May 7, 2001
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Copyright 2001 Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>Four-time AMA 250cc Grand Prix Champion Rich Oliver has split with mechanic/fiance Jocelin and is looking for a new mechanic, and has also signed with a new agent, Jeff Haney of OMS Ltd.<BR><BR>Oliver announced his engagement to the racer formerly known as Jocelin Veilleux at the Pikes Peak AMA National last August, after working with her as his mechanic for part of the season. Veilleux changed her legal name to just "Jocelin" prior to meeting Oliver.<BR><BR>Until he can find a new full-time mechanic, Oliver is being helped out by long-time sponsor Wilson's Motorcycles of Fresno. At Sears Point, Oliver was assisted by Robert Ward, a mechanic who formerly worked with Erion Honda and Muzzy Kawasaki and now is a line mechanic at Wilson's. At Road Atlanta, Oliver will work with Gary Georges, a former racer and line mechanic who is now General Manager of Wilson's.<BR><BR>Oliver crashed while leading the 250cc Grand Prix race at Sears Point, in turn one, but was uninjured.<BR><BR>Oliver said in an April 30 phone interview that he is happy to have signed with OMS Ltd., a management firm, and to be working with former racer and long-time friend Jeff Haney.<BR><BR>"It means alot to me that Haney is involved with them (OMS)," Oliver said. "Haney and I go way back, to high school."<BR><BR>As for working with OMS, Oliver said "It's nice to have a little bit of backing behind you. I don't mind working on the little deals, the product sponsors, but as far as actually searching for a major team sponsor or negotiating my contract with Yamaha, I'd rather have OMS do that."<BR><BR>Oliver said that Jocelin's desire to be a professional racer instead of concentrating on his career contributed to the break-up, and that information was posted on Roadracing World last week. But in an e-mail to Roadracing World, Jocelin disputed that, writing, "To start off, I split with Rich, and it had nothing to do with racing, the truth, actually is quite hair-raising. I respect Rich's career, and have kept my reasons for leaving Rich quiet for this because I do, however, I don't feel it is fair that I am the one attacked for this. I'm sure you know that I did nothing short of supporting Rich and his 'Championship-winning program'. Rich cannot deny, I offered to quit racing SEVERAL times to concentrate on only his program, especially after Daytona, he did not want that. The four race weekends that I attended while I was with Rich, was not only his idea, but pretty much set up by him."<BR><BR>Jocelin, who crashed and broke a wrist during practice for the Formula USA weekend April 20, riding her TZ250, also denied reports that she caused the collision with Michael Hannas that led to her fall. "As for the crash at Willow involving...Michael Hannas," wrote Jocelin, "it is a shame. I went looking for him many times with Tom Sera (who saw the incident, and had a bit of a different story). I wanted to chat with Hannas and find out what happened. When I passed Hannas, he was on the far left of the straight and I was on the far right. I never pulled in front of anyone. I held my line and pulled my brakes at my marker. I feel badly we were involved in a crash on only the first lap of practice, and I am sure he does, too.<BR><BR>"Anyway," concluded Jocelin in her e-mail regarding the original post on roadracingworld.com, "I hope I am not coming across in the wrong way, I am in no way telling you what to write, just frustrated by the slack I've gotten over the article. Although we all enjoy a good story, it's even better when it is the truth."<BR><BR>In a May 7 phone call to Roadracing World, eyewitness Tom Sera confirmed Jocelin's version of the incident involving Hannas at Willow Springs, and said he saw Hannas move over behind Jocelin after she passed him. Sera did say, however, that Jocelin put on the brakes relatively early for the corner, and that it appeared that Hannas was surprised by that.