Ronald Ten Kate (Pata Honda) - Q&A

"That has always been my trick with selecting riders. The fire in the eyes tells you a lot about their determination" - Ronald Ten Kate.
By Christian Tiburtius

An exclusive interview with Ronald Ten Kate, team manager of Pata Honda.

The Ten Kate team has won eight World Supersport titles and one World Superbike championship since 2002, all with Honda machinery.

This season, the Dutch-based squad is running Jonathan Rea and Leon Haslam in WSBK, plus Michael van der Mark and Lorenzo Zanetti in WSS…
How do you and Gerrit divide your roles in Ten Kate Honda?

Ronald Ten Kate:
I'm involved in running the team on a day to day basis and spend only a little time at our tuning and racing dealership business whereas Gerrit is the opposite and spends less time with the team and more on the business side of things. Gerrit comes to most of the European rounds but tends not to come to the more distant rounds.
So is the team a money making venture?

Ronald Ten Kate:
No. It's a non profit organization. However, since I spend 80% of my time on the team, 80% of my salary also comes from it. Gerrit doesn't get any money from the team. At the end of the year we want the income and spending to reconcile to 0. We want to be spending all the money from the team on the racing and any money we make comes from the dealership business. If we'd wanted to be rich we should have worked in a different industry!

It was a company decision right from when the team took off 10 years ago that we didn't want to make any money from the racing team.
Didn't you originally compete in Motocross?

Ronald Ten Kate:
That was a long time ago! But we've been racing on the road for about 20 years and before that I had a bit of a career in the mud. At that point Gerrit was already becoming a tuning guy for motocross bikes.

I still get my hands dirty every now and then, but that's mainly at a private level because my son has picked up motocross and he's just won a trophy for coming second in a big race in Holland. On a day to day basis though my job has become quite boring as I'm dealing with ever more paper work and administration. When I say boring, I'm still very proud that we've come from a small private team to the level that we are now.
Are you a frustrated rider?

Ronald Ten Kate:
No not at all. I realized a long time ago that I could never make it to even the top 10 in a national series. I've never tried to ride a bike on a circuit and I have to say that I don't really want to. I've never tried any of our bikes and have never wanted to. I'm privileged to work with a number of riders who have more feeling and talent for a machine in their little finger than I have in my whole body, so why would I want to take a bike out without being able to use it.

In the old days before we had a dyno we would test and run in bikes on the street and even did some high speed testing on closed roads so I do know the speed of the bike a little. You need a professional rider to use a superbike properly though. We have days when we invite some journalists to try the bike and it's not many who still have it pinned at 14000 rpm they tend to have it pinned at 6, 7 or 8000rpm, it's only professional riders who take it to the limit.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Ronald Ten Kate, Aragon WSBK 2013
Ronald Ten Kate, Aragon WSBK Race 1 2013
Ronald Ten Kate and Jonathan Rea (Pic: Pata Honda)
Sykes, Rea, Davies, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Sykes, Rea, Davies, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Giugliano, Sykes, Rea, Davies, Hayden, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Giugliano, Sykes, Rea, Davies, Hayden, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Rea, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Sykes, Giugliano, Rea, Davies, Hayden, U.S. WSBK Race 2, 2016.
Rea, U.S. WSBK, 2016.
Rea, Sykes, Giugliano, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.
Rea, U.S. WSBK, 2016.
Rea, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.
Sykes, Rea, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.
Rea, Sykes, Giugliano, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.
Rea, Sykes, Giugliano, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.
Sykes, Davies, Rea, Giugliano, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.
Sykes, Davies, Rea, U.S. WSBK Race 1, 2016.

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