Dec 10, 2001
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Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>The annual Dunlop tire tests at Daytona International Speedway started today and are scheduled to continue through Wednesday, December 12. In attendance are American Honda's Nicky Hayden and Miguel Duhamel; Erion Honda's Kurtis Roberts, Mike Hale and Roger Lee Hayden; Bruce Transportation Group's Jake Zemke and Alex Gobert; Yamaha's Anthony Gobert, Damon Buckmaster and Aaron Gobert; Kawasaki's Eric Bostrom and Tommy Hayden; Yoshimura Suzuki's Mat Mladin, Aaron Yates and Jamie Hacking; Tilley Harley-Davidson/Buell's Tripp Nobles and Dave Estok; KWS Motorsports Shawn Higbee; and Pascal Picotte and the HMC Ducati team.<BR><BR>Picotte is all smiles at the track because he has two, 2002-spec, Testastretta-engined Ducati 998s at his disposal in addition to two, ex-Andy Meklau 2001 bikes. <BR><BR>After the track dried from an overnight rain shower, Eric Bostrom was the first to get on the track at 11:42 a.m. Eastern Time. Bostrom rode his Superbike while the majority of the riders started on the 600cc machines. According to Kawasaki Team Manager Mike Preston, it hasn't been decided if Bostrom will race a 600 at Daytona, so the defending AMA 600cc Supersport Champion will most likely not ride a 600cc machine during the test this week.<BR><BR>Just as things were getting into gear and teams were starting to break out new parts to test, like a new four-into-two-into-one-into-two exhaust for Mladin's Superbike, rain returned to the track at 12:55 p.m., putting a halt to activities.<BR><BR>In the short amount of track time, Mladin posted the fastest Superbike time at 1:55.359 and Anthony Gobert had the fastest 600cc lap at 1:58.046. Teams are using the AMA's electronic transponder scoring system for the first time at the Daytona tire tests.<BR><BR>