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Naked and Exposed!
British Sportbike Magazines rates the top 7 hard core British sportbike magazines where bikes, half naked babes and roadracing are the norm -not the exception. In England, a county the size of just California, sportbike enthusiasts are blessed with 7 major monthly sportbike magazines! - America's got just 1 monthly newspaper and 2 semi monthlies.The Brits are so successful because they cover the topics sportbike enthusiasts want to see and read about, including beautiful girls. These great British sportbike magazines are now more readily available on your favorite newstands here in America.
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Web @ March 2004
Page 4 • Superbike, MotoGP Racing & Calendar Girl News
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2004 FIM and AMA Superbike Rules revealed!
New 2004 Aprilia RSVR Superbike First USA track test with Janelle

New 2004 Honda, Yamaha Kawasaki 1000cc Superbikes

"Baby, it's Chuck Miller from Team Honda for you. But aren't we busy?
I'll tell him to call Anthony Gobert!

2004 AMA national Superbike Championship, Round One Daytona

Daytona Shocker! Eric Bostom puts Ducati on Pole by 1.3 Seconds!
Daytona International Speedway, FL, Mar 3rd - Ducati's lone AMA Superbike rider Eric Bostrom threw down the gauntlet with an incredible time of 1:46.835 - the fastest ever lap turned by a motorcycle at Daytona International Speedway - posted on his Michelin-shod Austin Ducati 999F 04, to claim the Provisional Pole for Saturday's Daytona AMA Chevrolet Superbike National season opening round.

Eric's time smashed Nicky Hayden's existing two-year-old mark of 1:47.174 and left Eric 1.3 seconds clear of his nearest rival on the day. The all new factory Hondas CBR1000RRs were expected to impress this weekend, and they have, but they were definetly overshadowed by Bostrom and the performance of his factory Ducati. Miguel DuHamel and Jake Zemke put the new CBR1000RR second and third on the provisional order with best times of 1:48.116 and 1:48.344, respectively.

Aaron Yates was rapid throughout qualifying and ended with a quick time of 1:48.478 aboard Yoshimura his GSX-R1000 Superbike. Yates' teammateand reigning champ Mat Mladin was a conservative sixth fastest on Wednesday, one spot behind the pick of many to actually win the 200 on Saturday - Ben Bostrom.
Canadian Superbike regular Pascal Picotte and Attack Kawasaki ZX-10R-mounted Josh Hates completed the provisional second row. The final Superbike starting grid will be determined following tomorrow afternoon's session that concludes at 3:15 pm local time.

1. 32 Eric Bostrom, Ducati 999R, 1:46.835 min lap time , 117.803 mph top speed
2. 17 Miguel Duhamel, Honda CBR1000RR, 1:48.116 mi, 113.604 mph
3. 98 Jake P Zemke, Honda CBR1000RR, 1:48.3441 min, 118.143 mph
4. 20 Aaron W Yates, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:48.478 min, 117.423 mph
5. 55 Ben D Bostrom, Honda CBR1000RR, 1:49.051 min, 117.492 mph
6. 1 Mathew Mladin, Suzuki GSX-R1000, 1:49.204 min, 116.522 mph
7. 21 Pascal Picotte, Yamaha YZF-R1, 1:51.4179 min, 114.853 mph
8. 41 Joshua Kurt Hayes, Kawasaki ZX-10, R1:51.653 min, 114.584 mph
9. 72 Larry Pegram, Yamaha YZF-R1, 1:51.780 min, 113.850 mph
10.199Geoff May, Suzuki GSXR-1000, 1:51.926 min, 114.386 mph

Day 2: Mladin 3rd Fastest in Final Qualifying– 3rd Daytona Title in his Sights?
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA (Thursday, 4 March) – Mat Mladin will start Saturday’s 63rd running of the Daytona 200 from the front row of the grid after posting the third fastest overall time between the two qualifying sessions at the Daytona International Speedway, host of the opening round of this years American AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship.

