Kawasaki: Idle Chat with Eric Bostrom
AMA American Superbike
Back to make his mark with the all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R, Cycle World Attack Performance’s Eric Bostrom is ready to face the AMA Pro Road Racing Series once again.
In 2010, his season ended with a bizarre injury to his left leg after what seemed to be a simple crash at Barber Motorsports Park in Birmingham, Ala.
Bostrom, or Eboz, has since made a full recovery and is eager to show off the sophisticated new Kawasaki ZX-10R this week at Daytona International Speedway, along with competing on the ZX-6R in the Daytona 200.
Q: You took off a year from racing in 2009 and came back last year for a few racing with the opportunity with Cycle World. How did it help you to take that year off once you came back?
Eric Bostrom says: It was something that I absolutely needed to do. I came to a point where I was letting myself down on the track. I wasn’t able to access that special place that can transcend a rider to be at their best. I just wasn’t able to get there. By taking the year off, I was able to realize just how much it means to me. I was so happy when I got the opportunity to get back on the bike again. I feel lucky to have that opportunity because a lot of the time people don’t get that second chance to come back once they’ve stepped away for a while. I’m definitely more passionate now that I’m back.
Q: Once you came back, you suffered a pretty serious injury at the final race in Alabama. How hard was it to come back from that?
Eboz: It was a little bit of a reality check for me. This sport takes you to the ultimate high, but it can also bring you back down really quick. That was such a strange injury because it seemed like such a simple crash. I got up like everything was ok, but it wasn’t until I looked down that I saw all the blood. It was a lot more serious than I could have imagined.
I had a really great recovery. The first couple weeks were really hard, but after that it got a lot better. It was not only hard because of the down time, but because we weren’t sure if the skin flap would take. Once everything moved in the right direction, I was ready to get back on track and really wanted to go racing again.
Q: Now you are back on the Kawasaki Ninja. Is it exciting to be back?
Eboz: It has been such a great homecoming. It feels as if I never left. I’m back in the family. I bonded with everyone at Kawasaki during the time I was there and we didn’t really skip a beat.
Q: You now get the privilege of riding the all-new Kawasaki Ninja ZX-10R. What did you think after Day 1 of being on the bike?
Eboz: The first feeling was how modern the bike is. When you experience the game being changed from the first moment you sit on the bike and pull out, that is a significant feeling. The older superbikes were such monsters and so bulky, and initially my first reaction was that it was so easy to handle. It feels like a 600 in so many ways. It has an amazing amount of ride-ability, but still has the legs of a 1000. It’s been so much fun to ride.
Q: Even though you’ve ridden the Daytona 200 before, you now have a different bike and team to work with. How are you feeling about taking on such a special race?
Eboz: It’s a race that I’ve come very close to winning. I’m now eager to get another shot at it on a bike and team that has proven to be capable of winning. I know we have a really fast motorcycle and an amazing team, but the biggest hurdle I can see is that we haven’t had as much time testing the bike.
We’ve put a lot of time developing the ZX-10R so I’ve not had as much time as I would hoped on the ZX-6R. But I know that it’s a great bike and I hope I can live up to the big expectations I put on myself.
Q: Lastly, you are spending the week leading up to the race in Daytona. Is there anything that you have planned that you’re really looking forward to?
Eboz: Oh there are quite a few things that I’m excited about. I already have such a great vibe about this week, starting with my plane trip over. When I booked my flight, I didn’t realize that it went through San Francisco before getting into Orlando. When I got onto my flight in San Francisco, my dad and my step-mom were on the same flight. I knew they were coming, but I had no idea they were coming out as early as I was.
It was definitely a good way to start the week. I also was able to watch the supercross race, which was awesome for Kawasaki. On Tuesday, we went out to the drag strip with Rickey Gadson and got to play around on the ZX-10R’s. I got to learn a thing or two from him. And from there we get to jump on the bikes, which is what I’m most excited about. I get to try and beat a really good group of guys, most importantly my brother (Ben).