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Jan 23, 2003

Battered, Bruised, Fastest: Kurtis Roberts Leads Laguna Lap Times On Thursday

Copyright 2003, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.

Parts Unlimited PJ1 Erion Honda's Kurtis Roberts set the fastest lap time Thursday during AMA team testing at Laguna Seca Raceway in Monterey, California. Despite riding his RC51 Superbike with a heavily bruised and weakened right thigh, Roberts turned a best time of 1:26.220. Roberts' effort, however, was not good enough to take fastest-lap-of-the-test honors away from Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom.

Bostrom turned a 1:26.215 on his 750cc ZX-7RR on Wednesday to lead all times from the test. As promised by Kawasaki Team Manager Michael Preston Wednesday evening, Bostrom's crew was indeed able to revive his new 770cc engine for more laps on Thursday.

Eric Bostrom's brother Ben, on the other hand, could not solve his problems and was only able to lower his best lap time by one second over the course of the test and is nowhere near his usual form at Laguna Seca.

"I'm having no fun," said American Honda's Ben Bostrom. "I could have easily gone home after the first hour of the first day (of the test). I haven't been able to slide it (RC51) all week. It's been three days of torture."

Ben Bostrom's teammate Miguel Duhamel was fast on both his RC51 Superbike and his Honda Supersport bike, posting the fastest CBR600RR time of the test on Wednesday, a 1:29.342, backed up by his 1:29.451 on Thursday.

The Yamaha YZF-R6 proved to be the fastest Supersport bike around Laguna Seca with the three fastest 600cc times Thursday belonging to R6 riders. Jamie Hacking held onto the top spot with a 1:28.757 Thursday, even faster than his sub-lap-record 1:28.808 on Wednesday.

Hacking's mechanic Jefferson Burks returned to Los Angeles Thursday to be with his pregnant wife, who went into labor.

Damon Buckmaster made significant progress over the three days, lowering his time to 1:28.970 on Thursday, just off the AMA Supersport lap record of 1:28.904 for Laguna Seca.

Yamaha's Aaron Gobert appears to be regaining his past strength and speed, and recorded the third-fastest 600cc lap time Thursday at 1:29.357.

The eldest Gobert brother, Anthony, did not ride his Ducati Austin 998RS Thursday due to illness. According to Gobert's Crew Chief Vic Fasola, "Go-Show" was fighting a stomach illness all week and took a turn for the worse Wednesday evening.

Tommy Hayden returned to Laguna Seca Thursday but did not ride. In fact, Dr. Arthur Ting has instructed Hayden to not do anything more strenuous than walking for at least 10 days. Hayden told Roadracingworld.com's Bob Dragich that the concussion he suffered in his crash on Tuesday left him too dizzy to walk down stairs easily.

The next known AMA team test session is at California Speedway in early February.

Thursday's Fastest Lap Times:
1. Kurtis Roberts, Honda RC51, 1:26.220
2. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7RR, 1:26.488
3. Miguel Duhamel, Honda RC51, 1:26.764
4. Larry Pegram, Ducati 998RS, 1:27.123
5. Ben Bostrom, Honda RC51, 1:27.129
6. Jake Zemke, Honda CBR954RR, 1:27.808
7. Jamie Hacking, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:28.757
8. Damon Buckmaster, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:28.970
9. Aaron Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:29.357
10. Miguel Duhamel, Honda CBR600RR, 1:29.451
11. Jake Zemke, Honda CBR600RR, 1:29.515
12. Jason DiSalvo, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:30.053
13. Alex Gobert, Honda CBR600RR, 1:30.064
14. Tony Meiring, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1:30.681
15. Roger Lee Hayden, Honda CBR600RR, 1:31.780

Overall Fastest Lap Times of the Test:

1. Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki ZX-7RR (750cc), 1:26.215
2. Kurtis Roberts, Honda RC51, 1:26.220
3. Anthony Gobert, Ducati 998RS, 1:26.4713. Miguel Duhamel, Honda RC51, 1:26.764
4. Larry Pegram, Ducati 998RS, 1:27.123
5. Ben Bostrom, Honda RC51, 1:27.129
6. Jake Zemke, Honda CBR954RR, 1:27.808
7. Jamie Hacking, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:28.757
8. Damon Buckmaster, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:28.970
9. Miguel Duhamel, Honda CBR600RR, 1:29.342
10. Aaron Gobert, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:29.357
11. Jake Zemke, Honda CBR600RR, 1:29.455
12. Jason DiSalvo, Yamaha YZF-R6, 1:29.945
13. Alex Gobert, Honda CBR600RR, 1:30.064
14. Tony Meiring, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1:30.681
15. Roger Lee Hayden, Honda CBR600RR, 1:30.770
16. Tommy Hayden, Kawasaki ZX-6RR, 1:30.927

All times provided courtesy of AMA Pro Racing Timing & Scoring.