A win-win for Kawi... I think Hayden will do quite well. Bostrom will do as well as the ancient ZX7 will allow. I would just worry that w/Kawi jumping back into GP1, will the already sparse development (and that is being generous!) of the ZX7 dry up completely? Are they even fielding a WSB team for 2002??
I don't think Hayden will win the 600. Why does anyone think he will do better then he has in the past? Up and coming force to be reckoned with? Huh? He's been racing ama for 5 or 6 years since he was riding with Chandler for Muzzy. I remember seeing him in the pits at PPIR thinking who is that guy? Now 5 or 6 seasons later he still hasn't won anything? So why all the sudden is he going to win a championship now?
Bostrom however won the 600 and came close to winning the superbike. Even though he is going to be focusing on the superbike this year I don't think we will get it done without Al L. who has moved back to Honda. Mladin is a perfect example. This could have been the 4th championship in a row but he didn't have the right people behind him that first year. Made some changes and bamb 3 championships in a row. It wasn't Mladin that made the difference. He was a good rider and rode a good bike that first year. He didn't win the championship because of the people behind him. If that team stays together and keeps it's focus they will win #4. Period. If they get complacent or start to fall apart as a team then it doesn't matter what Mladin is riding or how he is riding someone will sneak in and take the championship. My money is on N. Hayden or maybe Bostrom. I still think the loss of Al L. will hurt them in the end. It seemed like Al and Eric had a good relationship and Al provided much motivation for Eric.
I was about to say the same thing but you beat me to it. You're the first person I've seen who's mentioned the impact of the loss of Al Ludington, who has to be one of the best, if not THE best crew chiefs. I hope Eric can continue his success, but I'm very concerned that his Kawasaki will not be strong enough without Al. A great rider can't win without a great team.
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