Catching Up With Eric Bostrom
Eric Bostrom will end a year and a half hiatus from motorcycle racing when he throws his leg over a Clark Motorsports Yamaha R1 at Miller Motorsports Park, May 22-23, the Californian set to take part in a WERA 6-Hour Endurance race with his brother Ben and teammate Chris Clark as a tune-up for his return to AMA racing at Laguna Seca in July.
At that point, we’ll see just how much living in Rio de Janeiro, surfing and attempting to run a business in a foreign land translates to road racing. We may find out that actually riding a motorcycle isn’t that necessary.”I’ve ridden a little bit here and there, but not on the asphalt – only on the dirt,” Bostrom said today with a chuckle from Rio. “The surfing probably doesn’t help much, but spending too much time on the computer and daydreaming about doing funner things… that will probably help. And I’ve done a whole lot of that. I think that will make me find the speed pretty quick because I’m going to be doing something that I enjoy doing.”I can’t tell you how pumped I am to get home. I’ve been here for too long.”While the WERA event at Miller will get Bostrom’s feet wet again, the true test comes in July when he takes to the track with the other AMA regulars in the American Superbike race that will run in conjunction with the Red Bull U.S. Grand Prix at Laguna Seca. There he will be aboard an Attack Racing Suzuki GSX-R1000 in a project put together by Cycle World Magazine.”I don’t think I ever expected myself to fill-in for a ride, but it sounds so exciting and I’m kind of over the moon about the whole thing,” Bostrom said. “It’s strange, but I guess I’ve been missing it more than I thought – and that’s what it all comes down to. You don’t really realize it until you don’t have it.”Race fans at Infineon Raceway this weekend will get the chance to reacquaint themselves with the younger of the two racing Bostom brothers as Eric will fly from Rio to San Francisco on Friday for a Saturday press conference. Then he’ll be at the racetrack on Saturday and Sunday.”I’ve got a press conference on Saturday night, things at the track on Saturday and Sunday and I’ll be there cheering on the Clark Motorsports boys.”Things will get more serious come Laguna and Eric knows that.”I think just finding the speed will be the hardest part,” Bostrom said of his return. “You’re coming in mid-season and everyone is dialed in and has everything figured out. And they’re used to being really completive and racing. For me, the toughest part is going to be that mental game of riding really close and racing… competing will be the toughest part. That will be the toughest part as long as I can find the speed, but I feel like I will find the speed. It will just be really being competitive when the green flag drops.”It will also mark the first time in Bostrom’s career that he’s ridden a Suzuki.”Hopefully, the bike is going to be good,” he said. “It’s a little bit of an unknown quantity because I don’t know that much about it, but it sounds like we’ve got all the right stuff. So as long as I don’t ball it up on Saturday or Sunday morning, we should be alright because we only have one bike. I have to try and take care of that one bike.”Of late, Bostrom has been in South America working a real estate venture, which basically translates into “improving a piece of real estate here in Rio.” He’s been there for two and a half months on his latest trip south and doing business down there hasn’t been easy.”It’s been a really long haul,” Bostrom said. “We’re still not where we want to be and we’re not as far along as we’d like to be. It’s a more difficult climate than I thought it would be. You live and learn, but we will get there. It’s just taking a lot of time. We have help, but it’s all in the paper stages right now and everything down here right now is a quagmire – a black hole, really. I don’t have a lot of people to hang out with, but I have a few friends and I’ve gotten in a little bit of surfing. It’s too much of a party down here for me because it’s the city life and everyone goes out pretty much every night – and I’m not that into that. I end up hanging on my own a little bit, but that’s a pretty cool experience. I’ve never spent this much time alone and it’s amazing how well you’re mind can work when you take away the distractions – like your Iphone doesn’t work and things like that. You don’t realize how much freedom the technology gives you, but then also how much it takes away. It opens up your thought process and some truly original thoughts come through when you’re just removed from all that.”It won’t take much for the always-fit Bostrom to get himself ready for action, though he does admit that it’s been difficult to focus on his training.”You try to stay in good shape because of the healthy lifestyle and things like that, but you don’t have anything to push for when you’re not doing events,” he said. “Last year when I was doing the Ironman, I found myself in really good shape at the end of the year before the event because I was cranking pretty hard. Then, after the Ironman, I didn’t really have a direction and I was slacking off and didn’t have anything to drive for. The moment I got this phone call, I’ve been able to push so much harder. It’s so much easier to get in a really good workout. It’s a little bit of a fountain of youth, you know. It’s really the key to happiness and success… setting goals and trying to achieve them.”