Mladin got down to business today, blasting his Yoshimura Suzuki GSX-R1000 Superbike to a best lap time of 1-min 47.640 around the 5.729km (3.56 miles) famed banked circuit in Florida. Pole position for this Saturday’s 200-mile Superbike classic went to Ducati’s Eric Bostrom, whose time of 1:46.835 remained unbeaten today. Honda’s Ben Bostrom will start alongside his brother after being the fastest rider in today’s second session and setting the second fastest overall time of 1:47. 318. Completing the front row of the grid is Canadian Miguel DuHamel (Honda) who set a best lap of 1:47.679 today.

After being sixth fastest at the end of yesterday’s opening session, it was a different Mladin who turned up at the circuit today. He set the fastest time during the morning’s free practice and then elevated himself up the leader board to past the second fastest time in today’s second and final qualifying position.

A back-to-back winner of the Daytona 200 in 2000 & 2001, Mladin knows all to well what it takes to win the most prestigious race on the American calendar. Strategy will be a major factor in the outcome of the race as the juggle of speed, tyre wear and reliability all play a role.

“Everything went fine for us today, we’re on the front row for Saturday and that’s pretty much where we wanted to be by the end of qualifying,” said Mladin. “We’ve actually had two good days of qualifying here. We’ve achieved a lot, so there’s no complaints at the moment. I think we are looking okay for Saturday and that’s all we can ask for at the moment.”

“Things are definitely different here this year with the tyre battle between the two top brands. Last year we didn’t use soft qualifying tyres, but this year we are and look at the times. Eric obviously had a very good tyre for that lap he did yesterday. But at the end of all that though, we’ve got 57-laps to run on Saturday and score some points in the championship.”

“As usual tyre strategy will play a part in the race. There’s been a lot of talk about tyres here over the past few months, now we get to see the outcome. Pit stops will be crucial for sure as they always are, so it will be interesting to see who does what in the race.”

“The race will probably follow the same sort of pattern as usual where it will be fast early, possibly in the 49’s and gradually slip back to 52’s as the race goes on. We’ll see who can sustain their speed at the end.”

With qualifying for the Daytona 200 now complete, the riders will have a day off before the opening round of this years 18-round AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship gets underway on Saturday March 6th.

2004 AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship - Round 1, Daytona 200 final Qualifying

Superbike Combined Qualifying Session Times, Thursday
1. Eric Bostrom (Ducati Austin) 1:46.835 mins
2. Ben Bostrom (American Honda) 1: 47.318
3. Mat Mladin (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1: 47.640
4. Miguel DuHamel (American Honda) 1: 47.679
5. Jake Zemke (Erion Honda) 1: 48.257
6. Aaron Yates (Yoshimura Suzuki) 1: 48.333
7. Larry Pegram (Yamaha) 1: 50.727
8. Pascal Picotte (Yamaha Canada) 1:51.417
9. Eric Wood (Suzuki) 1:51.431
10. Josh Hayes (Attack Kawasaki) 1:51.652

Another World Premier!
Confederate Motorcycle's "Wraith" Concept Bike

February 1st -A "Wraith" is the ghost of someone (or something) that has just, or will die, and in this case it is the modern sportbike reincarnation of a vintage 1920's board track racer from Confederate Motorcycles. Jim Gianatsis photographed Wraith with beautiful model Andrea Cobb for the 2005 Iron & Lace Calendar in January 2004. We were excited and privilageed to be the first to showcase Wraith on the in its world premier. And since February is host to Valentin's Day we just had to dress Andrea in some sexy red lingerie from Victoria's Secret.

The Wraith shown here is the origional concept bike built by Confederate Motorcycles, New Orleans, in the fall of 2003. In side view it resembles a classic 1920's board track racer, updated for the 21st century. The unique aluminum tube backbone frame supports a specially built Harley-Davidson XR750 unit construction Dirt Tracker engine with increased displacement and STD cases.

