Ten Kate Honda officially became Castrol Honda at the 2011 launch of the team in the UK today. Though Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus were confirmed as riders in November 2010, the return of a Castrol Honda team to World Superbike was kept pretty well under wraps until today’s launch. Naturally the livery is very different from last season, with the previous yellow-green color of previous sponsor Hannspree completely removed in favor of a Castrol green, red, and white and a bit of Honda’s wing logo.
“When our world championship racing adventure was first beginning, many years ago now, Castrol Honda was the one team in the paddock which everyone looked up to, whose professional and performance standards we all wanted to achieve. It is an honour for us now to be racing under this famous and historically successful banner and we are privileged to be following in the footsteps of the team we admired so much in the past,” said team manager Ronald ten Kate. The factory Honda team sponsored by Castrol won three superbike championships: John Kocinski, 1997, and Colin Edwards, 2000 and 2002.
“One of my main inspirations for racing was watching Castrol Honda’s Colin Edwards battle Troy Bayliss for the World Superbike championship in that epic season in 2002,” said an excited JonathanRea. “It’s a real honour for me to be racing under those same famous colours for the 2011 season and I’ll be trying my hardest to recreate what Colin did for the Castrol Honda team.”
Xaus also made a note of the Castrol/Honda racing history, “After many years of racing at world championship level it is very nice and important for me to be part of a big project like the new Castrol Honda team. The biggest motorcycle manufacturer in the world is joining together with one of the biggest lubricants companies in the world and supporting the Ten Kate team, which has had a lot of success with many world championship titles. All together it’s a big and really exciting mixture.”
While the team’s official Twitter account made the change to Castrol Honda immediately after the launch, the website has yet to remove the branding of former sponsor and series title sponsor Hannspree. Despite this news, Hannspree will continue to support the Ten Kate World Supersport effort.
Source: Castrol Honda