For longtime fans of World Superbike Championship, 2011 will bring back some memories, especially if you're a Honda fan.
This year, the famed green, red and white color scheme will once again be present, as Castrol Honda returns to World Superbike with Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus.
Both riders join forces on the Honda CBR1000RR, and will be managed by the famed Ten Kate SBK team. This YouTube video from Honda shows the heritage and history of the partnership, from the early days to the present.
Castrolʼs association with Hondaʼs motorcycle racing activities goes all the way back to the Japanese manufacturerʼs first foray into the sport at the Isle of Man TT in 1959 and the two companies celebrated 50 years of racing together in 2009.
While Castrol has maintained support of Hondaʼs annual World Superbike championship effort in recent years, its previous title sponsorship of the Castrol Honda team generated no fewer than three world titles, with John Kocinski in 1997 and then twice with fellow American rider Colin Edwards in 2000 and 2002.
For Jonathan Rea, the new season with Castrol Honda, which opens on Feb. 23, 2011 at Phillip Island in Australia, will be his third in the World Superbike championship aboard the Honda CBR 1000 RR.
The Northern Irishman finished in fifth place in 2009, taking two wins, a tally which he doubled last season on his way to fourth place in the championship.
Ruben Xaus, meanwhile, first competed in the World Superbike championship in 1998 and finished as runner-up in 2003 before a two-year spell in MotoGP.
The 32-year-old Catalan rider has 11 career wins to his name and a total of 35 podium finishes to date. This will be Xaus first year on the Honda CBR1000RR, coming off the BMW S 1000 RR superbike in the most recent years.