Since we’ve picked Kawasaki’s Doug Chandler to win this years Superbike championship, we took careful note of the fact that his young teammate, Eric Bostrom, soundly beat Chandler at both races at Road Atlanta last weekend.
Over at Honda, seasoned veteran (and, like Chandler, a “thirty-something”) Miguel DuHamel can’t seem to keep pace with his young teammate, Nicky Hayden, on the new Honda RC51 Superbike. Only Suzuki’s Mat Mladin seems to be carrying the banner for the “old guys” of American road racing.
Could it be that three-time AMA Superbike champion Chandler, and most-wins-ever DuHamel, are ready to step down from the top rung of talent in AMA Superbike racing? It’s too early to make a judgment like that, and, frankly, I doubt it.
Chandler (who actually beat Bostrom at Daytona) and DuHamel are still fit enough — and definitely talented enough — to run at the front. Chandler won three races last year, and DuHamel is known for his “win at all costs attitude”.
Sure, both of these guys are getting pretty old (by professional road racers’ standards), but they can still win. Having the young guys up front with them just makes it that much more interesting.
From what I know about DuHamel, he is angry at himself for being beaten by his teammate at each of the first three races.
Chandler, on the other hand, is so easygoing, he will probably focus on getting his own set-up right (ignoring his teammate’s performance) until he starts winning races again.
Bostrom and Hayden better look over their shoulders — their teammates are coming — trust me.