tyres
can be put on the second motorcycle to have it ready for substitution
on the grid in case of failure of the first motorcycle.
2) The competitors
must use only the tyres distributed during the event from the
All tyres to be used must be easily identifiable with a colour
marking or a numerical system to be applied by the Official Supplier
at the time of manufacturing. At the beginning of the event, the
Official Supplier must deliver to the FIM Technical Director 4
samples of each type of tyre which will be used at the event.
When the Official Supplier delivers the samples of the tyres to
the FIM Technical Director, he must also give a written explanation
of the marking and the general characteristics of the different
types of tyres. The FIM Technical Director may, at his discretion,
require the exchange of one or more competitors' tyres for a tyre
sample under his control. The tyres exchanged remain under his
control and he can exchange them for the
ones of another competitor.
information on the new 2004 World Superbike and Supersport technical
regulations for bikes and Pirelli Spec Tires go to:
Laconi chased the factory
Ducati 999s all this year, now he's got one of his own.
Tire Tests at Valencia for 2004 Superbike Teams
and Toseland make 999 Debut for Ducati at Valencia
Valencia (Spain) 13 November 2003: The new Ducati
Fila 2004 World Superbike championship pairing of Regis Laconi
and James Toseland made their first appearance for the team this
week as they completed a three-day testing session at the Valencia
circuit in Spain, organised by Pirelli. The Italian manufacturer
will be official one-make tyre supplier for next season’s
World Superbike, World Supersport and European Superstock championships.
The 28 year-old
Frenchman, who finished fourth in this year’s championship,
was quick right from the start of the test on Tuesday and ended
up with a time of 1’35.6 on qualifying tyres, which was
the quickest time recorded in the three days. During his total
of 215 laps, Laconi also did several long-runs, setting a quickest
time of 1’35.9.
the first time I have ridden the 999 after following them around
all year so I’m very happy!” declared Regis. “Ducati
have made the 999 fast, it’s so enjoyable to ride and I’m
already working very well with the team. We have a good feeling
with the bike and we did a lot of work in these days, testing
a lot of tyres and changing the settings. The front tyre is already
OK and good for my style of riding and it’s important to
set a good lap time right at the start”.
James Toseland also got to grips with the championship-winning
Ducati 999 and Pirelli rubber for the first time and the 23 year-old
from Sheffield was pleased with his time of 1’36.4, recorded
during a total of 195 laps.
all new for me and the only thing familiar is the track!”
joked Toseland. “The first three days have been difficult
as I knew they would be, but we’ve just got to get into
the massive learning curve. The chassis and the riding style of
the 999 are very different so we’re working hard on that
as well. It’s all just a confidence-building exercise really.
I’m pleasantly surprised with the way everything went and
we’re not far off the times I set earlier this year. If
we improve like this, I know it’s going to be a good championship”.
continued testing with the Ducati 749R the Italian will race in
the 2004 World Supersport championship, setting a quickest time
of 1’39.3 in his 180 laps.
and Renegade Ducati 1st at MACAU GRAND PRIX
Nov. 17th, Macau, Indonisia: A Ducati 1-2 finish
at the 37th running of the Macau Motorcycle Grand Prix saw British
Superbike star Michael Rutter take his Renegade Ducati 998 to
victory on Saturday, his 2nd successive Macau victory aboard the
Ducati Manchester-backed machine. Ducati-mounted John McGuiness
followed the Macau expert across the line to take 2nd. Rutter
led the 15-lap race from start to finish beating his closest rival,
John McGuinness, riding the Zong Shen Racing-backed Ducati 998,
by a little over 5.5 seconds.
looked back early on and saw McGuinness behind me so I decided
to go for a few quick laps and try to break clear,” said
Rutter after the race. Not
only did he break clear but in doing so he also broke the lap
record by almost a full second. The experienced Ducati star
only eased the pace in the closing stages of the race so as
to ensure his win after he had felt his soft compound rear tyre
was starting to lose traction.
winner of the race in 2001, admitted that he’d tried to
stay with Rutter but said that he could not match his pace and,
conscious of the fact that he lacked practice aboard the new
Ducati, settled for 2nd position, over 6 seconds ahead of the
veteran Macau event rider Brian Morrison aboard his Suzuki.
Supersport rider Stuart Easton might well have taken a podium
finish on the ETI Racing Ducati if not for a mistake at the
Melco Hairpin in the early stages of the race. Running wide,
he lost time when forced to stop to disentangle his Ducati 998
from the trackside barrier. The 20-year-old British rider dropped
from 3rd to 16th but battled back through the field to finish
an impressive 5th place on his first-ever ride aboard the Ducati
entries at the race included Sportrider magazine editor Don
Maeda in 15th on a Honda RC51, and Dave Perez in 17th on a Graves
Motorsports Yamaha R1. The Macau Grand Prix is not part of the
world championship series. Originally conceived in 1954 as an
amateur event for local motoring enthusiasts, the Macau Grand
Prix is today a very prestigious race meeting that attracts
entries from all over the world.
