Who’s Number ‘1’?

Henny Ray Abrams | February 9, 2009

BROOKLYN, NY, FEB. 9: Who’s number ‘1’ in Daytona Sportbike? For three races, at least, there will be two number ‘1’s.’ Erion Honda’s Formula Xtreme champion Jake Zemke, top photo, earned the right to wear the red number ‘1’ plate all season and Supersport Champion Ben Bostrom gets the blue number ‘1’ for at least three races. “We’re guaranteed to do MotoGP at Laguna, Miller World Superbike, and Daytona and I keep badgering Keith (McCarty, Yamaha race boss),” Bostrom said. “I want to ride the thing all year. It’s easy to jump on and go fast.” Racing both American Superbike and Daytona SportBike means being in the saddle all weekend. The hyper-fit Bostrom jumped back and forth between the Yamaha YZF-R1 and R6 during the two-day Fontana test, the final time with less than a minute’s rest. “It’s not hard,” he began, “but if you have one hour to sit, you have plenty of time to think about, oh yeah, different shift points and just go out. “And even if you start the 600, you could just start with everybody else. You just go cruise around, and then once you get familiar with the bike a little bit, because they are different – I’m getting them pretty close, which is actually pretty cool. I’ve never had two bikes so similar – by five laps into it you’re pretty ready. And you just kind of, you play with them, then you, the last lap, you say, it’s time for me to lead. And I think that’s what I’m so excited about.” The number-one plate in American Superbike would have gone to Ben Spies, the three-time champion who moved on to World Superbike.

Henny Ray Abrams | Contributing Editor

Abrams is the longest-serving contributor at Cycle News. Over the course of his 35-some years of writing and shooting photos, he’s covered events from MotoGP to the Motocross World Championship - and everything in between.