HM Plant Ducati Team Principal Darrell Healey announced at Assen that the team is unlikely to return to World Superbikes next year. Here is what he said:
" Due to circumstances beyond our control, GSE Racing is unclear about certain key aspects of the 2004 Superbike World Championship. In addition, due to the uncertainty surrounding the technical rules, we are not in a position to confirm manufacturer support next season.
" These circumstances are unacceptable to GSE Racing’s existing partners – most notably HM Plant and Hitachi Construction Machinery – stakeholders and staff. Therefore, after consulting with all relevant parties, we have decided to make our position clear. It is the very least that we can do and comes out of respect for our riders and the other loyal members of the team who have shared in our past and current success.
" This is a serious situation which we feel other teams may also have to face in the immediate future. At present, GSE Racing are unable to confirm which championship it will be competing in next season, which machines it will be using and who the sponsors, riders and other personnel will be. We are being open and fair with everyone concerned so that they can explore other opportunities within the sport.
" However, that is not to say that GSE Racing has any wish to withdraw from the sport. On the contrary, we will be continuing to investigate other opportunities over the coming weeks. In addition, I know that the reputation of GSE Racing in its pursuit of excellence and World Championship success has not gone unnoticed and there may be other possibilities for us to explore after this statement has gone public. "