Eric Bostrom won the first FIM eRoadRacing World Cup round of the US series in Laguna Seca following a shock exit by record-breaking Shane Turpin today.
Despite not finishing the race, Turpin set a new race record lap time of 1’32.581, beating Steve Rapp’s previous 1’33.194.
Bostrom took first place during the final lap in a closely-contested race after Turpin suffered bike failure. The victory now means Bostrom leads the US series.
Kenyon Kluge came second on his Zero motorcycle followed by Jeremiah Johnson in third after Shelina Moreda and Ted Rich crashed out at the Corkscrew during lap one. Brandon Miller also crashed out during the first lap. That meant Arthur Kowitz was able to finish fourth on his stock Brammo bike following a fine race from the individual.
‘My heart sank when I saw Shane had a problem,’ said Bostrom. ‘It’s a strange feeling because you obviously want the team to do well but you still want to win too. It is a real shame to win that way but I am still happy to have won.
‘You can see from the lap times that we are going in the right direction and the technology around these bikes is continuing to develop. We were producing speeds of over 140mph on the track, which is just fantastic.’
Second-place Kluge was unaware of Moreda’s exit and admitted to thinking the Brammo rider was hot on his tails during the race. Moreda and Rich’s crash meant Kluge sat comfortably in third until Turpin was forced to retire.
‘Our goal for today was to go and do what we did in qualifying yesterday and be consistent,’ said Kluge. ‘We set up the power so we would have almost identical lap times at the end of the race as we did at the beginning.
‘I knew that a couple of people had fallen but I wasn’t sure if Shelina had fallen or not. She was one of the people I figured I would be racing with. I expected her to be there so I just raced like I had somebody chasing me and it worked.’
Third-place Johnson was certain he had finished fourth and started heading back to the paddock. He was obviously ecstatic with a spot on the podium and is already looking forward to the next round at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Sunday 18 August.
‘We just managed the race. I didn’t ride the bike as fast as I could have because it was about making it last until the end,’ said Johnson.
‘I was hoping to come fourth and actually at the end of the race I thought I was fourth but they told me to turn around and go to the podium, so it was a big surprise for me!
‘I am looking forward to Indianapolis now. It is a fun track and being able to say you are one of the few Americans that have raced a motorbike at Indianapolis is huge.’
Pictures courtesy of Phil Hawkins and Alex Tang.