Bostrom on Provisional Pole in Sonoma

Henny Ray Abrams | May 14, 2010

SONOMA, CA, MAY 14: Pat Clark Motorsports’ Ben Bostrom rode a scorching final lap to steal the provisional pole position for the weekend Superbike doubleheader in the West Coast Moto Jam at Infineon Raceway.Bostrom was sitting second behind Team Graves Yamaha’s Josh Hayes when the checkered flag fell. But the former Northern Californian was still on the gas and riding faster than he had all day. The time that flashed up when he crossed the line  was a 1:36.109, a lap that was best in session by .075 of a a second.The time was also faster than the 1:36.231 that put Mat Mladin on the pole last year, but off the 1:34.731 record set by Ben Spies in 2008. That time was done on a more highly developed machine with a qualifying tire fitted.”It wasn’t a special lap, it was just special enough and that’s all it takes,” Bostrom said, crediting the team coming together and the bike. “The R1s quite strong here.” As for the track itself, which he grew up near, he said, “I love this space. It’s a full motocross track. It’s a little different than any place we go to.”Hayes finished the session second, continuing to excel on the 2.52-mile track where he earned his first Superbike win, and put an end to Suzuki’s nearly three-year winning streak, last year.Making his debut on the Monster M4 Suzuki team, Jake Holden had a mixed bag session. Riding for the first time in place of the injured John Hopkins, he qualified an impressive third fastest, despite spending considerable time in the pits making adjustments to the unfamiliar machine. But on his final lap he did considerable damage to the Suzuki when he crashed in the Carousel, the bike cartwheeling over the trackside barrier.Rockstar Makita Suzuki’s Tommy Hayden was a tenth behind Holden in fourth, and at the end of the provisional front row. His teammate Blake Young recovered from a nasty morning session highside to qualify fifth. Young crashed exiting turn two, landing on his head and back and tearing up both sides of his Suzuki GSX-R1000. He qualified on his back-up bike.Foremost Insurance Pegram Racing’s Larry Pegram was just behind Young and just in front of National Guard Suzuki’s Jake Zemke. Then came a gap of .8 of a second to Brett McCormick, the Canadian riding the Jordan Suzuki in place of the injured Aaron Yates.Monster M4 Suzuki’s Chris Ulrich was ninth and Geoff May 10th in his debut on the Buell.Kurtis Roberts, who was returning to racing after nearly two years, never got out of the garage. The team had electrical problems that kept him off the track for both the morning practice and afternoon qualifying sessions.


1. Ben Bostrom (Yamaha) 1:36.109

2. Josh Hayes (Yamaha) 1:36.184

3. Jake Holden (Suzuki) 1:36.646

4. Tommy Hayden (Suzuki) 1:36.745

5. Blake Young (Suzuki) 1:36.851

6. Larry Pegram (Ducati) 1:36.941

7. Jake Zemke (Suzuki) 1:36.984

8. Brett McCormick (Suzuki) 1:37.715

9. Chris Ulrich (Suzuki) 1:38.444

10. Geoff May (Buell) 1:38.534

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.