The rear single sided swingarm, wheels and brakes are borrowed directly from a Ducati 998 Superbike for ease of fabrication on the concept bike, but these components could change once the Wraith goes into production. The exotic cantilever front forks constructed from billet aluminum and carbon fibre are a production item from a European manufacturer.

Confederate plans to build 30 Wraith limited production bikes in 2005 with a selling price around $75,000 each. Almost a bargain price for such an exotic and technically advanced retro racer.

You can see a lot more of the radical Wraith bike in our hot new Members Corner section The Iron & Lace Garage featuring high quality 10 x14 screen saver size pictorials of the world's finest custom bikes from top builders featured in the Iron & Lace calendar.

Above: Photographer Peter Lindberg's 2002 interpretation of the Pirelli Calendar paid homage to Hollywood and to seduction. For the first time actresses were used instead of models, dressed with lingerie by Giorgio Armani. The shoot took a week on the city street back lot of Universal Studios with a crew of nearly 100 people, with enough time and budget to film a movie. Above, sexy young actress James King from Pearl Harbor on the set in the pose that was her calendar page shot.

The Pirelli Calendar
When you're the world's biggest tire company you drop Two Million dollars for the exclusive tire sponsorship of World Superbike. And a One Million dollar budget to photograph your calendar, you hire the world's top photographers, supermodels and actresses, right?

On November 2003 at the historical Royal Courts of Justice building in London, the 2004 Pirelli Calendar was presented to the press, to collectors and to enthusiasts the world over. The annual event is one of the world most awaited by lovers of photography, fashion and beauty, an exclusive event that traditionally blends art with seduction. This year's issue was special: it marks the 40th anniversary of the Pirelli Calendar, a "must have" symbol, a true icon of beauty.

Right: Jessica Miller loosens up for the 2003 Calendar.

The 2004 Pirelli Calendar is highly innovative in its technique and artistic expression,and in its selection of protagonists fully confirms the canons of 40 years of tradition.

It profiles innovation and technology at the service of artistic creativity of Nick Knight, world-famous British photographer who made visual sculptures, born of a symbiotic relationship between traditional photography and digital art. His taste, combined with an approach typical of "conceptual art", have produced an unprecedented Pirelli Calendar that is vibrant in its color, abstract in its design and magical to the eye.

Knight posed his models in an ambience that is dreamlike and fantastic but unequivocally feminine in which the perspective of portrayed female sexuality - as traditionally perceived by men - is reversed. "I feared that the calendar might propose a vision of woman from the exclusively masculine viewpoint," Knight explains. "So for this project I decided to ask the women what they would like to see represented in a Pirelli Calendar, leaving them to choose the theme."

Above: Teen models Natalia Vodianova and Frankie Ryde chose their own photo theme for their calendar picture. Born in Gorky, Russia to a poor street vender, Natalia (center above) was discovered by a model agent and moved to Paris where she now represents Gucci, Kalvin Klein and L'oreal, and has been featured on the cover of every major fahsion magazine in the world.

This year the Calendar is embellished by a line-up of some of the world's most highly touted models, some of whom participated in previous editions: Maria Carla Boscono, Karolina Kurkova, Natalia Vodianova and Jessica Miller in 2003, Frankie Ryder in 2001 and Alek Wek in 1999 and 2000. They are joined by Liberty Ross, Amanda Moore, Pollyanna McIntosh, and promising "rookies" Dewi Driegen, Esther De Jong, Ai Tominaga and Adina.

The Pirelli 2003 calendar features some of the most celebrated top models from throughout the world: Sophie Dahl, Yamila Diaz-Rahi, Isabeli Fontana, Bridget Hall, Heidi Klum, Karolina Kurkova, Natalia Vodianova, Sienna Rose Miller, Lisa Seiffert. And, as is now traditional, there are also some up-and-coming faces, such as Filippa Hamilton, Jessica Miller and Rania Raslan. Likewise.

