Jonathan Rea (above) will contest the 2011 championship with Castrol Honda after a strong 2010 season. Meanwhile, teammate Ruben Xaus joins Honda after unsuccessful results with BMW.
The Netherlands-based Ten Kate Racing outfit has joined together with title sponsor, Castrol Honda, to launch its 2011 campaign with riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus. The Ten Kate team, long a powerhouse of the WSB paddock, will campaign the Superbike class as the sole Honda contingent.
Rea stands as the team’s leading candidate for capturing the title after finishing fourth in the 2010 championship with four wins and another six podiums to his name. It will be the Irishman’s third full season in World Superbike as the 23-year-old still searches for his first world title. During a recent private test for Castrol Honda at Phillip Island, Rea accumulated 102 laps aboard the Honda CBR1000RR Fireblade. However, on the second day Rea crashed out and suffered neck pains from the incident, which were later cleared by a scan at a local hospital. Despite missing most of the final day Rea is optimistic about his overall progress leading up to the first race of the season.
Xaus will participate in his 10th season in WSB after finishing 15th in the 2010 series. The 33-year-old Catalan rider has established 11 wins for himself throughout his career and a total of 35 podium finishes. Xaus was also present during private testing in Australia where he became better acquainted with his new Honda machinery. During the two-day test Xaus and his team went through many different settings and focused on endurance. The session was considered an overall success, with Xaus pinpointing stability through corners as needing more work in the final pre-season test. Xaus and stability… a trait sorely lacking on his forgettable two-year stint with BMW.