WorldSBK needs teams like Ten Kate – Rea

"They have gone through their difficult moments and they are still here fighting, so I am super happy to bump into them or share a ‘stroopwafel’!"
WorldSBK needs teams like Ten Kate – Rea

Four-time WorldSBK Champion Jonathan Rea says he is ‘so happy’ to see his former Ten Kate Racing team rise from the ashes of bankruptcy with a racing return in Jerez this weekend following its revival as a Yamaha partner.

The Dutch operation parted ways with Honda at the end of the 2018 season after the Japanese manufacturer’s decision to reintroduce its full HRC works backing led to it instead siphoning its support to the Althea Moriwaki outfit.

With the decision proving unexpected and coming late, Ten Kate Racing proceeded to declare bankruptcy to ensure its survival. Nonetheless, the team has since reformed in a new guise and will be back on the grid in Spain this weekend running a Yamaha R1 entry for Loris Baz.

Rea competed under Ten Kate Racing for seven years prior to his title-winning switch to Kawasaki Racing and though he didn’t pick any titles with the Honda outfit in that time, he is widely considered its most accomplished alumni with 14 WorldSBK wins in that time.

Loris Baz - Ten Kate Racing Yamaha WSBK

“I’m so happy to see them back, that team has a special place in my heart,” he told Crash.net. “They did so much, they were a real factory team, they have a lot of engineers there that developed engines, electronics, swingarms and it was really sad to see them not continue.

“They waited their whole career for that HRC badge that when they came with their ball they chose someone else. It’s like being at the disco waiting for the hot girl to dance and then she asks someone else!”

Achieving ten world titles during its Honda partnership – one WorldSBK title with James Toseland in 2007, plus an unprecedented nine WorldSSP crowns – despite today’s unfamiliar ‘Yamaha’ suffix, Rea feels it is important for the sport to protect heritage teams that have contributed to the series’ growth, like Ten Kate Racing.

“I feel for them, but I am really happy to see them back, especially for Ronald and Gerrit [eponymous team owners]. “The fact they are still here, they need people like that in the sport.

“They have gone through their difficult moments as a business and a team and they are still here fighting, so I am super happy to bump into them or share a ‘stroopwafel’!” [laughs]

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