WorldSBK

Ten Kate relaunches WorldSSP bid with Moto2 racer Steve Odendaal

Ten Kate Racing, the most successful World Supersport Championship team in history, returns to the middle-weight class for 2020 with Steve Odendaal

The most successful team in the history of the World Supersport Championship, Ten Kate Racing, has announced it will be returning to the middle-weight class for the 2020 WorldSSP season with Moto2 racer Steve Odendaal.

The Dutch based outfit won a record seven consecutive WorldSSP riders’ titles between 2002 and 2008 during its long-standing collaboration with Honda and was the proving ground to launch a number of successful WorldSBK careers, most notably Jonathan Rea and Michael van der Mark.

However, while Ten Kate Racing hasn’t competed in the WorldSSP class since 2016 prior to its partnership with Honda in WorldSBK coming to an end at the end of 2018, it is returning with a new emphasis and new machinery.

Joining forces with the EAB Racing Team to form EAB Ten Kate Racing, the outfit will mirror its switch to Yamaha in the WorldSBK class to run a Yamaha YZF-R6 in the 2020 WorldSSP championship.

On the bike will be experienced GP rider Odendaal, who swaps Moto2 for WorldSSP. A point-scorer at intermediate grand prix level, Odendaal is also a CEV Repsol Moto2 champion.

He is the second Moto2 rider to announce a switch for 2020 this week after Philipp Oettl’s move to Puccetti Kawasaki, while the likes of Randy Krummenacher, Sandro Cortese and Jules Cluzel have all previously tasted success moving in that direction.

“I’m very excited and happy to announce that I will be riding for EAB Ten Kate Racing next year in the WorldSSP and I’m looking forward to the season ahead to work with such a professional team with a fantastic history. I believe that with the support of this great team we can fight for the title and definitely have a good chance on winning races.”

Ten Kate Racing’s phoenix continues rising from the ashes

It’s been a stressful 12 months for Ten Kate Racing but news it is heading back to the WorldSSP Championship caps it off in a fitting way.

After seeing its long-term collaboration with Honda brought to an abrupt conclusion ahead of the 2019 WorldSBK season after the factory preferred to launch its own in-house effort rather than upgrade its satellite support, Ten Kate Racing faced going under altogether.

However, though it wasn’t present for the start of the season, Ten Kate Racing regrouped, streamlined and established a burgeoning relationship with Yamaha. Signing Loris Baz and re-entering the fray from Round 6, Ten Kate Yamaha has been in the mix during the second-half of the year, with Baz regularly getting on terms with the factory R1 riders.

The return to WorldSSP is symbolic though given the team’s immense success at this level and while the might of the overall Yamaha contingent might make things tougher than the team remembers on its return, no other team knows what it takes to dominate WorldSSP quite like the Ten Kate team.

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