Pirelli's 2002 Calendar featured Hollywoods hottest young actresses including Julia Styles, Mena Suvari (American Beauty) , Rachel Lee Cook (Josie & the Pussycats) , Lauren Bush (neice of the President), Erika Christensen (Traffic), Bridget Moyanhan (Coyote Ugly, Sum of all Fears), James King (Blow, Pearl Harbor, Lonestar State of Mind).

So how can you get a Pirelli Calendar? You probably can't. Pirelli Corporation sells the calendars to their distributors around the world at a cost of around $40 each. The distributors, in turn, give them as promotional gifts to the media, their distributors and friends. In a country like America where there is such a huge hangup over nudity and an employer can be sued for sexual harassment if they hand out or display a nude calendar in the workplace, Pirelli USA buys and gives away only a handleful of calendars to special industry friends. Once in a while you can find an old Pirelli Calendar on, but your change of getting a current calendar is next to impossible.

The Pirelli Calendar Book and Website is your best opportunity to see what you've been missing. You can find detailed information and pictures from the Pirelli Calendars on the Pirelli website at

American Honda 2004 Road Race Preview
After sweeping the top three spots in the 2003 running of America's most prestigious motorcycle race, the American Superbike season-opening Daytona 200, what do you do for an encore? That's the pleasant problem facing the American Honda team as they gear up to repeat their success at Daytona and
for the rest of the championship, a championship that continues to grow in importance on the world stage.

"What's really exciting is that AMA road racing has moved up on the scale in the world of racing," American Honda team manager Chuck Miller said. Miller has chosen three riders for the Honda assault on the Superbike crown and has added to the arsenal with a new weapon, the all new Honda CBR1000RR, the fastest motorcycle ever to hit the high banks of Daytona International Speedway. In its very first shakedown, the CBR-1000RR, a direct and clear descendant of the MotoGP World Championship winning Honda RC211V, shocked the radar gun with a terminal velocity of 192 mph, the fastest a motorcycle's ever run at Daytona. It was done under the control of Ben Bostrom, one of the champions Honda hopes will add to their seven
Superbike titles.

Bostrom, 29, the 1998 AMA Superbike Champion, is looking forward to a clean start in his second year on the American race scene after a stellar World Superbike career. The charismatic Californian was troubled with carpal tunnel syndrome for the second half of the 2003 season. Off-season corrective surgery alleviated the problem and his return to form has Been instant. That, along with the continued tutelage of three-time World Champion Freddie Spencer, who works closely with all Honda riders, and the new Honda CBR1000RR has Bostrom looking forward to the start of the battle. The runner-up in last year's Daytona 200, Bostrom turned the fastest lap of the Daytona December test on a motorcycle still in the early stages of development.

The Honda CBR1000RR that Bostrom and his teammates will race at Daytona and for the remainder of the 18-race championship season will be significantly upgraded from its initial runs, with more barriers certain to be broken. New teammate Jake Zemke turned the fastest laps on the 3.56 mile road course in a follow-on test at Daytona a little over a month later. The former dirt-tracker Zemke, 29, will ride in the colors of Erion Honda, replacing Kurtis Roberts who used his American Honda career as a springboard to MotoGP.

Though 2004 will be his first full year on a Superbike, Zemke is no stranger tofour-cylinder Hondas. For the past two seasons Zemke's been the most successful pilot of the HondaCBR954RR, the precursor to the CBR1000RR, in the Formula Xtreme class. In addition to his Superbike duties, Zemke will race a Honda CBR600RR mini- Superbike in the newly formatted Formula Xtreme class. The new class allows liberal
modifications of the middleweight platform, as well as including various other engine configurations.

"One thing that's exciting for us is that it allows us to begin to set the stage for where Superbike is going and test our abilities in building competitive race machines out of production bikes," American Honda team
manager Chuck Miller said. "Most all of us have relied a lot on resources abroad to make our bikes competitive and in the future we may not have all those resources available to us. So what we're trying to do with this Formula Xtreme project is also to test our abilities."

