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Dec 20, 2012

Ben Bostrom Says Odds Are Against Him Racing Motorcycles In 2013

Ben Bostrom (23) on the Jordan Suzuki GSX-R1000 during the 2012 season. Photo by Brian J. Nelson, courtesy of AMA Pro Racing
In spite of getting five podium finishes over the past two seasons, Ben Bostrom will not be racing for the Michael Jordan Motorsports team during the 2013 AMA Pro Superbike Championship. And the former AMA Pro Superbike Champion and multi-time World Superbike race winner doesn't give himself favorable odds of racing motorcycles at all in 2013 due to what he feels was late notice by his former employer.

"There were a few doors open, but then they closed," Bostrom told in a telephone interview December 19. "I thought, 'Well, that's OK, because I've still got my Jordan ride.' They [Michael Jordan Motorsports] just called too late. I don't know if they were just not wanting to call. It was unfortunate for myself just because I needed the notice before and I kind of feel like they knew Danny [Eslick] was gonna be their rider, you know. Especially when there's a Suzuki [dealer] conference going on in Vegas and you're not there and everyone else is. Maybe I should have took notice of that.

"I get along with Danny fine. He's an awesome rider, but he's always chasing me around [on the track]. He looked for me in practice. Pete [Mauhar, Michael Jordan Motorsports Team Manager] started going, 'Just lead him around, quit pulling in.' Maybe I should've took notice then. I should've realized [it was] probably because they're prepping their next rider [laughs]. But I think they've been wanting Danny there for the last couple of years anyway. It's a good home for him. I just think the two should gel pretty good."

Bostrom is usually a relatively relaxed individual, but he admits he was angry when he was first informed of his former team's plans.

"I'm not as pissed as I was," said Bostrom. "I'm more calm [now], but I'm still not stoked. I do love motorcycles, but I know there's a lot more things out there. And I've got to say what rider's going to be super enthused to race against Josh Hayes on the Yamaha, anyway? The bike's incredible, and Josh is a great rider. It's an awful combination for the rest of the paddock."

Bostrom then went on to express regret for joining the Michael Jordan Motorsports team at all.

"I'm disappointed in wasting the last two years at Jordan," he said. "Not wasting the first year developing the bike with electronics, [but] the second year having all kinds of different issues and not having a third year to ride the thing. It's a bummer. When you're at my age [38] you don't want to waste good years."

Asked if he was making an effort to find a new ride for 2013, Bostrom said he is and he is targeting Europe.

"I, truthfully, would rather be racing in Europe or not at all," said Bostrom. "There [are] a couple opportunities, whether it's BSB [British Superbike] or World Superbike. It's almost that situation is it worth going? As bad as I want to go ride those tracks and I enjoy the environment and I would be enthused to do it -- which is half of being a rider, you have to be really enthused about your job, I just don't want the situation I more or less was in the last two years, where it just seemed one thing happened after the next. At some point it becomes a bit dangerous. There's other great things in life out there to do."

If he doesn't get another ride Bostrom said he will enjoy spending the extra free time with his wife Nikki and their young daughter Ella, and he also has another job as a professional racer/test rider for Specialized bicycles that he says will help him exercise his competitive nature.

"Right now, I know that racing the bicycle fills that void, and I'm lucky enough to have a great Specialized contract for next year," said Bostrom. "I have that. It's not the end of the world. I think once you're a competitor and racer you're always a competitor or racer. It doesn't matter if it's on two wheels or not. I love everything with two wheels, and the other option is bicycles."

But Bostrom still has hope that a good motorcycle racing opportunity will materialize soon.

"When I found out about the Jordan thing, then I put my name out there," said Bostrom. "A lot of what I got back was, 'Dang, Ben. It's a bit late. We could've used that information about a month ago.' I'm like, 'Well, I didn't have that information a month ago.' So you've got to hope there's still something out there, but if there's not you go with the flow, see what happens, keep enjoying life and don't sweat it.

"I just figure things happen for a reason. I've got my feelers out there for a ride, but if it doesn't happen then maybe it wasn't meant to be."