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Ben Bostrom topped the time charts after two days of World Superbike team testing at Valencia, February 18-19. Riding his works Ducati 996R on Dunlop tires, Bostrom turned a fastest lap at 1:36.438. Second-fastest was Aprilia’s Troy Corser at 1:36.449, followed by Honda’s Tadayuki Okada at 1:36.478, Ducati’s Troy Bayliss at 1:36.657, Aprilia’s Antonio Antonello at 1:36.828, Honda’s Colin Edwards at1:36.859, Ducati’s Neil Hodgson at 1:37.471, Kawasaki’s Carlos Lavilla at 1:37.634, Ducati’s Ruben Xaus at 1:37.677 and Suzuki’s Pierfrancesco Chili at 1:37.770.
What’s it really like in the World Superbike arena? We asked Bostrom:
“F–k, it’s tough, man. The rider has to get on the bike, bust his balls, and go ‘F–k, I still got three seconds to go?’ You know? Where am I gonna find that? You dig a little deeper, you almost crash maybe, 10, 15 times in that practice session, you come back, they read the data, they change the bike for a little better, rider goes back out, you don’t think you can go any faster, you still have another second-and-a-half to go, and you find it.”
On showing up in World Superbike after life in AMA Superbike:
“You think you’re fast but then you gotta step up. And when you think you can’t find that extra second, you find it. I don’t know where you find it. You’re scared. And you take a huge chance of crashing every time.”
On pushing the personal envelope:
“The thing is, once you ride over your limit, you established a new limit. Know what I mean? And if you want to win, you ride over your limit again. You hope you don’t crash. And you establish another limit. That’s just the way it works.”