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Nov 22, 2001

HMC Could Finalize AMA Superbike Plans Next Week

Copyright 2001, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc.<BR><BR>By David Swarts<BR><BR>"Things are still kind of up in the air. We're still trying to work out some details with Ducati and hopefully we'll have something sorted out by the first part of the week," HMC Ducati owner Mitch Hansen told Roadracing World in a November 21 telephone call from his dealership in Wisconsin. <BR><BR>"We're still looking at a number of different options," continued Hansen. "Obviously, I haven't gotten everything secured with Ducati as of this moment right now. We're still trying to figure out what kind of budget were going to have. You know, there's still possibilities of a two-man team. It could be a one-man team. There's so many options right now and so many variables that we just don't know exactly where we're headed yet, but we hope to have everything ironed out hopefully by the beginning of next week. The Daytona tire test is coming up and we certainly want to be part of that.<BR><BR>"If we put this deal together, we should be on the new equipment. That's where we are working on the details is trying to figure out exactly how much involvement we're going to have from Ducati. And that's really going to lead to decisions on riders and things like that. Hopefully, next week we should know our budget, Ducati's involvement and rider or riders."<BR><BR>At the top of Hansen's list is former Harley-Davidson pilot Pascal Picotte, but who else is on that list? <BR><BR>"Obviously Steve Rapp, and Andy (Meklau) somewhat," said Hansen. "(Andy) wants to come back to America in the worst way now that he has got a taste of it. He's starting to get to know the tracks and he's a great guy to work with and work for. <BR><BR>"I was really pleased with how Steve and Andy did. You know considering we were basically on old equipment and old engines and the guys kept the stuff running. We certainly didn't give our riders the best opportunity to win because we didn't have the best equipment. We were on the old Vance & Hines stuff whereas Competition Accessories had the new 2001-spec bike. Although it wasn't the ‘Testastretta' stuff, it still was what Hodgson and those guys were running in the World Superbike. <BR><BR>What about Doug Chandler?<BR><BR>"We've also been talking to his agent, too," revealed Hansen. "Again there's just so much stuff up in the air right now, there's nothing that I can tell you yet. We are most definitely considering Doug. Again it comes down to budget and stuff."<BR><BR>What about Scott Russell?<BR><BR>"I spent the weekend with Scott," said Russell's last employer. "He was up here for the Packers versus Atlanta football game, him and his sister. I think Scott's injuries…even if Scott wanted to come back, which I'm not sure that he does or not, I don't think he's healed up enough to compete at the level that he would want to compete at yet. He looked great, though, but he's not strong yet. That's my opinion, not his."<BR><BR>Is Ducati talking to any other teams here in America? "That, I don't know," admitted Hansen. "They could be talking to other people. I'm not sure."<BR>