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Oct 17, 2002

Blackmans Aprilia Hopes To Run AMA Superbike Team In 2003

<BR><BR>Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Kris Bickford, manager of the Blackmans Aprilia Formula USA Unlimited Superbike team, told Roadracingworld.com Thursday at Daytona International Speedway that he is actively working toward racing Aprilias in AMA Superbike in 2003 and beyond.<BR><BR>"I'm working with an international motorsports marketing firm to get the cash to go into AMA Superbike racing," said Bickford. "It would be a multi-year program. Our sponsors would have to buy in for the long haul because we wouldn't be competitive next year. We would be racing the Aprilia RSV1000Rs (Aprilia currently races RSV1000SP homologation specials in the World Superbike Championship), but we are anticipating that there will be a new 2004 Aprilia model that would be eligible and competitive for AMA Superbike. What I'm trying to do is position ourselves to be ready when Aprilia is ready to go into AMA Superbike so that we would hopefully be the team to do that for them.<BR><BR>"We're looking at running a two-rider team, but we have not made any decisions on riders or crew yet. Michael Himmelsbach (Blackmans Aprilia's current rider) is certainly a possibility, but we're in discussions with other riders. <BR><BR>"I hope to know something on the deal within two or three weeks."<BR><BR>Bickford then added, "The firm that I'm working with also represents Colin Edwards."<BR><BR>When asked what the name of the firm is, Bickford said, "I can't say right now." <BR><BR>