– Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Motorcycle News, Editorials, Product Reviews and Bike Reviews

Will Hodgson Tell Us How Quick the AMA Riders Are?

It isn’t often that a rider who dominated the World Superbike championship just two years ago moves to a regional series like the AMA Superbike series. This is exactly what former World Superbike champion Neil Hodgson is doing for 2005. Hodgson will race a factory Ducati in the AMA Superbike series alongside teammate Eric Bostrom.

Not surprisingly, the AMA riders think they are world class, and many former AMA riders have found success at the WSB level in the past. Nevertheless, despite having to learn new tracks and adjust to new tires, Hodgson should show us just how competitive the top AMA riders would be at the World championship level.

Hodgson should adapt quickly to his Ducati V-twin superbike — similar to the bike he won his WSB championship on in 2003. If he rides anything like he did in 2003, the AMA riders will have their hands full.

The one question mark is whether the V-twin will be competitive with the 1000cc four-cylinder machines used by Ducati’s competitors. Eric Bostrom, despite being one of the most talented riders in the U.S., struggled to keep pace with the fours at most AMA tracks in 2004. Switching from Michelin to Dunlops in 2005 doesn’t help. The Ducati duo will basically be starting from scratch when it comes to setting up their bikes at the AMA tracks. It is a big challenge, but Ducati is expected to put the full weight of the factory behind this effort to win the American championship, and the two riders at their disposal certainly do not lack the talent necessary to get the job done.

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