Ten Kate Honda will field an all-British rider line-up in the 2013 Superbike World Championship as the team enters a new era. Jonathan Rea will stay on for a seventh year with the team, an association that dates back to his World Supersport days, and Leon Haslam will be his new teammate after confirming his switch from BMW. The team will also be renamed the PATA Honda World Superbike team after signing a new title sponsorship deal with the Italian snack manufacturer.
Rea had been linked with a move to the Gresini MotoGP squad after a solid debut on the factory Honda at Misano but the Ulsterman was keen to stay loyal to Ten Kate and is excited at what the future holds together.
“I’m happy to continue my partnership with Honda in this exciting championship. I’ve been loyal to Honda my whole career and that’s because I believe in them as a company and I believe that we can achieve more together in the future. It’s no secret that we’ve been lacking in certain areas but I know there is a team of determined and dedicated guys working away both at the races and at the workshop to improve the bike and to try and be a consistent front runner for next season. They’ve got some very exciting plans for 2013 and beyond, and I’m sure that with a strong team-mate like Leon, we can all work together to make next season memorable for all the right reasons.”
For Haslam, the news sees a return to Honda machinery which he last raced on in 2009 and Carlo Fiorani, racing operations manager of Honda Motor Europe, believes they now have the combinations to get back to the top.
“I am very proud and happy to make this announcement, especially with this fast and winning rider line-up. I would like to welcome Leon back to Honda’s official World Superbike team. We are delighted to have another Haslam representing Honda once more and I am sure that, with these two riders, we can continue to achieve results that can fulfil their individual potential and that of the CBR1000RR Fireblade.”