Q&A with Ronald Ten Kate
We caught up with Ronald Ten Kate, manager of Castrol Honda World Superbike Team.
Q: New Castrol title sponsorship and continuing Honda support, what does this mean for the whole Ten Kate team?
A: In the early days of our team we would always look up to the Castrol Honda team; that's what we wanted to be when we had grown up! Now many years after those days, we really are going to be the Castrol Honda team. That fills us with pride. We have had continuous support from Honda since 2001 and the new three-year deal with them gives the team the opportunity to look further than just a year ahead, in technical development and other important investments.
Q: Jonathan and Ruben are a strong riding combination, but what were their main strengths and attractions?
A: Jonathan will be with us for his fourth year in succession, and this will be his third year in World Superbike. His main strength? Talent! Ruben is new for the team, although we have known him for many years. We believe his riding style will suit the Honda Fireblade very well. I don't think there is anybody in the paddock who doubts his speed.
Q: Can you tell us about the bike for 2011, what changes and developments can we expect?
A: There are quite a few areas in which we are developing the machine for 2011, the main areas being electronics, clutch and power output. Nothing ever stands still in racing.
Q: What are your immediate testing plans?
A: Before the season starts we will be testing at Aragon on 20 and 21January, Portimao on 26, 27 and 28 January then Phillip Island, on the 16 and 17 February and 20 and 21 February.
Q: What are your expectations and hopes for 2011; what will a successful season be for you?
A: The World Superbike series has grown a lot in recent years, with all major manufacturers having a presence now. But it’s not only pure numbers. Even more importantly the competitiveness of the class just goes up and up. I am expecting a great season of racing in 2011, and I am hoping we finish on top!