Ben Bostrom pilots the No. 23 Jordan Motorsports Suzuki GSX-R1000 in the AMA Pro National Guard Superbike class. Racing is in his blood and his brother Eric is also an accomplished road racer. Ben turned pro in 1990. Over two decades later he has succeeded in multiple classes including WSBK and AMA Superbike riding for multiple teams. His longevity in the race world is far from common so we sat down to find out his secret to survival.
You come from a family of motorcyclists. how often was riding a part of childhood vacations? Riding was 80 percent of our family trips. We always included motorcycles as a fun reason to get away and play together. Was being the fastest a source of sibling rivalry growing up?
I am the rider I am today because of my brothers. We would build a track any and everywhere and pretend it was a national. Surely there are too many triumphs and defeats that caused fights afterwards but it just showed we had heart.
What are you taking from the 2011 season that is going to help win races in 2012?
The same bike and the same special team. There are great people at Jordan who have a strong will to win. It is always tough jumping onto a new brand so next year we start right at home.
What is it about the Jordan Suzuki team that gives you confidence to win?
The people there. The team keeps the same crew and has been at it long enough to be really hungry. They can also build just about anything from scratch. They have always done so while being in the shadow of the factory teams and with the new rules it favors all their years of hard work.
This past summer you gained an opportunity to ride the LCR Honda MotoGP RC212V at Mazda Raceway but ran into set-up issues with the bike. how did that affect your overall experience?
It definitely put a damper on my experience, but fortunately on Sunday they found the bike had a rain map all weekend and the rear was sitting too flat. So I got a taste of what the bike was capable of for a few laps. Had the front brakes worked it would have been a real joy.
As a veteran, what bits of wisdom have kept you competitive and what have you learned from the younger generation?
Stay off the ground and keep yourself and your horse healthy. Wait for the right moment to shine. When you’re in your early years you have some silly crashes due to anxious moves that could have waited. You must crash to learn the limits of your machine and raise the bar, but too many can catch up to you.
Outside of road racing what is your favorite way to spend a day on two wheels?
I am crazy for two-wheels and competition. I stay plenty entertained and sharp racing bicycles all winter. I ride my bicycle through the Santa Monica mountains and enjoy seeing the road and sites at a slow pace. There is nothing better than gliding down a twisty road.
Do you have a favorite streetbike?
I am a fan of old iron probably because nothing compares to my superbike.
When is it a good time to do a wheelie?
Any time on a desolate road and exiting a corner that opens to a straight. I’m not much of a victory wheelie guy.