Australian BSB racer Dean Thomas will not be lining up on the grid at Silverstone this weekend, having seen attempts to arrange sponsorship for 2003 come to nought.

The frontrunning rider had hoped to stay on with the Dienza Ducati team with which he made an impact in 2002, but the economic climate has taken its toll, with previous backer Phones4U deciding to slash its sponsorship budget.

"At the end of 2002, I agreed terms with Dienza Ducati to race on new Ducatis in the British Superbike series," Thomas wrote on his personal website, "Unfortunately, due to a sponsorship problem, the Dienza team will not be competing in the British series, and I am out of a ride."

The 29-year old has already begun scouting the paddocks in the hope of picking up alternative employment, but remains resigned to the fact that he will miss the first few events of the year.

"I am currently talking with some teams in both the British and World series, and am hopeful that something will come of this over the next few weeks," he confirmed, "I apologise for the lack of information to date but, as you can understand, I have been very busy working on alternative rides. I would just like to thank all my sponsors for their continuing support and commitment during these uncertain times."



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