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Oct 3, 2001

How HMC Ducati Raised $2770 For Charity, And Other Duc Tales From VIR

From a press release issued by Ducati North America:<BR><BR>Race Report<BR>AMA Chevy Trucks Superbike Round 10<BR>September 30, 2001<BR>Virginia International Raceway<BR><BR>The AMA 2001 Chevy Trucks Superbike Championship season came to a close today with the grand finale race - a challenging 42 laps covering 94 miles. It was held for the first time at Virginia International Raceway and required a mandatory pit-stop that create some confusion midway through the race. Ducati rider Andy Meklau finishing the race in seventh position, Steve<BR>Rapp finished ninth, while Larry Pegram finished in eleventh ahead of newly crowned Champion Mat Mladin.<BR><BR>Steve Rapp stayed on after the Pro Thunder race to take one lucky winner for three hot laps of the Virginia racetrack on the back of his modified 996RS. The ride, an initiative of one of HMC Ducati's technicians looking for a way to help the victims of the September 11 assault, raised an astounding $2,770 for the Red Cross. Winner Jeremy Demar also won a Steve Rapp replica helmet, compliments of Suomy, and was both delighted and terrified by his three fast laps on the specially designed passenger seat fitted to Rapp's racebike.<BR><BR><BR>Andreas Meklau - 7th<BR>Andy Meklau had a good finish to his first season on the AMA Superbike series. The HMC Ducati rider was the first to stop for the mandatory pit-stop, which seemed to work in his favor.<BR><BR>"The crew did a great job with the pit stop," said Meklau proudly. "Our strategy was to do 15 laps on one tire before pitting and when I rejoined the field I was on my own, which made the race hard. Finally in the last two laps Steve [Rapp] passed me coming off the straight and I had someone to battle with. I'd like to say thanks to my sponsors for allowing me to ride in the USA. It was a hard year for me with new tires and unfamiliar tracks, but an enjoyable one all the same."<BR><BR><BR>Steve Rapp - 9th<BR>HMC Ducati rider, Steve Rapp, ran off the track just before he was due to pit, adding 20 seconds to his lap time. He fought hard to reclaim the lost time and finally finished in ninth position, taking him to seventh overall for the season.<BR><BR>"I was really happy with the performance of the bike, tires and team during the pit-stop," he said. "I needed just a few more laps and I would have caught Tommy Hayden but I just ran out of time. It was confusing out there for a while, not knowing what position I was in, but I guess everyone was in the same boat. Thanks to the HMC Ducati team for a good first season."<BR><BR><BR>Larry Pegram - 11th<BR>Competition Accessories rider, Larry Pegram, had a great start to the race, climbing as high as fifth before the wrong choice in front tire forced him to slow his pace.<BR><BR>"We hadn't put enough distance testing the front tire I chose and I started losing grip," said Pegram. "We were only set up to change the rear tire and it would have hurt us more in time to change the front. The start of the race I was right up there, running in fifth comfortably, but I was having trouble going deep into the corners and I started dropping back. I really thought I could have done better."<BR><BR><BR><BR>Pro Thunder<BR>Munroe Motors' Tom Montano brought his Ducati home for an easy victory in the penultimate round of the AMA Pro Thunder Championship today. With a<BR>strong points lead going into final round in Atlanta, Montano is confident of a Championship victory. AMS Performance Ducati rider, Jeff Nash, suffered a bad crash in yesterday's heat race and was unable to compete today.<BR><BR>"That was a fun race," said Montano after his second win of the season. "Dave [Estok] and I were going for it when his bike coughed and, committed to my line, I hit him. I'm amazed we didn't both come off. Dave retired leaving me to coast around for an easy victory." Montano won by 17 seconds.