Credit Crunch Hits WSBK Paddock Too - Lavilla Could Lose His Ride

Most of the doom and gloom hitting motorcycle racing in the wake of the credit crisis has been centered on MotoGP. Understandably, as the premier class is exponentially more expensive than any of the other motorcycle racing series. But MotoGP is not alone: after earlier news that Sterilgarda Ducati wouldn't have the funds to field Alessandro Polita in Australia and Qatar, reports are emerging that Gregorio Lavilla could be out of a ride for 2009 altogether.

The well-informed Dutch website Racesport.nl is reporting that the Pro-Ride Honda team - which arose from the ashes of the Alto Evolution team, which fielded Shuhei Aoyama in World Superbikes last year, with little success - has failed to find a sponsor, and consequently won't have the money to compete in the 2009 WSBK season, leaving Lavilla sidelined. Racesport's efforts at contacting the team for comment have so far met with no success.

The 35 year-old Spaniard had a mediocre season last year aboard the Vent-Axia Honda, after several years of success in the British Superbikes series. Whether his fortunes would have improved with the former Alto-Evolution team is open to debate, as the Italian team has had very little to show over the past few seasons. But Lavilla could well be joining the ever-growing band of professional motorcycle racers who will be spending 2009 watching from the sidelines.

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