Instead of the traditional timed qualifying, Hodgson, Bostrom, and the other AMA Superbike competitors will take part in five-lap heat races on Saturday afternoon. The top 20 finishers will race in the Parts Unlimited-sponsored final on Sunday, with the rest entering a consolation race.
Neil Hodgson's last race at Road Atlanta was disappointing as the Englishman showed the speed to earn a podium spot only to be passed going into the final turn for third place. The energetic former World Superbike champion says he's looking to finish up 2006 with a good result. "We'll be looking to race hard this weekend and end the season on a high note. It's best to go into the winter with a positive result. Being totally honest, if we are going back to a track for a second event of the year, I'd rather it be anywhere but Ohio," laughed Hodgson. "We've struggled there the times we have raced at Mid-Ohio in the past and there are other tracks that suit us better. That said, the riders really appreciate the efforts the track has made to resurface and make the place safer for the competitors."
Ben Bostrom has improved his speed over the course of the season and ran near the front at Utah and Laguna Seca, but an illness has made racing difficult over the last few events. The Californian says he and his crew are excited about having another chance in 2006. "We've worked hard this year but haven't always gotten the results we've wanted. It's a shame because I love the Ducati 999 and it is by far the best race bike I have ever ridden. We're looking at this race as an opportunity to prove what we can do," said Bostrom.
Sunday's contest will be the 19th AMA Superbike event of the season.
The 15-turn, 2.4 mile (3.86 kilometer) Mid-Ohio circuit is a tight track with some elevation changes but also has a straight that allows drafting and passing on the brakes. The circuit, famous for The Keyhole turn, has seen safety improvements the last few years and was resurfaced in the off-season.