Joining Zemke in Superbike and Formula Xtreme is veteran Miguel Duhamel, 35, the winningest rider in the history of the Superbike and Supersport classes. The engaging and witty French-Canadian, who Miller calls "an icon of the sport," is back for his tenth year of service with American Honda, hoping to kickstart his season the way the 2003 year began. Last year, the former Superbike and five-time Supersport champion began the season with his fourth win in the Daytona 200, running his career win total to 26, the most in the class. A win in this year's 200 would tie the mark of five set by "Mr. Daytona," Scott Russell. In Supersport, Duhamel has 41 wins, 28 more than the next active rider.

"Here we got the guy who's been there, done that, which is Ben (Bostrom), we've got Miguel (Duhamel), who can always be there and can always do that, and we've got the new up and comer Jake (Zemke), who's hungry to get there and do it and we've got a little bit of all three of the worlds best there
that will work to our advantage," team manager Chuck Miller believes. American Honda is concentrating its outside support on Erion Honda, by far the most successful satellite team in the history of AMA road racing with a record of four consecutive Formula Xtreme titles, as well as a pair of Supersport crowns. The team will feature the Gobert brothers, Alex, 20, who campaigned in the black and red of Erion Honda last year, now joined by brother Anthony, 29, whose first factory ride in his native Australia was
with Honda.

"He really wanted to be back with Honda," Kevin Erion, the owner of the Erion Honda team, said of Anthony, who can expect great things if he succeeds with Erion. Among the riders who've advanced from Erion Honda to the Superbike team are 2002 AMA Superbike Champion Nicky Hayden, now with Repsol Honda; Kurtis Roberts, who won three titles with Erion Honda; and now Jake Zemke.

"There's a little bit of history that shows American Honda is willing to keep you in the family as long as the results are there," Erion said. "It wouldn't be a new step for a new rider to move from Erion Racing to
American Honda. If that happens it means good things have happened."

The Goberts will lead Honda's quest in the newly configured Superstock class, another class format making its debut in Florida. The 2004 rules allow lightly modified 1000cc inline four-cylinders, the perfect showcase
for the new Honda CBR1000RR.
"We know Anthony's going to be competitive, we know the bike's going to be competitive, we're expecting big things from him," Chuck Miller concludes.

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FAST FACTS – Daytona International Speedway
Circuit Length: 5.729km / 3.56mi
2003 Pole position: Ben Bostrom (Honda) 1:48.376 (2003)
2003 Race results (57 laps):
1. Miguel DuHamel Hon RC51)
2. Ben Bostrom ( Hon RC51)
3. Kurtis Roberts (Erion Honda)
Superbike lap record: Ben Bostrom (Honda) 1:48.376 (2003)

Superbike Wed March 3
11:10am - 12:10pm (Practice)
3:40pm – 5:10pm (Qualifying, 2 groups) Pole position and top four determined.

Thursday, March 4
10:10am – 11:00am (Practice)
1:55pm – 3:15pm (Qualifying, 2 groups)

Saturday, March 6
Morning practice
2:00pm 63rd Daytona 200 by Arai (57 laps)
(All times are US east coast)

Bostom's Daytona Pole
03/03/ - Fresh from Ducati’s victory in the World Superbike factory team’s season opener at Valencia, Spain, Ducati Corse’s Paolo Ciabatti and Track Engineer Ernesto Marinelli traveled to the U.S. for the major American event. “We didn’t do any big set-up changes between the morning and this afternoon. The big difference were the Michelin qualifying tires,” explained Marinelli. “Tomorrow we really need to concentrate on the race. We just want to do a race distance simulation.”