Rider Bike Team Gap: 1 Rutter Ducati Renegade
Racing; 2 McGuiness Ducati Zong Shen Racing 5.512; 3 Morrison
Suzuki SERT 11.396; 4 Barth Suzuki Fylde Superbikes 37.149;
5 Easton Ducati E.T.I. Racing 47.313; 6 Lougher Ducati Zong
Shen Racing 52.269; 7 Britton Suzuki E.T.I. Racing 1:00.596;
8 May Suzuki Team Embry/May 1:03.773; 9 Toye Suzuki Lee's Cycle
Racing 1:05.421 ; 10 Donald Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 1:15.002;
11 Duffus Suzuki Team Pirelli 1:16.163; 12 Anstey Triumph Valmoto
1:16.907; 13 Jennings Suzuki Matlock Motomax 1:18.703 ; 14 Plater
Honda Honda Racing 1:30.851; 15 Maeda Honda Honda Dream Racing
1:57.823 ; 16 Parrett Yamaha Team Promotive 2:01.409; 17 Perez
Yamaha Graves Motorsport 2:02.626 ; 18 Palmer Suzuki Bender
Four Star 2:09.347 ; 19 Praia Honda Mavi Sport 2:13.811; 20
Mascarenhas Honda Moto Marcelino 2:20.615; 21 Chia Yamaha Zong
Shen Racing 1 lap ; 22 Jerzenbeck Suzuki Lucas-Bikersworld 1
lap; 23 Percy Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 1 lap; 24 Mac Yamaha Zong
Shen Racing 1 lap; 25 Fernandes Honda Santomar Racing Team 1
lap; 26 Leong Yamaha Zong Shen Racing 2 laps ; 27 Farguhar Suzuki
McAdoo Racing 3 laps
to Race Ducati Desmosedici for Team D'Antin in 2004 MotoGP
Nov 17th - Having confirmed Neil Hodgson´s place in the
team at the final race of the year in Valencia, Team D’Antin
has now announce that Spanish rider, Ruben Xaus, will also be
joining their MotoGP team for 2004.
winning the 2003 Superbike World Championship and Xaus securing
2nd position in the series as team mates, Team D'Antin, which
will be the only Ducati satellite team in the series, are full
of confidence for the 2004 season. The team will start testing
their Ducati Desmosedici’s on December 10th, 11th and 12th
"I'm excited with the new challenge and would like to personally
thank Luis d´Antin for this opportunity. I'm going to give
it everything, 200% for him and for the team. I'm happy to be
in a Spanish team and to continue racing with Neil. I have a good
relationship with him and off the track we respect each other.
I've been with Ducati for the past 4 years and I'm pleased to
be able to continue. Until now I haven't had the chance to try
the MotoGP bike and I'm really looking forward to it."
"I'm pleased to have Neil and Ruben with us next year. Both
are great characters and the whole team will do their best to
have everything ready for them. Having seen the performance of
other riders that have made the move from Superbike to MotoGP
last year, I truly believe that we can expect great things from
our new team."
to AMA Superbike?
This means Xaus will not be coming to America next year to race
in AMA Superbike for the Ducati Austin team under contract to
Ducati as Ducati SpA had hoped, earlier, to bolster promotion
in their important US market. The next rider in line to ride for
Ducati in Americain 2004 is reigning British Superbike Champion
Shane "Shakey" Burns.
-3 more years at Honda in AMA Superbike
Nov 10th -American Honda's veteran superbike star Yvon DuHamel
has confirmed he has resigned with American Honda's roadracing
team for 3 more years. The former AMA National Champion has always
been the pillar on the team and in most recent years finishing
runner-up in the AMA championship behind teammates Ben Bostrom
and Nicky Hayden.
2004 Aprilia RS1000RF!
Aprilia R Sold Out!
Nov 10th -Did you miss it? Aprilia USA marketing director Robert
Pandya just told us the 2003 production run of the sensational
new 2004 model RS1000R and RF models which were released this
past September are now sold out.
FastDates.com was the first publication in the world to release
a test of the new RS
Mille back in September.
won't be taking delivery of any more of the new '04 models until
the spring of 2004, just about the time all the new Japanese 1000cc
superbikes are expected to make their way to America as well.
If you've been chomping at the bit to get one of the new 2004
superbikes from anyone other than Ducati, you can expect to wait
another 4 months until at least March '04. Still, if you've got
the hots for a new Mille, still might be one left at a local Aprilia
dealer, somewhere. Every new British sportbike magazine, as well
as FastDates.com test rider and World Superbike girl Janelle Pierzina
has raved about how great the new Mille is, and how great a price
value it is compared to its Italian rival.
