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Corse official line: No decision has been made on Kocinski
by dean adams

The Ducati Corse World Superbike team says that as of 10:10 AM this morning the decision had yet to be made whether or not John Kocinski would ride for the Vance and Hines AMA Superbike or Ducati corse WSC teams, or if he would ride any Ducati. 

That said, it is looking increasingly more like Kocinski will ride in America for at least Road Atlanta. Dunlop reps, when contacted this morning regarding Kocinski, seemed eerily well-versed on the former Dunlop contract rider. 

Those in the sport for more than a few years will remember that Kocinski has had a tumultuous relationship with Dunlop tires, and his last foray on Dunlop saw him _buying_ Big D race rubber because of negative comments he had made about Dunlop tires in the past. 

Presently, Dunlop says that Kocinski is back in the fold and that Dunlop is contracted to Vance and Hines and (if he rides here) John Marvin Kocinski will get the same number and quality of tires supplied to other riders such as Mat Mladin and Doug Chandler. 

Beyond that, the off-track dynamic of having former 250 GP and World Superbike champion Kocinski back in America racing in the AMA Superbike series is interesting to say the least. If Kocinski does indeed ride here, consider this:
 

  • We'll have the entire 1993 Cagiva GP team here on three separate teams: Chandler, Kocinski and Mladin. Neither mladin nor Chandler left that experience ready to start John Kocinski fan clubs if their comments from that period are any evidence. 
  • Miguel DuHamel, since he was a 250 GP rider in 1986, has yearned for a situation where he could race Kocinski on equal equipment. DuHamel puts in 100% all the time, but if there is one trick in the bag, one tenth of a second still in the bike, you can bet your last dollar DuHamel will use it to beat his arch-rival Kocinski. 
  • What better way for eighteen year old Nicky Hayden to show the world he's ready to kick butt on a world championship level than by beating former 250 world champion John Kocinski?


And on Kocinski's side ...
 

  • He's always been fast at Road Atlanta, winning the 250 Grand Prix race there in 1988 and on his way to another win in 1989 when he hit Richard Moore's bike and crashed out, breaking his wrist. 
  • What the hell, it beats riding around in some dumb boat. Kocinski could lever himself a third, no fourth, no fifth, chapter in his long career by riding here part-time this season. 
  • And gee, with Nicky Hayden not signed with Honda for 2001, and given Kocinski's chummy relationship with American Honda upper management, it's not far outside the realm of possibility that Kocinski could become a player here and ride for Honda in 2001, granted, if things went the right way. Honda alone probably would not blink at a Kocinski-like salary. 
  • And that would make Kocinski and DuHamel teammates, wouldn't it?


If you're not going to Road Atlanta, you should probably consider going. If you don't have we-won't-run AMASuperbike.com-ads-Speedvision, you should find a bar or fellow human in your vicinity who does. This could be the race of the year. 

Ends

Circa 1997 Mladin calls Kocinski "a little jerk"

Chandler from 1994: I don't need friends like that

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