After two aborted attempts at making it onto the World Superbike Championship grid, Pro Ride Motorsports is set to make its belated debut at Phillip Island this weekend.
Pro Ride, which was born out of the defunct Alto Evolution outfit, first signalled its intentions to race in 2009 with Gregorio Lavilla, but failed to make it onto the grid. Similarly, a plan to compete in 2010 with Makoto Tamada would also turn out to be stillborn.
Two years later, Pro Ride has finally made it to the opening round at Phillip Island, where it will compete on the main stage for the first time with ex-Moto2 rider Raffaele de Rosa.
Joining the rest of the WSBK field for pre-season testing, de Rosa is impressed with the power of his Honda CBR1000RR, but accepts he has a steep learning curve ahead of him.
“We have made an important change in the bike setting, but at the end, the bike was harder to ride than it was initially. Besides, after all the laps I made yesterday my body felt all this time far from the tracks. The important thing is that we have collected a lot of information and this was the main aim of this test. All the data we got here and the laps I made gave us the main indications for Friday practices.
“During these couple of days I could observe the Superbike style, the trajectories, my opponents' specific style, etc. All these things are important to help to prepare myself properly for the first races and also for developing my riding style in the Superbikes throughout the season.”