With one weekend down in this prestigious championship circuit of racing, Honda riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus were able to finish 12th and 16th in the first race, and 4th and 10th in the second race, respectively. This leaves Rea in 6th place points standings, and Xaus in 13th. This is the beginning of a very exciting racing season for Honda, as these riders were on all-new Castrol Honda motorcycles.
An iconic team has returned to the World Superbike Championship: Castrol Honda. The new team includes riders Jonathan Rea and Ruben Xaus on Honda’s CBR100RR Fireblade, and will be run by the Ten Kate Racing outfit (acting managing squad since 2004).
Castrol and Honda motorcycle racing have links dating all the way back to their first foray into the sport at the Isle of Man TT in 1959, and celebrated 50 years together in 2009. Castrol has maintained support of Honda’s World Superbike efforts in recent years, but returns this season as the title sponsor. The Castrol Honda team has three world titles on their belt, with John Kocinski in 1997 and then twice with fellow American rider Colin Edwards in 2000 and 2002.
This season will be Jonathan Rea’s third in the World Superbike championship. Rea hails from Australia at age 23, and finished fifth place and fourth place, respectively, in his previous championship runs.
Ruben Xaus first competed in the World Superbike arena in 1998 and finished second in 2003 before spending two years in MotoGP. The 32-year-old Catalan rider has 11 career wins to his name and a total of 35 podium finishes.
Donald Smith – sponsorship manager, Global Marketing Unit, Castrol: “Castrol are 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: “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!”
Ronald ten Kate – manager, Castrol Honda World Superbike Team: “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.”