In July of 2001, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, Kawasaki’s Eric Bostrom took a victory in one of the most intense AMA Chevy Trucks U.S. Superbike races of that season.
Bostrom had to work his way through to the front after running fifth in the early going. The race was wild affair with the lead changing hands numerous times among four riders. Canadian Miguel Duhamel rode his Honda to second, 2.161 seconds behind the winner, matching his best finish of ’01. Mat Mladin, the series leader and then two-time AMA Superbike champion from Australia, finished a close third.
Yoshimura Suzuki’s Jamie Hacking took the lead at the start and was followed by his teammate Aaron Yates. Yates took over the lead going through the track’s famous Corkscrew turn on lap eight.
Yates held and actually stretched out the lead until he crashed big coming through Turn 10. He was later diagnosed with a broken left arm. That left Hacking in the lead with Duhamel, Mladin, Bostrom and Nicky Hayden breathing down his neck.
On lap 17 Duhamel finally figured out a way around Hacking, making an inside move to take the lead coming out of Turn Two. In two more laps both Bostrom and Mladin were able to get around the fading Hacking and for the rest of the way it was a three-rider battle for the win.
For several laps Bostrom was able to get around Duhamel braking for the final turn only to be re-passed by the Honda rider going down the front straight. On lap 22 Bostrom finally made the pass stick and he was able to open a bit of a gap on Duhamel. Mladin, whose bike lost third gear, made several bids for second, but couldn’t find a way to get ahead of Duhamel.
“I was having a bit of a time trying to figure out if I was going to end up on my head or not,” said Bostrom of his early desperate bids to take the lead. “My game plan was to try to get up front. We could do a bit of passing here and there, but it was really tough with Miguel because we were perfectly opposite in where we were fast.”
The victory brough Bostrom to within 24 points of Mladin in the championship, 260 to 236. Doug Chandler, who finished fifth that day, was third with 189. Mladin went on to win that year’s title over Bostrom.