Apr 27, 2001
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Ducati today "re-issued" a press release announcing AMA-Ducati Performance Racing, which means Jeff Nash's team is now officially Ducati-sponsored. The release was dated March 22 but we never received a copy, and, judging by the AMS team's last-minute arrival at Willow Springs last weekend, the deal was news to them, too, until a few days before the Willow F-USA race. The release reads as follows:<BR><BR>"Ducati North America will sponsor 2000 AMA Pro Thunder Champion Jeff Nash and former Australian Superbike rider Craig Connell in competition this season.<BR><BR>"Ducati North America has formed an association with current AMA Pro Thunder Champion and 2001 Daytona winner Jeff Nash and Advanced Motor Sports, to compete in this year's Pro Thunder Championship. Riding under the Ducati Performance banner, Jeff will compete on 2001 model 748RS's prepared by AMS's Superbike gurus Arthur Davis and Stewart Rust. 'It is a great honor to be involved with Ducati's racing program this season. Hopefully we will be able to fulfill their high expectations.'<BR><BR>"Asked about his win at Daytona, 'I'm totally thrilled, I've got a great crew, it's my best victory ever and a dream come true to win at Daytona for Ducati. I let (fellow Ducati rider) Thomas Montano through going into the infield and I thought those guys might give me a bit of a draft to pass them both before the chicane, which worked quite well. I made a block move coming into the chicane and got a good drive coming out.' This was Ducati's third consecutive Pro Thunder win at Daytona.<BR><BR>"In SFX Formula USA, former Ducati Australia Superbike rider Craig Connell will compete on Ducati Performance AMS 996SPS's prepared by Nash and his crew. Connell, who finished second in the first leg at Daytona and was leading prior to a red flag, is a Superbike veteran. Finishing second and third in the Australian Superbike Championship in two consecutive years and finishing eighth and ninth in two consecutive years World Superbike rounds contested in Australia. 'My bike was great, considering it never turned a wheel until Friday, was down about 15 horsepower to everyone else, and I had never been to Daytona. This will give us a lot of momentum going to Willow Springs which is a track I know pretty well.' <BR><BR>"Unfortunately due to both weather and darkness, the race was not restarted and results from the second race were the ones left standing, which put Connell comfortably in the second position over all in the series. 'Jeff and Craig rode a great races, and the Pro Thunder race was probably the best ever,' stated Ducati Manager of Racing Operations David Roy. 'Both Jeff and Craig are great competitors, having raced against them both last season. Their dedication will lend a lot to our programs in both the AMA and F-USA series.'"<BR><BR><BR><BR>The official team name is Ducati Performance AMS Racing.<BR><BR>