VERY few opportunities are given to motorcycle racers in Australia who wish to compete overseas, according to coach Mark Gill.
“Many feel the distance is too far to even consider racing in Europe and the level of competition too high for our local Aussie riders,” he said.
But not Tapping’s Matt Price. When Gill, from Leading Edge Motorcycle Sport, mentioned there was an opening to test for an Italian superbike team, all Price wanted to know was where and when.
With the test scheduled last October, Price flew with his team to the Mugello Grand Prix circuit in Italy.
There he spent two days coming to grips with the KRT’s (King Racing Team) Kawasaki ZX10R superbike.
Price said it was a new experience working with a team of mechanics, data acquisition engineer and team owner.
“Intimidating doesn’t come close to describing it,” he said.
But he soon proved his worth. Of the 200 riders taking part in the tuning day, Price’s lap times put him second fastest overall.
“It was not an easy task, particularly for a rider that had not seen the track before except on his PlayStation back home. But Matt’s ability was never in question,” Gill said.
“I have worked with him for the past 12 months and would not have recommended the test if I thought he was not capable, but even I wasn’t |expecting that result.”
After the successful weekend, Price was offered the contract and is now riding for KRT, competing in the 2017 Italian National Trophy Championship that will take him to Mugello, Misano, Vallelunga and Imola.
Rounds one and two will be at Imola on April 22 and 23.