Imola WorldSBK return not impossible for Ten Kate

'Someone from Honda you say? Release the hounds, Smithers...'
'Someone from Honda you say? Release the hounds, Smithers...' Picture: GeeBee Images

Ten Kate Racing will be back into the WorldSBK paddock full-time soon, but at their home round of Assen the three heads of the overall operation, Gerrit ten Kate, Ronald ten Kate and team manager Kervin Bos, were in the paddock, getting ready for the first round of their particular championship.

But when will a return be made. Still to be decided they say but it is not impossible for them to be at the next round in Imola, according to some others. Tricky due to logistics, if nothing else. Whatever else may happen, they will be testing the R1 at the end of May, in Italy.

“It is confirmed that we are testing in Misano, between 29th and 30th of May,” said Ronald. “With a finished bike. Fully finished. It will be our bike but identical to Yamaha’s bike.

We will have the same machinery Melandri or Michael is using. That is the base bike, as we call it. But there are a few items that we have chosen the liberty to have. Different brand of wheels, different brakes, but apart from that it is an identical bike.”

As Bos explained, “We always want to work with our long term partners, and we have done for 15 years or so. From the start PVM was already making the wheels for Gerrit and Ronald and Nissin is already on board for 18 years. So we want to keep working with them.”

As a tuning company of great note there will be limits on what Ten Kate can do to their new brand of Superbike, partly due to current WorldSBK regulations and partly due to the concession parts rules. But with more time they will do their own specs on a Superbike. But Ronald ten Kate said that they are already supplying other R series tuning services.

“The idea is that for the R3 and R6 series we are doing our own tuning already, and the first of them have already been delivered to customers from us,” said Ronald. “That has really been a flying start.

“For the R1, racing here we want to start with a base because we also have to learn the bike and everything around it. So we will not immediately start to change everything on the bike. In the longer term, yes we could also expect to build an engine ourselves and just see what it does.”

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