Ten Kate Racing BV, the private limited company housing the Ten Kate Racing team’s racing activities, has been declared bankrupt by a Dutch court.
The Ten Kate team had been forced to file for bankruptcy after last-minute attempts to put together a WorldSBK effort for 2019 had failed.
Ten Kate placed the blame for the bankruptcy squarely on Honda.
The Dutch racing team had started out competing on Honda Supersport bikes, a natural choice given the team was a spin off of Ronald and Gerrit ten Kate’s Honda motorcycle dealership in Nieuwleusen, in the east of The Netherlands.
Despite racing in both the World Supersport and World Superbike championships, and winning titles in both classes, the team never received much backing from Honda, and none at all from HRC in Japan for most of their existence, support coming from Honda Europe, the European distributor.
Ten Kate was never HRC’s choice, and so when HRC decided to make a return to the championship, they were always going to want to make their own choice about which structure to use.
The fact that Ten Kate only found on October 30th that HRC had chosen Althea and Moriwaki to partner with for the 2019 season, and HRC would not be providing any support for the Dutch team next year, meant that it was impossible to find other alternatives at such short notice, says the racing team.
According to Ten Kate, contacts with other manufacturers faltered, and they could not find the necessary budget to continue in their present condition. That situation has forced Ten Kate to consider legal steps to address the situation.
In the press release, Ten Kate expressed their desire to keep racing in the World Superbike championship, hopefully in 2019, but otherwise in 2020. That is contingent on a lot of other factors, of course.
The announcement was met with almost universal shock, and with enormous sadness. Jonathan Rea, who raced for the Ten Kate team between 2008 and 2014, had many kind words to say about the team, and the people involved.
“It’s really sad,” Rea said at the Jerez test. “I’m gutted for both Ronald and Gerrit. They’ve put their heart and soul into the Honda brand and now a curveball decision has put them in this decision. I’m gutted for Ronald and Gerrit and all the guys.”
“I feel really bad for the team because when Honda undervalued WorldSBK, and didn’t support the championship, it was Ten Kate that stepped up,” Rea said. “They sourced engine development with Cosworth and developed their electronics strategies and invested a lot in swingarm and chassis developments.”
“That’s hard for the team to accept because when HRC decide to play suddenly, Ten Kate get left aside. When I was there I was always keen to say it was a private team. I spent a lot of time there and the team has a soft spot in my heart.”
The structure of the company is such that the bankruptcy of Ten Kate Racing BV has no effect on either the Ten Kate Honda dealership, nor on the Ten Kate Racing Products company, which supplies specialist racing parts.
Source: Ten Kate Racing