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Blackmans Aprilia Team Manager Kris Bickford said December 11 that, contrary to an internet news report, Blackmans does not have a letter of intent, or even a verbal deal, with Aprilia USA to campaign a RSV Mille R in the 2001 Formula USA Series, with Chris Carr riding the bike at Daytona.
"We do not have a deal with Aprilia," Bickford said. "We do not have a letter of intent. We do not have a final deal with anyone. It's no secret that we want to go racing and we've been talking to several people, including Aprilia. Yes, we've been talking to Chris Carr, but we don't even have a signed agreement with Chris. What happened was that a call came in for Mark Blackman (the young son of Blackmans owner Kathy Blackman), who was working in the parts department, and he did not know who he was talking to and got fast-talked and did not know what he was saying."
Blackmans, the largest Aprilia dealer in the U.S., was founded by Leon Blackman circa 1960 and was run by his son Gary Blackman from the early 1980s until Gary died in a plane crash in 1997. Since that time Gary's widow, Kathy Blackman, has run the company, lately with assistance from Bickford.
Yuasa Battery has been shopping around for a Daytona Formula USA ride for Carr, discussing the possibility with several established teams. Aprilia USA has also been shopping for a Formula USA effort, considering proposals from established race teams and from Aprilia dealers interested in either establishing racing programs or expanding existing racing programs.