Tuono Project Bike
Anyone that's ridden an Aprilia Tunono or Tuono R knows what a
blast the big bore naked bike is. Putting a set of motocross handlebars
on the now previous generation Mille turns the big and bulky superbike
into the ultimate boy toy (calendar girls excepted).
But if the
price of a $12,000 - $20,000 Tuono is what is holding you back
from getting one of these great bikes, have no fear. The previous
generation 1999 to 2003 Milles will soon be flooding the market
in the next year at huge discount as the new generation superbikes
become available, and used previous generation Milles will be
avaialble for half the cost of a Tuono. With just about a $1,000
in conversion parts you can turn a Mille into a Tuono.
In fact, that's
what we suggest in the test of the new '04 Mille a few months
back, is to get an old Mille and convert it to a Tuono which is
just what what editor Jim Gianatsis is doing now. We bought an
insurance "totaled" 2001 Mille R for $3,800
The bike was
actually perfect mechinacally, with just minor cosmetic scratches
on the bodywork, decals and gas tank (which could be left as is
or easily repainted), but since a Tuono is nothing more than a
Mille without bodywork we didn;t have to worry.
part of the conversion is getting the Tuono upper tripple clamp
and handlebar mounts for the Ohlins front forks which are available
from Aprilia USA. Other conversion parts like the small headlight
cowling and longer hydralic lines for the taller handlebars were
placed on backorder by Aprilia. And no aftermarket product companies
offered hydraulic lines for the Tuonos.
But just this
week we discovered that Galfer, the brake people, also offered
and could custom make hydraulic lines. We drew them up the schematics
for the longer lines, faxed them over to Dean at Galfer, and by
return overnight UPS we had a full set of race spec clear plastic
sleeved stainless steel braid hydraulic lines for our Tuono project
bike. If you need lines for a Tuono conversion, or for any other
other bike just have your dealer give Galfer
a call at
Look for our
feature article on our Mille to Tuono conversion in the coming
New 2004 FastDates.com Calendars now available!
Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
in the 2004 Garage Girls calendar available right here.
and Desmosedici V race
with F104 Starfighter
Nov 10th - Motociclismo magazine and the Italian Air Force had
organized a runway race between the Ducati Desmosedici –
the Ducati MotoGP racebike which set an all-time speed record
of 332.4 km/h at Mugello – and a Lockheed F104 Starfire
of the 9th Fighter Wing and the Italian airbase of Grazzanise
unfortunate tragedy in Iraq just the day before the scheduled
race, where 12 Italian soldiers and 34 people total were killed
in a terrorist bambing, caused the Italian military to cancel
the publicity stunt out of respect.
For Italy, this was their biggest military death till since World
War II and the entire country was in shock and mourning.
More Calendars HERE
Petronas team make first test with new rider Chris Walker
Thursday 13 November 2003-
Carl Fogarty was provided with immediate proof of the value of new
signing Chris Walker during his Foggy PETRONAS Racing team's two-day
test at Valencia.
Chris was in action on the FP1 for the first time since signing
for FPR and joined team-mate Troy Corser in the first chance to
test the Pirelli tyres that all World Superbike championship teams
will be using for the 2004
season. But the focus of four-times world champion Foggy was firmly
on his new man, who has replaced fellow Brit James Haydon.
"This has been one of the best tests I have been to and the
atmosphere within the team has been really positive. Chris had
a few mechanical problems on the second day but the first day
went very well. He
loved the bike from the word go, especially the way it handled
in the corners. And I was very surprised to see that he was nearly
as fast as Troy at such an early stage. Chris did not really have
much of a chance to test thePirelli tyres, but Troy went very
well on them on the second day.
very impressed with Troy's performance. He did around 16 laps
on the same tyre, with his last lap quicker than the first. I
don't think I ever saw that with our Michelins. We still have
a bit of work to find the perfect tyre for our bike but Troy said
the Pirelli tyres gave good consistent grip throughout. So everything
looks good for exciting racing and close competition in the championship
finished the first day with a best time of 1:38.2, just half a
second down on his team-mate. But, while Troy broke into the 1:36s,
mechanical problems prevented Chris from making progress with
lap times on the
"I spent the first day familiarising with the bike and the
way the team works, but I was unable
to make much progress on the second day because of a few problems
with the bike. But I already know that the
bike does certain things very well. All I can do at this early
stage is use Troy as a benchmark and I was only half
a second behind him on the first day which was very encouraging.
I didn't get much chance to test the new tyres
but there will be time for that."
"I was doing lap times today as good as the ones at our last
test here, with similar engine performance. It is still early
days in our selection but the signs are that the one-tyre rule
is going to work well for the championship."