Pro Ride, which withdrew from the 2009 World Superbike Championship due to financial problems, hopes that a new marketing agreement will pave the way for a 2010 return.

Despite being one of the first to confirm a 2009 WSBK entry and taking part in pre-season testing, Pro Ride - which had signed former BSB champion Gregorio Lavilla - was forced onto the sidelines before the racing season had even begun.

In an attempt to build more solid financial foundations for a planned 2010 return, the team has signed a marketing contract with Speed of Japan, a Tokyo-based group with extensive experience in racing and rider/driver management.

"We are more than thrilled to sign the marketing contract with Pro Ride," said Charles A. Chen, senior executive producer, Speed of Japan. "The world economy is not as its best, as we all know, but we'll try our best to find the budget for Pro Ride to be competitive in the championship."