Jan 22, 2002
© 2013, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.
(This original, copyrighted material may not be copied, cut and pasted, published or otherwise reproduced in any way in any medium, which means, don’t post this on another website or BBS. If you want somebody else to see this, send, share or tweet a link or post a link to this page.)
Copyright 2002, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>Blackmans Racing Team Manager Kris Bickford called Roadracing World to announce that Blackmans Racing will defend its Number One plate in the 2002 Formula USA National Road Race Series Unlimited GP class and will continue to pursue the F-USA Unlimited Superbike Championship with rider Mike Himmelsbach. <BR><BR>For 2002, the Blackmans team will follow the lead of many American factory road race teams by slimming down to a one-rider effort. The one rider will be F-USA NRRS Unlimited GP National Champion Michael Himmelsbach, who will again ride an Aprilia Mille R RSV1000 with his father, Bill Himmelsbach, as Crew Chief.<BR><BR>Working full-time on the development of the Aprilia Mille in 2001, the elder Himmelsbach turned the 110-horsepower Mille streetbike into a 145-horsepower, 175-mph Superbike. That development has continued over the off-season, according to Bickford. "As you know, we reached the power levels that we needed for the class, but our bikes were still the heaviest in the field. Bill (Himmelsbach) has made good progress on putting the bike on a diet, and we expect to come to the opening round at Daytona 25 pounds lighter than we ended last season." Bickford also said that the team has made additional progress in developing revised EPROM computer chips to improve the power and torque delivery of the Aprilia.<BR><BR>Blackmans had intended to field another two-rider team in 2002, but the team's hard work and Championship did not net additional sponsorship for the coming season. "We still will have support from Blackmans Cycles, obviously, Pirelli and Tigcraft Japan, but we've lost Yuasa. We're still excited about the new season, though," said Bickford. "Mike's a great rider, and this year we are racing at Summit Point, a track that Mike does really well at. Plus we are also going to Loudon, where I think our bikes will work very well."<BR><BR>Bickford also said that a Blackmans Racing Stage Four high performance kit, which should make the Aprilia Mille produce over 150 horsepower, will be available soon.<BR>