Pro Ride to miss Australia, Qatar.

Gregorio Lavilla will miss the opening two rounds of the 2009 World Superbike Championship after Pro Ride Honda revealed their season will start in Valencia.

Coming less than two weeks before the start of the new season at Phillip Island, global financial pressures have forced Pro Ride to withdraw from the flyaway Australian and Qatari rounds with a view to getting on the grid in Spain instead.

Pro Ride, formerly Alto Evolution, had been present at the recent WSBK test in Portimao, although the bike ran without any livery. Lavilla, who raced the Vent-Axia VK Honda last season, was 22nd fastest of the 27 riders.

Pro Ride's announcement comes after Sterilgarda Ducati confirmed they will be entering just a single Ducati for Shane Byrne during the opening two rounds.

Although 32 riders were confirmed on the official World Superbike entry list last month, there are fears more of the smaller European teams will choose to sit-out the long distance events and begin their season at Valencia.

TKR Switzerland, who will compete this season with Roland Resch, are another team to also be skipping the Phillip Island and Losail rounds.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Lavilla, Portuguese WSBK Test 2009
Villicum Circuit, Argentina, World Superbikes [Credit: WorldSBK]
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
De La Vega, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Loureiro, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Deroue, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Perez, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Valle and Deroue, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Deroue, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Noderer, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Deroue, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Perez, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Giacomini, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Deroue and Valle, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK
Bastianelli, SSP300 Race, Aragon WSBK

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Syklone - Unregistered

February 16, 2009 3:16 PM

Poor old Greg, already thought this would be a bad choice when he made it. As the best privateer of last year he would have deserved a better ride than with perennial backmarkers Bertocchi, whatever their name is these days. I feel he would have been a very decent option for someone like Stiggy - decent team, decent bike, and then an experienced quality rider to back up someone like Haslam. But who knows, he may even get the chance if Rolfo is injured as badly as it seems - and Greg has done pretty well as a substitute in the past, I recall...

peter - Unregistered

February 17, 2009 8:21 PM

Thats a shame as Greg is a fantastic rider and on his day can be up there with the best. His performance in BSB was superb. To give up 2 rounds at the start of the season means he'll at best midfield at seasons end. How do you motivate yourself when faced with this?

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