Bostrom said of his record-breaking lap, “I was surprised. There was a little more left in the tires and I didn’t feel like I did the perfect lap or anything. You’re really out there like it’s a video game and trying to hit your marks and doing everything better than the lap you did before. You’re not trying to be Superman or anything, especially here at Daytona because this place can catch you out really easy so you have to keep that in mind. I feel like we have a real good bike. I really hope to accomplish these types of results all year. It’s a bit of a surprise. Daytona’s never really treated me that well and I’ve never really had the best go at this place so maybe this year will be different for us.”

03/03/04 -Endurance racing regular and DRE (Ducati Riding Experience) chief instructor Dario Marchetti yesterday stormed to victory in the Battle of Twins, one of the most prestigious events in Daytona Bike Week and part of the build-up to next weekend’s classic climax, the Daytona 200 Mile race.

Before the Bologna rider, three-times national endurance champion, the only Italians to win at Daytona have been Giacomo Agostini (Yamaha) in the 1974 200 Mile race and Marco Lucchinelli (Ducati) in the 1987 Battle of Twins.
Marchetti’s success was an overwhelming one: well down the grid in qualifying, the Italian rider was already up to fourth place by the end of lap 1, and the following lap latched onto the exhausts of the leaders, David Podolsky (Aprilia) and Albert Charles (Ducati).
On lap 3 Marchetti powered into the lead and immediately pulled away; in his attempt to stay with him, Podolsky crashed out while Charles settled for the runner-up slot. Marchetti crossed the finishing line with a comfortable lead.

Marchetti, born in Castel San Pietro Terme but resident in Monte Carlo, was appearing at Daytona for the third time but last year’s endurance championship regular has in fact competed in America on numerous occasions, racing in the South American championships in locally-entered teams.

At Daytona he was racing on a Ducati 748RS entered by the Desmomaniacs-Ducati Miami team. With the same bike he raced the day before in the Sound of Thunder event, taking second place behind Paul Vitale, while the day before he just missed out on the win in the Supertwins race after being sidelined with a problem on the final lap.

1: Dario Marchetti (Ducati)
2: Albert Charles (Ducati)
3: David Bell (Aprilia)
4: Robert Terando (Aprilia)
5: Nate Kern (BMW)
1: Paul Vitale (Ducati)
2: Dario Marchetti (Ducati)
3: Albert Charles (Ducati)
4: Nate Kern (BMW)
5: John Walters (Honda)

order the book...
Daytona Beach, Florida, USA (Tuesday, 2 March) – The famed high speed banks of the Daytona International Speedway will this Saturday (March 6) play host to the opening round of the 2004 American AMA Chevrolet Superbike Championship and will become the starting point for Mat Mladin’s quest of winning an unprecedented fifth AMA Superbike crown.

Mladin and his Yoshimura Suzuki team arrive in Florida as the defending series champion but the 63rd running of the Daytona 200 by Arai will bring with it a different focus to that of years gone past.

A winner at Daytona in 2000 and 2001, Mladin acknowledges the importance of the race, but knows it is just one race on the championship calendar.

“Daytona is the first race of eighteen in this championship and that’s the way my planning for this event has been,” said a relaxed, yet confident Mladin. “It is a very unique racetrack and one that is completely different in requirements to all of the other tracks that make up the championship. A lot of people will put a lot of importance on this one race, but our team is focused on the result we want at the end of the year and that’s the championship.”

“We need to leave here with the most amount of points that we can and if a win comes our way, great. That will then give us a basis to work from not only the second round at Fontana, but for the rest of the season.”

The off-season has proven to be very productive for Mladin’s team. Rule changes for this year’s championship have seen them working overtime to ensure their championship winning Suzuki GSX-R1000 remains competitive throughout the season. Changes to fuel injection throttle bodies and air boxes will witness a drop in horsepower and to counter that loss, the team will ensure they have the best possible chassis set up that will allow Mladin to put together consistent fast laps in any conditions.

“Yes we head into the weekend with a bike that has a season’s worth of development done to it and proved it was a championship winner, but the rule changes which have been applied for the year will see it perform differently, especially here at Daytona. We have worked hard in the pre-season getting our chassis set up as best we can and we feel we have some very good suspension settings that will get us around the racetrack in the best possible time.”

