Ben Bostrom’s incredible surge (five straight wins, and six this year) came at the perfect time. Apparently unsigned for 2002, Bostrom has the “world at his feet”, and the WSB team managers in his pocket.
Well-mannered and good-looking (with that California style), Bostrom was already a sponsor’s dream (just try to count the number of Alpinestars and Ducati advertisements featuring Ben, particularly in European publications), but he is now certifiably blazing fast (someone e-mail us and tell us the last time a rider won five straight WSB races, will you). Bostrom’s victories at Brands Hatch are simply amazing – you don’t beat Neil Hodgson at Brands, and certainly not two races in a row.
So Bostrom may be the big prize for a factory squad next year, but his choices may nevertheless be limited. His choices may be Ducati, Ducati, and… er, Ducati. Clearly the dominant bike in WSB, the 996 and Ben seem made for each other. He would certainly want to stay on a V-Twin, but the handling characteristics of the Honda and the Aprilia seem significantly different from the Ducati superbike. In other words, it would be a huge risk for Bostrom to change bikes next year – even for a lot more money.