Pro Ride Honda has been forced to reschedule its proposed World Superbike debut for the fourth round of the season at Assen after admitting it is still negotiating with a major sponsor.
Having already been forced to skip the Phillip Island season opener, Pro Ride maintained at the time that it would be present for the second round in Portugal instead.
However, problems with securing the necessary funding has forced the team to confirm it will miss both the Portimao and Valencia rounds with a view to getting on track for Assen towards the end of April.
“We at Pro Ride were expecting coming back to the races much sooner than the facts are showing now,” said team owner Marco Nicotari. “Being ready to race is not enough if a major sponsor doesn't come. It is a pity that a brand new and ready structure must stay at home because of the long timing a sponsorship project and contract need in order to become the funds necessary to move a structure as big as ours.
“Speed of Japan is not the only company working in this matter, but it's the one with more possibilities. We have also people working on it in Italy right now and I hope to be racing in Assen. We have been doing many modifications and tests in our bikes and they are getting Makoto's profile.
“We are really eager to put them on the track and see what all the work we are doing at home will give us in terms of performance. I don't want to see a repetition of 2009 and we are a 100 per cent aimed to avoid this.”
In the meantime, sole rider Makoto Tamada
will switch to the Reitwagen BMW team for the upcoming Portimao round as a replacement for Roland Resch. However, both rider and team maintain this is a single-event deal only.
“Needless to say I am disappointed that we are going to miss Portimão and Valencia. I have been working with Marco at the workshop since the beginning of the month, and we are 100 per cent ready to race. At the same time be back on the track is something good for all of us. I hope to do well in Portimão.”