Castrol Honda Returns to World Superbike
2011 World Superbike Teams
Castrol and Honda have an extensive motorcycle-racing history together, the two combining forces for the first time at the Isle of Man TT in 1959.
Although Castrol has supported Honda’s World Superbike efforts in recent years, the global lubricants brand hasn’t been the title sponsor since exiting the WSBK championship after the 2002 season.
But for 2011, Castrol will once again be the title sponsor for the Honda World Superbike team of Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus. The WSBK squad will still be run by Ten Kate Honda, which became title sponsor in 2004, with the only change being the title-sponsor role.
Donald Smith (Sponsorship Manager, Global Marketing Unit, Castrol) says: "Castrol is delighted to join Honda once again to see the return of the famous Castrol Honda World Superbike team to racetracks around the world.
"Motorcycle racing provides Castrol with the ultimate environment to test and develop our advanced Castrol Power One technology and the Castrol Honda World Superbike team provides a powerful and exciting platform to demonstrate the performance of our Castrol Power One products."
Carlo Fiorani (Racing Operations Manager, Honda Motor Europe) says: "We are absolutely thrilled that Castrol has shown this level of faith in Honda and its World Superbike championship team.
"We are really looking forward to the 2011 season and to achieving even more wins under this famous racing banner. It’s great to have an such an iconic motorsport brand as title sponsor for the team and, personally, I think the Castrol Honda CBR1000RR race machine looks absolutely fantastic!"
In its years as Castrol Honda in World Superbike, the team took three world titles: John Kocinski in 1997, and then twice with Colin Edwards in 2000 and 2002. Ten Kate became title sponsor in 2004, when Honda pulled all factory efforts from WSBK. That year, the sole rider of the Ten Kate Honda WSBK team Chris Vermeulen finished fourth overall in the championship.
Ronald ten Kate (Manager, Castrol Honda World Superbike Team) says: "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 honor 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. You can be sure that everyone in the Ten Kate Racing organization – riders, mechanics, and all the workshop staff – will give 100% commitment to this really exciting new phase of our World Superbike campaign."
For 2011, the newly-signed Xaus and Honda regular Rea will contest on the CBR1000RR Fireblade.
Rea, 23, of Northern Ireland, took two wins in 2009 WSBK, finishing fifth overall. In the 2010 World Superbike Championship, Rea took four wins, and finished fourth overall.
Jonathan Rea (Castrol Honda Superbike, #4) says: "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.
"It’s a real honor 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. I think the bike looks fantastic and I know the Ten Kate guys back at the workshop have been working really hard on its technical development since last season finished so now I just can’t wait to get started."
Xaus, who has competed in the World Superbike championship since 1998, joined the Honda team after the 2010 WSBK season. Xaus left the BMW Motorrad team to join Honda.
The 32-year-old Spaniard finished runner-up in 2003 before competing in MotoGP for two years. Xaus returned to World Superbike in 2006 with Ducati, then joined BMW in 2009. To date, he has 11 career wins, and a total of 35 podium finishes.
Ruben Xaus (Castrol Honda Superbike, #111) says: "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 and I will give my talent and every effort to help Castrol and the Honda CBR1000RR become a regular winning partnership in the 2011 championship."
The 2011 World Superbike season begins Feb. 27 at Phillip Island, Australia.