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Q&A: Ronald Ten Kate – EXCLUSIVE.

Hannspree Ten Kate Honda has enjoyed a dream start to the 2007 World Superbike and World Supersport seasons, leading both championships - courtesy of James Toseland and Kenan Sofuoglu - heading into this weekend's third round at Donington Park.

Here, team manager Ronald ten Kate talks exclusively to Crash.net Radio about each of his four riders - and also comments on rumours that his team will move to MotoGP next season...


Q:
Ronald, both your World Supersport and Superbike teams have had a superb start to the 2007 season, tell us about James first...

Ronald Ten Kate:
In the winter we were testing a lot over race distance, we never went for a single fast lap, so if people looked just at the lap times they might have thought 'oh, they are a little bit far back'.

The first races have proven that this strategy was ok, but I must admit that James has also picked up his riding a lot - he is so determined on the bike now. The latest electronic [traction control] package from Honda has also helped a lot.

We're pretty fired up for this round. We come as the championship leader to Donington and we want to leave as the leader. We've got to work hard here.

Q:
And how is Toseland's new team-mate Roberto Rolfo getting along?

Ronald Ten Kate:
The first race and all over winter he was picking up the pace but, for whatever reason, at Phillip Island [round two] he had a full 'off' weekend. The start to the weekend wasn't too bad, he clocked times in the top six, but then after that something went really wrong as regards set-up and how he was riding the bike... It was just a disaster.

Q:
Reigning World Supersport champion Sebastien Charpentier also had a tough start to the season in Qatar...

Ronald Ten Kate:
Yeah. In the first race he had to race hard with his team-mate Kenan and I think there were a few more things at stake than just the race win there. It was the first race with the new Honda and everybody wants to give Honda its first win at world level, so there was a bit more to it than just the single race issue. And he crashed. So immediately he was a bit behind in the points.

Then Phillip Island didn't bring the step forward we were all hoping for, but we have changed the bikes quite a bit - that was also why we missed the Valencia test last week, because we were working hard on the bikes. We'll press the reset button here and see the new Charpentier starting here.

Q:
Kenan has been superb; did you expect so much from him given that he's your youngest rider?

Ronald Ten Kate:



Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ronald Ten Kate (HOL)
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Kenan Sofuoglu (TUR), Hanspree Ten Kate Honda, Honda CBR600RR, 54
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