For the first time, the 57-lap Daytona 200 mile classic will be conducted on a Saturday. Rain delays in recent years have forced race organisers to bring the race forward as a precaution, and to allow the rescheduling of television and spectator ticketing.

Qualifying for the Daytona 200 begins on Wednesday with the opening sessions determining pole position and the front row of the grid, while Thursday’s qualifying will determine the starting grid for the remainder of the field.

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Covergirls Janelle, Chandi and Joanna Krupa get down to work
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Ready for Daytona

In March, when Miguel Duhamel, Ben Bostrom and Jake Zemke roll their Honda CBR1000RR Superbikes onto the Daytona International Speedway (DIS) tarmac for Daytona 200 qualifying, the rest of the Superbike field will be gunning for them. Although the Daytona 200 will be the CBR1000RR’s debut race, the inline four-cylinder Honda is already up to speed at the place known as the World Center of Speed.
In December of last year during preseason testing, the CBR1000RR left the Dunlop three-day tire test the fastest motorcycle in attendance. In fact, Bostrom and his new Superbike came very close to the DIS lap record set by a Honda RC51-mounted Nicky Hayden during Daytona 200 qualifying in 2002.

Bostrom, who was the lucky Red Rider to get first dibs, lapped at 1:47.650 to Hayden’s time of 1:47.174. Hayden’s feat was on qualifying tires on a motorcycle that had already seen countless laps around the Daytona circuit. Bostrom’s feat was after a day and a half on regular race tires. It didn’t take Duhamel long to get up to speed either. The four-time Daytona 200 winner reached the test’s top speed when he was clocked at a blistering 192.3 mph.

A month later at the AMA’s Daytona tire test, the CBR1000RR defended its preseason bragging rights. It even outdid itself, but this time with Erion Racing Red Rider, Zemke on board. The 28-year old Superbike rookie lapped at 1:47.59, inching even closer to Hayden’s DIS track record. Zemke’s performance was impressive, in that he did it with very little time on the bike. No other rider at the two-day test, not even Bostrom or Duhamel, turned a faster lap than Zemke, although they did come close.

With the momentum of both tests rolling in Honda’s favor, a repeat of last year’s Red Rider Daytona 200 podium sweep—Duhamel first, Bostrom second and Kurtis Roberts third—seems well within the team’s grasp.

Duhamel Shoots for Record Daytona Win #5
It was 1991 when Miguel Duhamel won his first Daytona 200 crown – a rare achievement considering it was also the first 200 in which he’d competed. Now, some 13 years and four Daytona wins later, the perennial AMA Superbike frontrunner and longtime Team Honda ace will try to go one better: notch a record victory #5 in the 63rd running of the event and with it a share of the “Mr. Daytona” title long owned by Scott Russell.

The 35-year-old Duhamel enters this year’s race as the defending 200 champ and a heavy favorite to repeat his podium-topping performance. With the CBR1000RR – Honda’s potent new open-classer that’s already shown staggering speed around the circuit in preseason testing under him, that stands as a very strong possibility.

“I’ve been coming to Daytona for a lot of years,” says Duhamel, a 15-year AMA Pro Racing vet who won the 1991, ’96, ’99 and 2003 events. “It really means a lot to me to be able to win, especially Daytona. Also, to have a chance to match the 200 win record is a great honor to me.”

It won’t by any means be easy, of course, as Duhamel will be gridding alongside some of the greatest two-wheeled talent found in any racing series, starting with his fellow Red Riders Ben Bostrom and Jake Zemke, who have both also proven very fast aboard the CBR1000RR.

On a grander scale, Honda is trying to become the first manufacturer to three-peat in the Daytona 200 since the race entered the Superbike era in 1985. A win would be a fitting touch to the CBR1000RR's formal U.S. racing debut as well as a nice encore to the Red Riders podium sweep of last year's 200 podium.