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Q&A: Eric Bostrom.

Poised to tackle a compelling season of AMA and World Superbikes as well as the occasional wild card ride in the new-look MotoGP series, Eric Bostrom is rapidly becoming a major player in world motorcycle racing. However, he remains a down-to-earth individual, with plenty of time for his many fans.

When Cadari Taylor, a student at Oakland University, e-mailed ericbostrom.com and asked to interview 'Boss Hogg' for a class project, the Kawasaki favourite had little hesitation in replying. This is the result....

Q:
What inspired you to become a racer?

Eric Bostrom:
My inspiration growing up was watching the movie On Any Sunday, which is the best movie ever about motorcycle racing. My family was a great inspiration too. My dad and uncle both raced although, at first, I didn't understand or follow their careers too much. I guess it would have taken me longer to put it all together without that movie. But, by the time my brother, Ben, and I were eight years old, we were watching that movie several times per week! And it just, it captured the spirit of the sport so well.

Q:
Where did you acquire your experience?

EB:
In the dirt. I came up racing all sorts of stuff in the dirt - motocross, TTs, flat tracking, etc. All in Northern California, at local events. And then it just progressed from there, eventually making the transition to asphalt.

Q:
How does it feel to race overseas fighting, in a sense, a race for your country?

EB:
Ben and I have lots of pride in our country, but it's not like you put extra pressure on yourself because of that. You put internal pressure on yourself to win, that's why you're racing. It's just built in. The pride almost comes in after you do well. You win and everyone is fired up that you're an American and you kicked ass. And other Americans are fired up about it. It's great.

Q:
In your opinion, what makes you different from the rest?

EB:
I can't honestly say that I am different from the rest. I think that all motorcycle racers are all for the most part the same breed. We're all there for the same reasons, the same competitive atmosphere. In so many ways we're more the same than different. But I do think different racers use their head more than others. And that might be what makes me different. I try to think through setting up the bike and race strategy, things like that, maybe more than someone else.

Q:
How do you feel about been compared to your older brother Ben?

EB:
To be compared to someone like that, you have to be doing something right.

Q:
How do you get along with other racers and your co-workers?

EB:
I really enjoy working with the team and having guys around me that bust their balls and constantly do whatever they possibly can to improve the team and the bike. It's really great working in that type of environment. And I've been lucky that every team-mate I've ever had I've enjoyed being around. And with other racers? It's like anything, you like some and some you don't like. The only difference is that you are putting your life on the line with these people, so things can be more intense with them sometimes. And relationships with them can become amplified.

Q:
Can you think of a time where you have had confrontations with either your co-workers or other racers?

EB:
Never with people on my team but, sure, I can think of a hundred times that I've had confrontations with other riders. Most of the time it's with lapped riders - you bang into them trying to get through. But, sometimes, it's with people you're racing against. You're kind of hot-headed out there and they are too. It's just going to happen, people doing and saying things they don't really mean, but that's why you got to remember to temper it and stay cool.

Q:
How does your occupation physically or emotionally affect you and your family?

EB:
Obviously, my family is a racing family, so they're very supportive. It's all good there. Physically, it keeps me in great shape - and I have to stay in top physical shape to do what I do. But on the downside, you do bang yourself up sometimes. But it happens and you got to take what you learn and make sure it doesn't happen again.

Q:
How has your attitude changed compared to the beginning when you were still wet behind the ears?

EB:
More than anything, you just build confidence. In the beginning, you're not sure what it takes to win, and you're just unsure how capable you are. You just don't know. And then winning becomes more natural, and everything just kind of changes - your mindset changes - and, pretty soon, you know that you can win. And you know that even on a bad day you can win. You know what it takes to win. You know that you have the skill and that your team is behind you. And in the end it's all about knowing. And at a certain point, winning just becomes more natural. Instead of 'hey, I got lucky and won', it becomes 'I won because I know I'm the fastest guy'.



Related Pictures

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Eric Bostrom, Kawasaki Motors Co.
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