Jonathan Rea will be in the third and final year of his Ten Kate Honda contract for the 2011 World Superbike season, and the team is hoping to turn the Northern Ireland native from race winner to championship holder.
With two of 13 rounds of WSBK racing remaining this season, the 23-year-old Rea has four wins, and is in third in the championship with 288 points behind Suzuki Alstare rider Leon Haslam (339) and Aprilia rider Max Biaggi (397).
Since entering World Superbike in 2009 on the CBR1000RR, Rea has a total of six race victories and 18 podium finishes. Rea, who currently resides in the Isle of Man, also has been on a Honda for his entire professional motorcyce racing career; Rea finished in second in the championship during his inagural professional year while racing a Ten Kate Honda CBR600RR in World Supersport in 2008.
"I’m really happy to be staying with this fantastic team for another seaso n. We’re all pulling in the same direction and we’re all really excited about the prospects for the Honda CBR1000RR. Even though I’m still only 23, the team has taught me an enormous amount about world championship racing, both on the track and off it and I’ve become a regular race winner."
"To become a championship winner, I recognize that I need continuity and that’s what I’ve got now. It’s no secret that my ultimate ambition is to compete in GPs but I’ll still only be 24 next season so I’m really happy to aim for the World Superbike title in 2011 and then hopefully take the next step forward after that within the Honda family.
Ronald ten Kate (team manager) says: "It’s good to see a rider of Jonathan’s caliber spend his entire career to date with the Honda family. At the beginning of this agreement, it was always the intention of the rider, the team and Honda to stay together and we are very happy to see that realized now. Jonathan joined us in Supersport ranks in 2008 and his raw talent has combined with a great attitude and personality to turn him into a race winner. Next year, our only aim will be to turn that race winner into a championship winner."
Carlo Fiorani (sporting manager, Honda Europe Motorcycles) says: "Of course, we are all very proud to keep Jonathan with Honda next season. It is clear that he his one of the most exciting talents in any world championship paddock right now. Together with Ten Kate Racing, we are very happy to work for another season to focus on the prestigious World Superbike championship title."